Part of doing a project is researching what other people have done. It is important to know when and how to use other people’s work.
What's the issue?
Assignments are part of the work we do as students! Sometimes it seems like all the answers are already on the internet, so why would you bother to create your own work from scratch? It’s important to know when and how you can use other people’s work.
Why does it matter?
When you use material from the internet in your school work, you must acknowledge this source. If you don’t do this it is called plagiarism, which means you are using the ideas or expressions of someone else without giving them credit. It is illegal to plagiarise other people’s work. In most circumstances, it’s OK to use work created by others for school as long as we’re responsible and respectful of their work.
Most of us want other people to treat us fairly and we expect them to be honest with us. We should have the same expectations of ourselves when we deal with other people.
Copying isn’t learning. The scientists tell us that we learn best when we have to put together what we already know with new information that we discover. We don’t learn much at all when we just repeat someone else’s words.
Use a wide variety of sources and always acknowledge them
- if you use a range of resources you will develop an overview of your topic and not be reliant on one viewpoint
- you must always provide a reference list of the source material you have used
- in your work it needs to be obvious that you have used another person’s words or ideas. Ask your teacher how this should be done.
Your work has to be your work
- the work you submit should be your original thinking based on your research.
Get help from the best people for the situation
- sometimes, with the best of intentions, people give you advice but they don’t know what they’re talking about! So, think about who has the expertise to help you out and approach them.
What you do is who you are - respect yourself and others
- Be aware that your actions now will shape the way people think about you into the future. What you do has an influence on your relationships - with your friends, your family, your teachers and your self. Be honest.
Printable advice sheet
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