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Avoiding Plagiarism: A 10 Point Checklist for Students

A checklist to help you avoid plagiarism in your work[1]

1. I have acknowledged the sources of all the ideas (or tables, diagrammes, illustrations) I have taken from someone else

I have given proper credit wherever I have referred to, borrowed or used the ideas, findings, tables, diagrammes or illustrations I have found in another text.

It is not necessary to give a reference to ideas that are common knowledge, well-accepted facts or my own work.


2. Where I have used the exact words from another text, I have placed these in quotation marks and inserted a full reference in the text

I have used direct quotations sparingly.

Where I have used quotations, I have ensured that the purpose of doing so is clear, and that I used it as an important step in the development of my own argument.

Long quotes (longer than 6 lines) are usually blocked and indented in the text.


3. Where I have paraphrased the work of another, I have done so with integrity and have used my own words and my own sentence structure.

Although I have used my own words and own structure, I have acknowledged that the idea was someone else’s and I have therefore supplied the reference in the text.


4. I have exercised caution when making my original notes from the readings I have consulted by carefully recording where I have written down the exact words (quotations), where I have paraphrased and where I have noted my own ideas.

Where I used the author’s exact words, I put them in quotation marks and have supplied the reference in the text.


5. I am familiar with the referencing convention I have adopted in my work and have ensured that all the references are correct and complete.

I have inserted the references in the text where applicable and have listed all the references I have used in a complete list at the end of the work.


6. I have NOT copied or bought the work from someone else.


7. I have NOT cut and pasted from other sources, except in the few cases where I have placed these in quotation marks to indicate that I have used someone else’s exact words.

I have used these as direct quotes with proper acknowledgement.


8. Any analysis I have run is my own work except where I have acknowledged appropriately.

Where demonstrating my own skill of analysis is required, I have not outsourced this part of my work.


9. I have submitted my work to Turnitin to check for unoriginal content.

I am attaching a summary of the Turnitin match overview that indicates the extent of unoriginal (including directly quoted and acknowledged) text.

I understand that Turnitin is merely a guide and provides no guarantee that there is no plagiarism.


10. I have inserted a declaration in my work testifying that I have adhered to the rules regarding plagiarism.


Adapted from “Checklist to help you prevent plagiarism in your work”, Curtin University, Australia,

and from the UCT Philosophy Department, “Avoiding plagiarism