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Plagiarism. What is it and how can it be avoided?. What is plagiarism?. A simple meaning is: “Taking the work or ideas of someone else and passing it off as your own.”. Psychiatrist in Plagiarism Shocker. 'He took paragraphs from my work, word for word' - psychiatrist faces plagiarism charge.

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What is it and how can it be avoided?

what is plagiarism
What is plagiarism?

A simple meaning is:

“Taking the work or ideas of someone else and passing it off as your own.”

psychiatrist in plagiarism shocker
Psychiatrist in Plagiarism Shocker

'He took paragraphs from my work, word for word' - psychiatrist faces plagiarism charge


“Milgram's interest in the study of obedience partlyemerged out of a deep concern with the suffering of fellow Jews at the hands of the Nazis and an attempt to fathom how the Holocaust could have happened.”

(Persuad 2005, cited in Pidd 2005)


“Milgram's interest in the study of obedience also emerged out of a continuing identification with the suffering of fellow Jews at the hands of the Nazis and an attempt to fathom how the Holocaust could have happened.”

(Blass 2002, cited in Pidd 2005)


When you are at college you will need to read and draw upon the work of other people for your assignments.

  • You must show your tutor that you have understood what you have read and researched.
  • The best way to show your tutor you have understood what you have read is to put this information into your own words. This is called summarising or paraphrasing.

A summaryis a shortened version of something that has been said or written using different words and sentence structure, containing only the main points.

  •  A paraphrase is a restatement of something that has been said or written using different words and sentence structure. It is roughly the same size as the original and contains details.

What’s this got to do with plagiarism?

  • Once you have rewritten what you have read using your own words, you MUST then show your tutor whose information or idea it was.
  • This is referencing.
  • If you do not do this you are pretending the information or ideas are yours when in fact you got them from someone else.
  • This is PLAGIARISM!

But you must be very careful...

It is not enough to read some information, change the odd word to make it look a bit different and then say whose information it was.

You must completely re-write it in your own

words adding the reference to your list at the end, otherwise it is still plagiarism!

do i have to reference absolutely everything
Do I have to reference absolutely everything?
  • When deciding you have to ask yourself if it’s common knowledge
  • If a piece of information is available from lots of sources, there’s no argument over its validity and people at your level of study would know it, it can probably be classed as common knowledge.
  • In this case you do not have to reference it.
for example
For example:

No reference needed:

“Avatar” is one of 23 films directed by James


Reference needed (opinion):

Of all the films directed by James Cameron,

“Avatar” is the most memorable.

common knowledge quiz
Common Knowledge Quiz

You go to websites and get the information below:

  • Wes Anderson was born in Houston Texas.
  • Some people love Anderson’s whimsy but others see his films as pretentious.
  • Bottle Rocket was Wes Anderson’s first film.
  • Anderson works with the same actors again and again and creates a family feel to the cast.

Do you need to include a reference in your write up?

is it serious
Is it Serious?
  • All educational establishments take

plagiarism extremely seriously.

  • The growth of the internet has brought it to the top of the agenda.
  • Computer software can now check your work to see if it is plagiarised. Many places already use it.
  • Anyone going into higher education will be expected to know about plagiarism and how to avoid it.
using other people s work
Using Other People’s Work

There are three main instances when you can

use other people’s work in your assignments.

  • Summarising: putting the main points of the whole text in your own words
  • Paraphrasing: expressing part of the text in your own words
  • Quoting: copying part of the text word for word
how to summarise
How to summarise
  • Read the text to find the most important points
  • Write out these main points in your own words
  • Your summary will be much shorter than the original piece of informationHave a go at summarising.

Tarantino’s presence/personality has an inspiring effect on cast and crew

  • Actors tend to respect and not try to change his scripts
  • He’s said to be able to get the best out of actors and is something of a ‘mad’ leader

Tarantino’s energy is visibly infections and obviously a main motor

to the entire cast and crew.Jackson pays credit to Tarantino’s

inspirational directing style: “Quentin has an energy about him

that’s very wild and open, that just has a way of transferring to

everyone else. He’s so excited about seeing his words come to life,

it’s contagious. It turns out to be a real productive energy.”

None of these actors seem to be bursting to change their lines, as is

increasingly the case these days when big stars collide with written

by-committee scripts.”Having been an actor himself, he’s sensitive

on how to get performances out of individuals,” says Eric Stolz, who

plays a low life smack dealer in one of the film’s key adrenaline

sequences. “It’s like an orchestra and he’s the mad conductor.”

Woods,P.(ED)(2000)QuentinTarantino TheFilmGeekFiles London:Plexus

how to paraphrase
How to Paraphrase
  • Read and reread a small, specific part of the text until you understand its full meaning
  • Make a note of the key points and main ideas
  • Don’t look at the original source when paraphrasing – this will force you into using your own words

When you’re starting out in the profession and want to make a film that is original, it can be hard, especially with an awareness of all the great films that have been made.

  • The concept of ‘belatedness’ is described: you are inspired by what brilliant filmmakers have done but at the same time intimidated because you might feel there’s nothing left to add.
  • Peter Bogdanovich commented on this challenge in the 1970’s saying that it was hard for directors to work or create in the same way as their predecessors.
how to quote
How to Quote

Quoting is the only time you can copy word for word.

Use them sparingly; they do not show understanding

and don’t count towards your word count.

Use inverted commas (speech marks) and don’t

forget the reference!

referencing a quote
Referencing a Quote

To reference a quote, as well as putting full details in your reference list at the end, you must also use an ‘in-text’ reference

This is in the format of surname of author, year the information was published and page number

“Cardiff is a lively and exciting capital city” (Jones

2010, p10)

Have a go at finding a quote from the piece.


You must then create an alphabetical list at the end of your assignment which gives further details of the references you have made in your text.

  • Your Tutor/Learning Adviser will go though this in more detail at a later date.
just a couple of examples to give you an idea
Just a couple of examples to give you an idea:

A dictionary:

Oxford English Dictionary (2004) Concise Oxford

English Dictionary 11th ed Oxford: Oxford University


A website:

Davies, P. and Taylor C. (2010) How to avoid plagiarising

other people [Online] (Accessed

16th September 2010)