Failing to appropriately cite information
code | scenario | smart strategies | consequences
Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters
1. It shall be an offence for a student knowingly:
(d) to represent as one’s own an idea or expression of an idea or work of another in any academic examination or term test or in connection with any other form of academic work, i.e. to commit plagiarism;
Wherever in the Code an offence is described as depending on “knowing”, the offence shall likewise be deemed to have been committed if the person ought reasonably to have known.
Scenario – Failing to appropriately cite information
You are a fourth year student that has to write an English essay worth 15% of your grade due by the end of next week. You are 0.5 credits shy of completing your undergraduate degree at the University. While you explore your topic of interest, you locate a few journal articles to help you prepare for your paper. Finding it difficult to write your essay, you decide to incorporate different sections of the journal articles into some of your written work without using citations. You also paraphrase some of the sources used but fail to appropriately cite the information. You submit a hard copy of your assignment the following week since the instructor does not require students to submit their essay through a plagiarism detection software program.
Plagiarism is a serious academic offence at the University. It is important to acknowledge the scholarly work of others who share valuable knowledge through their research. Students must keep in mind that instructors can easily identify pieces of literature which may not belong to a student, especially if it does not seem to align with written work previously submitted in the course. Instructors can identify their students’ different styles of writing when grading academic work.
- Citations, quoting and paraphrasing; Detecting plagiarism; Taking notes
- If unsure, ask your instructor for clear examples of what it means to plagiarize and clarify whether you are citing your sources appropriately
- Contact one of the University’s writing centres or your campus International Student Centre for extra support or workshops in writing, the English language, etc.
- Speak to a U of T Librarian for help on citation styles. See the helpful Libraries guide ‘Why Cite’ for lots of tips.
- Consult the helpful document ‘How not to Plagiarize’ for more detail on avoiding plagiarism.
Range of Consequences
For a discussion of consequences see Key Consequences.