A Guide to Researching and Avoiding Plagiarism

Friday 20th January, 2017.

Examples of a resource:


  • Books
  • Internet
  • TV
  • Newspaper articles
  • People – action research
  • Journals/diaries
  • Art


Why is referencing important?

  • Avoids plagiarism
  • Enables you to find information again
  • Shows that you are trustworthy – it proves that you have researched


Why start now?

  • So you can find information at a later date
  • To check where you are getting information – helps with project management


What makes a good resource?

  • Origin – must be reliable
  • Purpose – why has it been written?
  • Author
  • Form/Genre
  • Up-to-date






Common types of plagiarism:

  • Plagiarism by poor documentation
  • Plagiarism by incorrect paraphrasing
  • Self-plagiarism, i.e. resubmitting a piece of your own work for a different exam
  • Plagiarism by failing to reference


Academic Fraud

  • Using false data/false source information


Everything you write in a report must be honest and based on fact. If not, you are committing academic fraud.


To avoid plagiarism and academic fraud, use:

  • Organisation
  • Citation
  • Paraphrasing/quoting


  • Organising your notes helps you to choose the best information to include in your report
  • You can create source cards, complete with:
    • Title; author; publication date; etc.
    • For a website, include the URL
    • For my EPQ, I will be using Harvard style referencing:


Last name, First Initial. (Year published). Title. City: Publisher, Page(s).


  • NOTE CARDS – include your own thoughts on the same cards, just ensure to mark which information is your own
  • You can also use concept maps, Venn diagrams, outlines, and charts to organise your notes


Quoting, Paraphrasing, Summarising



    • Use to support your own point, or to highlight a particularly powerful point
  • Common knowledge (i.e. facts which can be found from at least 5 different sources) does not have to be quoted
  • Don’t use too many quotes!!!
    • Use quotes to support what you are saying
    • Follow the quote with a line to tie it to your thesis



  • Put a quote in your own words



  • Establish background
  • Use the writer’s main ideas in your own words

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