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Assignment Essentials: Step 4: Write



Avoiding Plagarism



Having done all your planning and research, finding the evidence to support your argument, you want to take care that you avoid plagiarising your sources. Citing your sources correctly will help. Do the Library's Canvas course on Citing, Referencing & Plagiarism

What is Plagiarism?

According to the Oxford English Dictionary the origin of the word goes back to the 17th Century and it means  "kidnapping" .

A more modern interpretation is stealing and presenting information as one's own.  This information can be in many forms e.g. books, music, presentations, lecture notes.

Note: Images within a work may have a separate source who will need credit.

What is Referencing

Referencing is providing information on the sources that you used in your research.  To ensure that your research has integrity, your sources must be credible.  The original information must be easy to find to verify your statements and conclusions.

In-text Citing: short information in the body of the text.

References: Section at the end of your work with full information of works used to write the essay, to enable the reader to find the original source.

Bibliography: Strictly speaking is a list of any works read or consulted during the research, or any works recommended by the writer for further reading on the subject.

Why Reference?

  • To give credit
  • To avoid plagiarism
  • To enable the reader to locate information.
  • To get credit - providing excellent sources demonstrates your ability to research

Referencing Tools

Citation Generators can be very useful.  They allow you to generate references automatically.  They also provides guides for some styles: APA, Chicago, Harvard and MLA, for example. They offer a higher level of services for a subscription but the basic levels are free. Turnitin is UCC's plagiarism checker and is available through Canvas.


A style can govern the whole layout of your work e.g. margins, font, spacing, alignment etc. A particular style is often used by a discipline and publishers within it. Getting familiar with a style will serve you well for the future. Always check which style to use with your Lecturer/School.

Websites and books for some of the main styles are listed below:

General Referencing Sources