Writing, citing and submitting assignments

Aims and objectives

This module will:

  • cover planning assignments
  • examine what plagiarism is
  • provide guidance on referencing assignments
  • explain how assignments should be submitted.

At the end of the module, you will be able to:

  • plan your assignment 
  • understand why you should reference to avoid plagiarism
  • locate referencing style guides and referencing software
  • successfully submit your assignment.

2. Plagiarism

What is plagiarism?

The University of Queensland takes plagiarism very seriously and is a disciplinary offence. Plagiarism is defined by the University as: 

the act of misrepresenting as one's own original work the ideas, interpretations, words or creative works of another either intentionally or unintentionally. These include published and unpublished documents, designs, music, sounds, images, photographs, computer codes and ideas gained through working in a group. These ideas, interpretations, words or works may be found in print and/or electronic media.

3.60.04. Student Integrity and Misconduct

and there are penalties for anyone who is found guilty of plagiarism.
 

Read Academic integrity and student conduct and learn more about academic integrity, academic misconduct and student conduct values.

Plagiarism occurs when you present the work of others as your own. “Work” can refer to published and unpublished documents, ideas, images, video, audio and data. UQ has clear guidelines and official policies about plagiarism.

To find out more about what plagiarism is and how to avoid it, complete the UQ Academic Integrity Tutorial. The tutorial takes about 30 minutes to complete and is compulsory for all University of Queensland students.

What do I need to acknowledge?

In any assessment where you use the ideas or works of someone else, you will have to acknowledge, or reference, that other person’s work both in the body of your assignment and at the end of the assignment.

You need to acknowledge your use of other sources in your assignment with references for:

  • direct quotes
  • information from several sources expressed in your own words
  • someone else's ideas, even if you paraphrase them
  • part or all of someone else's design
  • an image/figure/diagram/table from someone else's work
  • information from the Internet, or any electronic media
  • information from oral communication with others.

Direct quotes and paraphrasing

A direct quote is when you are using the exact words of an author. These words should be placed in inverted commas and the author acknowledged such as:

“Citrus trees thrive on sunlight and require exposure to sun to grow and thrive. Also provide trees with liquid seaweed or chicken compost regularly to aid growth” (Forster, 2016).

Paraphrasing is taking the ideas of an author and then putting those ideas in your own words. You will still need to reference the author in your work as the ideas are theirs and not your ideas. Paraphrasing the direct quote from Forster you could write;

If you are planning to grow lemon trees make sure you plant them in a sunny spot in your garden and fertilise them monthly to help produce the best fruit (Forster, 2016).

Images and Creative Commons

You must always reference images or videos that have been made by others in your assignment, as these are the intellectual property of the creator. A public copyright licence, popularised by Creative Commons, allows you to use the work of others in your assignments as long as you credit the creator of the work. For more information on Creative Commons and public copyright licensing see the Finding and using media module.

 Introduction to plagiarism (YouTube, 3m58s)

In your assessment you do not need to acknowledge anything that is:

  • common knowledge (either general, or specific to a certain field of study)
  • your own original ideas, results of experiments and illustrations you have created
  • your linking text that organises your writing and supports your 'story'.
Correct referencing of sources that you use in your assignments is essential to avoid plagiarism. The Library has referencing style guides for the most commonly used referencing styles at UQ. You should access these guides before you begin your assignment so you are aware of how your references should look both in the body of your assignment and at the end of your assignment.
 

Take careful notes of all sources of information
Record the source of any information you find. Depending on the referencing style you use, you may need to record information such as the author, publication date, title, publisher, volume, issue, pages, edition, URL etc.

This module will take about 25 minutes to complete.