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Science - Plagiarism & Referencing: Plagiarism

Types of Plagiarism

  • Cut/copy and paste material from the Web
  • To download documents from the Internet and hand this material in as your own work
  • Copying the work of another student (past or present), including essay material, laboratory data or computer source code;
  • Copying course material or lecture notes without acknowledging
  • Copying material out of a textbook or journal, without citing & referencing the source

Three most common types of Plagiasism

  • Copying another person's work, including the work of another student (with or without their consent) and claiming or pretending it is your own
  • Presenting arguments that use a blend of your own and a significant percentage of copied words of the original author without acknowledging the source
  • Paraphrasing another person's work, but not giving due acknowledgement to the original writer

Consequences of Plagiarism

  • Plagiarism is illegal: It may be regarded as a criminal  offence
  • If a student is found guilty of plagiarism: He/she may be expelled from the university
  • By a court of law: a fine or imprisonment may be imposed
  • Plagiarism is unethical because it is intellectual theft – the plagiariser stands to benefit or gain an unfair advantage from the theft.
  • It is in conflict with  UJ values of trust and academic integrity.
  • It is dishonest (a form of theft).
  • It shows disrespect for the rights of the original author.
  • It tarnishes the University reputation, and diminishes the value of your qualifications
  • It casts suspicion on the honest work of other students

How to Avoid Plagiarism & Types of Plagiarism


How to avoid Plagiarism UJ Library video

Unintentional & Intentional Plagiarism Defined

Intentional plagiarism is claiming sole authorship of a work that you know to have been largely written by someone else.

Examples of Intentional Plagiarism:

  • Purchasing a pre-written paper (either by mail or electronically).
  • Letting someone else write part or all of a paper for you.
  • Paying someone else to write part or all of a paper for you.
  • Submitting as your own someone else's unpublished work (including a computer program or algorithm), either with or without permission.
  • Submitting as your own, work done jointly by a group in which you may have participated.
  • Submitting work done by you, but for another class or another purpose without documenting that it was previously used.
  • Creating phony citations.

Credit: Duke University

Unintentional plagiarism is plagiarism that results from the disregard for proper scholarly procedures.

Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism:

  • Failure to cite a source that is not common knowledge.
  • Failure to "quote" or block quote author's exact words, even if documented.
  • Failure to put a paraphrase in your own words, even if documented.
  • Failure to put a summary in your own words, even if documented.
  • Failure to be loyal to a source.

Credit: Duke University

Unintentional & Intentional Plagiarism

Plagiarism Game Online

Click and Play our Plagiarism GAME and LEARN how to avoid PLAGIARISM 

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Pavlinka Kovatcheva
University of Johannesburg Library
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