Tips To Avoid Plagiarism

With assignments and exams approaching, it’s important to ensure that you feel confident about the work that you produce in order to keep you from worrying more than you should. We understand that avoiding plagiarism can be a cause of stress, as it is sometimes complicated to understand what is or isn’t acceptable. But don’t worry, we’ve got some useful tips to help you avoid plagiarism!

What is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism is the inclusion of someone else’s work (intentionally or unintentionally) in your own, without the right use of referencing and crediting of the original author.

Can I plagiarise my own work?

Absolutely! You are only allowed to submit a piece of work once. If you copy and paste sections of previously submitted work, no matter how relevant the content is, it is still considered plagiarism. All work submitted for each assignment should be original content written by you.

How can I avoid plagiarism?

Below is a useful list of a few things that you can look out for to make sure that your work is your own, and to avoid plagiarism.

  • Give yourself enough time to complete the assignment. Rushing can lead to overlooking things, like referencing and your bibliography.
  • As a student at Royal Holloway, you automatically have access to a Moodle course on Plagiarism, so we’d recommend refreshing your mind a little with this topic, especially  with exam season and final coursework submission dates so close!
  • Your course handbook will tell you the style of referencing that you are expected to use, so make sure you make yourself familiar with it and double check that your work matches that style of referencing. Even the extra ‘,’ and ‘.’ that feels unnecessary, could be the difference in percentage on Turnitin.
  • The Centre for the Development of Academic Skills (CeDAS) at Royal Holloway offers a proofreading service where some qualified people will help you identify errors in language, punctuation, layout and referencing. You can read more about it here.
  • CeDas also offers academic writing advice drop-in sessions from Spring Term to August.

Remember, if you have been accused of academic misconduct, we are here to help you through the process. We know it can be intimidating and we can help you prepare for your panel/ hearing, and can accompany you there too.

Please feel free to book an appointment with us here. Alternatively you can report to the Helpdesk on the first floor of the Students’ Union.

The Advice Centre is a free and independent service for all students at Royal Holloway.