It is the practice in academic writing to acknowledge ones sources of information used in writing an assignment, conference paper, books, theses and dissertations or even in writing songs. Plagiarism is an act of not acknowledging other peoples ideas and writing them as if they are your own. For more information on plagiarism visit http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/plagiarism/
Turnitin is an internet based tool used to check and detect plagiarism in an essay or any kind of academic related document. It is licensed software which universities and schools obtain through subscription. Register at www.turnitin.com. For more detailed information consult the TURNITIN MANUAL
Various software is available that enables you to create and manage a library of references and format them in a Word document. UKZN subscribes to the desktop version of EndNote (available from the UKZN software library). The license permits the software to be downloaded onto private pcs. Version X8 is now available. Version X9 will soon be available!
WHAT IS PLAGIARISM?
Many people think of plagiarism as copying another's work or borrowing someone else's original ideas. But terms like "copying" and "borrowing" can disguise the seriousness of the offense:
ACCORDING TO THE MERRIAM-WEBSTER ONLINE DICTIONARY, TO "PLAGIARIZE" MEANS
to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own
to use (another's production) without crediting the source
to commit literary theft
to present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source
In other words, plagiarism is an act of fraud. It involves both stealing someone else's work and lying about it afterward.
BUT CAN WORDS AND IDEAS REALLY BE STOLEN?
The expression of original ideas is considered intellectual property and is protected by copyright laws, just like original inventions. Almost all forms of expression fall under copyright protection as long as they are recorded in some way (such as a book or a computer file).
ALL OF THE FOLLOWING ARE CONSIDERED PLAGIARISM:
turning in someone else's work as your own
copying words or ideas from someone else without giving credit
failing to put a quotation in quotation marks
giving incorrect information about the source of a quotation
changing words but copying the sentence structure of a source without giving credit
copying so many words or ideas from a source that it makes up the majority of your work, whether you give credit or not (see our section on "fair use" rules)
Most cases of plagiarism can be avoided, however, by citing sources. Simply acknowledging that certain material has been borrowed and providing your audience with the information necessary to find that source is usually enough to prevent plagiarism. See our section on citation for more information on how to cite sources properly.