IMPORTANT: Warning about plagiarism

After a long evening’s marking & preparation, it is with a rather heavy heart that I feel the need to make this posting. Early in the course I warned about the seriousness of plagiarism (using the words or ideas of someone else without acknowledgement). The exam boards are becoming increasingly concerned about plagiarism, especially in coursework, and are making increasingly strenuous efforts to catch and penalise those involved. I have given repeated warnings about this. When you submit your coursework folder you will have to complete the following part of your candidate record form:

Sources of advice and information

3. Have you received any help or information from anyone other than your subject teacher(s)
in the production of this work? (Write YES or NO)

4. If you have answered YES, give details below. Continue on a separate sheet if necessary.

5. If you have used any books, information leaflets or other materials (e.g. videos, software packages or
information from the Internet) to help you complete this work, you must list these below, unless they are
clearly acknowledged in the work itself. To present material copied from books or other sources without
acknowledgement will be regarded as deliberate deception.

NOTICE TO CANDIDATE
The work you submit for assessment must be your own.
If you copy from someone else or allow another candidate to copy from you, or if you
cheat in any other way, you may be disqualified from at least the subject concerned.

6. Declaration by candidate
I have read and understood the Notice to Candidate (above). I have produced the attached work without
assistance other than that which is acceptable under the scheme of assessment.

In previous years I have found examples of plagiarism, and in some cases (at A level, as it happens) it has been too late for the candidate to submit work that meets the criteria, resulting in the candidates either losing the marks for that element, or even withdrawing from the subject completely. If you commit plagiarism (ie. cheat) without your teacher detecting it before it is submitted, there is still a chance that it will be detected by the exam boards as they are using increasingly sophisticated techniques to identify suspicious work. This could result in you being disqualified, possibly from ALL subjects set by that exam board.

Incidentally, most of the work that exhibits plagiarism would not be rewarded very highly anyway, as it usually does not address the specific task set adequately.

If you are in any doubt at all as to whether your work might infringe the regulations, please draw any potential issues to my attention straight away. It is much better to be safe than sorry. The joint body that represents the exam boards has issued a lot of guidance on plagiarism and how to detect it for teachers, and how to avoid it for students. I have reproduced part of their guidance below. Read it, absorb it, make use of it, and if there is anything you are unsure about, please ask.

Guidance on referencing
A useful guide to referencing can be found on line at
http://www.jiscpas.ac.uk/apppage.cgi?USERPAGE=6320

(a) A reference in the text, or as a footnote, should show at least the name of the
author, the year of publication and the page number: For example: (Morrison,
2000, pg.29.)

(b) Candidates must also include a bibliography at the end of their work, which lists
details of publications that have been used to research their project. For example:
Morrison, A. (2000) “Mary, Queen of Scots”, London: Weston Press.

(c) For material taken from web pages, the reference must show the precise web
page, not the search engine used to locate it. This can be copied from the address
line. For example:
(http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/16/sosteacher/history/49766.shtml)

(d) For individual works found through the internet, the reference should show the
details as in (b), above, plus the URL and the date accessed. For example:
Airey, C. (2004). The State of Play Today [Online] 6th Edition. Available:
http://classics.mit.edu/Plato/republic.html [20th September 2001].

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One Response to IMPORTANT: Warning about plagiarism

  1. Adam Stafford says:

    Just glancing at your Blog, I noticed this in passing, and I just thought I sholud enquire about my ‘Original Writing’. This is because the story behind it comes from lots of different books I have read, where I have borrowed some of the ideas (as I often do whenever I write). I just thought to be on the safe side I would check if that counted as plagiarism.

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