Plagiarism Explained

Plagiarism is presenting someone else's work as if you created and 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. At university, plagiarism is regarded as a type of cheating. Refer to USQ Policies for definitions of plagiarism, cheating and collusion.

Plagiarism can take many forms and may include:

  • Misusing Resources
  • 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
  • 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, identical mistakes, identical argument and identical presentation in students' responses to a piece of assessment are evidence of collusion.

    Inherent in all of the examples listed above is the intention to deceive your lecturer and ultimately the University. You are pretending that you have satisfied the requirements for the course, when in fact you have cheated by presenting someone else's work as your own.

    The University will assume that it is deliberate because you have signed a declaration with each assignment that states:

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

  • Copying from other group members and presenting the work as your own individual creation
  • Contributing little or less to a group assignment and claiming 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.