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Referencing and plagiarism

As a student at USQ, it is important to be familiar with our referencing and plagiarism guidelines, and Academic Integrity policy.


It is University policy that Harvard (AGPS) or APA referencing styles be used in all courses, with the exception of School of Law and Justice in the Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts which uses AGLC.

Support for students in the use of these systems is provided through the Library. Information about the various methods of referencing can be found in the USQ Library Referencing Guides.

For advice relating to the specific requirements of referencing assignments, always consult your lecturer, supervisor or tutor as to which style is required.


At university, plagiarism is regarded as a type of cheating. Plagiarism is presenting someone else's work as if you created/wrote it yourself. This work could be written text, images, artwork, computer code or mathematical formulas. If you do not provide references to the source of the ideas or data you have used, then you are presenting someone else's work as if it is your own and you have plagiarised.

It is presumed that if you plagiarise, the intention is to deceive your lecturer and the university. You are pretending that you have satisfied the requirements of the course, when you have cheated by presenting someone else’s work as your own.

All students sign a declaration that states:

  • you must not copy from other group members and present that work as your own individual creation
  • you much not contribute little or less to a group assignment and claim an equal share of the marks
  • no part of your assignment has been copied from any other person’s work without due acknowledgement
  • the assignment has not been written for you by another person.

Examples of what constitutes plagiarism within different disciplines are useful resources to guide you in avoiding plagiarism.

The most common types of plagiarism are:

Misusing resources

Misusing resources can include:

  • copying or paraphrasing entire or parts of text, computer code, artwork, graphics or other material from a book, journal or other sources such as an Internet site or USQ study materials, without providing a reference using the required referencing system
  • copying or paraphrasing parts of text, computer code, artwork, graphics or other material, whether or not a few details are changed, without providing a reference using the required referencing system.

Misusing another student's work

Misusing another student’s work can include:

  • copying or paraphrasing another student's assignment in part or its entirety
  • presenting your own assignment prepared for one course in another course.

Group work

Collusion is a specific type of cheating that occurs when two or more students exceed a permitted level of collaboration on a piece of assessment. Identical layout, mistakes, argument and presentation in students' responses to a piece of assessment are evidence of collusion.