Tip: How Can I Avoid Plagiarism??


Here are the texts of the University of Victoria's statements on "Cheating" and "Duplicate Essays" from the Calendar:

It is difficult to improve upon these statements in any general way, but here are some specific suggestions concerning the use of source material.

  • Always double-check the accuracy of any quotation you use and any citation (author, title, volume and page number) you make.
  • Words added or changed within a quotation should be enclosed within square brackets [ ]. See the pages on incomplete quotations and fitting quotations into your work. Be aware, however, that making too many changes can be awkward. If you have to make more than a couple of adjustments, think about paraphrasing or at least reducing the length of the direct quotation.
  • It is unethical and improper to quote in such a way that the contextual sense of the passage quoted is violated.
    • Example:The original: "I found the play so bad that my urge to leave after the first act was compelling."
    • An Example of Improper Use: One critic said that he "found the play. . . compelling."
  • Citation is needed for use of another's ideas no less than his or her words (see 3.4 below)
  • Whenever possible, refer to the originals of any primary sources you find in secondary sources .
  • If you must err in the use of citations, overdocument.

The standards and reputation of any university are the shared responsibility of its faculty and students. Within the obvious limits implicit in the difference between undergraduate work and specialized research, students at the University of Victoria are therefore expected to observe the same standards of scholarly integrity as their academic and professional counterparts.

Clearly, a large part of the work done at the undergraduate level must involve the handling at second hand of ideas and material originally conceived or made accessible by others. Equally clearly, however, there is a difference between the use of an acknowledged restatement of such ideas and material after intelligent and critical assimilation and their unacknowledged, literal reproduction in the guise of new and original work. The latter amounts to cheating; and cheating, whether it takes the specific form of verbatim and unacknowledged copying from the writing of others, or whether it appears in other forms, such as the fraudulent manipulation of laboratory processes in order to achieve desired results, the use of commercially prepared essays in place of a student's own work or reference to unauthorized materials in examination circumstances, vitiates the purposes of a university education.

While such practices may well stop short of "crime" in the sense that they may escape from the formal rigours of the law, they nevertheless constitute in all cases an offence against intellectual honesty. . . . Sanctions will therefore be enforced against cheating, ranging in severity as befits the individual case from simple reimposition of work, through forfeiture of credit for the particular assignment or the particular course involved, to possible expulsion from the University in the most extreme, deliberate or persistent cases. . . . (Calendar 16)

Last modified: Thursday, February 5, 2015, 1:16 PM