Reference correctly to avoid plagiarism

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 “Work” can refer to published and unpublished documents, ideas, images, video, audio and data.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.

Unintentional plagiarism can occur if you fail to reference correctly, so ensure that you properly acknowledge the ideas or words of others that you use. Our referencing style guides outline how to include citations and create a reference list to ensure that you acknowledge the work of others correctly.

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.

Paraphrasing — when you use what someone else has written or said, but write it in your own words, you must include an in-text citation.

Summarising an idea or argument — similar to paraphrasing, if you summarise an argument or idea into your own words you must include an in-text citation.

Using direct quotes — a direct quote is when you copy the exact text from the original source into your document. Only use direct quotes when the author’s own words are critical to make your point. They should be used sparingly. Usually, direct quotes are put in italics inside quotation marks or indented, and are followed by an in-text citation. Check the referencing style guide for the correct way for the style you are using.

Using resources created by others — provide a reference for any information or materials you use that you did not create yourself. This can include images, tables, data, audio, video, ideas or opinions.

Create a reference list —  any source you have used in your document should be included in your reference list.

Academic writing workshops

Student Support offer a range of workshops throughout each semester, including Referencing correctly and avoiding plagiarism.

Your Faculty/School may provide additional information on plagiarism.

Online submissions

  • Turnitin provides your instructor with an originality report indicating the percentage of your work that is an exact match of existing materials within the Turnitin database.
  • iThenticate is a text matching tool that will compare the documents you submit to an extensive database of web pages and scholarly content, and then produce a similarity score and report. For UQ staff and Higher Degree by Research candidates only.