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What is Plagiarism?

Unitec considers plagiarism a serious academic offence. Unitec's Academic Statute 2005 (Part E. 1.01 (b)) defines plagiarism as "the act of taking and using another person's thoughts, ideas, writings, inventions or work as one's own without proper acknowledgement and includes:

i. copying the work of another student without acknowledgement;
ii. directly copying any part of another's work without acknowledgement, including information obtained from the internet;
iii. summarising another's work without acknowledgement;
iv. using experimental results obtained by another person without acknowledgement

How do I avoid plagiarism?

Take careful notes of where you find your information and always acknowledge the work of others. This applies to

  • paraphrases
  • selections of text
  • quotations
  • graphics
  • tables
  • figures
  • graphs or diagrams

If you:

  • regularly make photocopies from books or journal articles
  • print out articles from databases, web pages
  • scan graphs, diagrams, photographs, artwork

remember to note down the details you will need to cite the information in your assignment. The details you need may differ depending on what bibliographic style your department requires, but the minimum information to record should include:

  • who is responsible for the work eg. the author or designer
  • the name of the work eg. a title
  • when it was produced eg. the publishing date
  • when you accessed the information eg. for material from the web

You may find it useful to use bibliographic management software like EndNote to manage your references and citations.

For more information on how to acknowledge other people's work, go to the Library's Referencing Guides. The Te Puna Ako Learning Centre's Moodle site provides help on in-text referencing and paraphrasing.


Turnitin is plagiarism-detecting software that checks your assignments against a database of web pages, student papers and academic articles, looking for similarities in wording. Your lecturer will tell you if you are required to use Turnitin for your course, and give you a Class ID code and password to use.

Before you submit an assignment to Turnitin you have to create a personal account, using your email address as your ID. You give yourself a password - not the class password that your lecturer gave you. You can then enrol in your course, using the class ID and password that have been supplied. You can use the same personal account for all the courses you are enrolled in.

Click here to create an account.

How to: