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Find, access and use information effectively: a step-by-step guide
Last Updated: Oct 20, 2017 URL: http://libguides.sun.ac.za/StepbyStep Print Guide RSS Updates

Plagiarism Print Page

Plagiarism @ Stellenbosch University

"Plagiarism is the theft and use of the ideas, material and other intellectual property of others that are passed off as one’s own." SU Senate. 1 Dec 2016. Stellenbosch University policy on academic integrity: the prevention and handling of plagiarism [Internet]. Stellenbosch University. Available: Policy document. [2017, 1 February].

Where can I get help or training?

Help for undergraduates:

  • Plagiarism forms part of most library training sessions. Contact your Faculty Librarian or use Ask a Librarian if you need help.
  • The Writing lab offers academic writing skills workshops and consultations to all students. Plagiarism forms part of these workshops.
Help and training for postgraduates:

What is Turnitin and how does it work?

Turnitin is used by students at various academic establishments to measure plagiarism. Students upload assignments onto the Turnitin database where the papers are compared with billions of pages on the internet (Turnitin Official website). The results are returned in the form of an Originality Report that gives clear explanations of possible plagiarism. Consult the Turnitin Libguide for more information.



Ethical Scientific Writing

Ethical scientific writing is always honest, clear and accurate and gives credit to both ideas and text (including small phrases) that belong to another author. Ethical scientific writing represents an implicit contract between yourself as writer and the reader, whereby the reader believes that everything you have written is your own work and that if this is not the case you will indicate this clearly by quotation marks and references, as appropriate. (Miguel Roig. A guide to Ethical Writing. Avalable to download at http://ori.hhs.gov/education/products/plagiarism/



How is good science writing like good cooking


Avoid Plagiarism @ Stellenbosch University

To avoid plagiarising someone else's words or ideas, make sure you:

  • Paraphrase the original text into your own words. Be sure you are not just rearranging phrases or replacing a couple of words.
  • Use quotation marks around text that has been taken directly from the original source.
  • Cite every source of information you use to write your paper unless it is common knowledge or the results of your own research. This includes facts, figures, and statistics as well as opinions and arguments.


Examples of real cases on Plagiarism in South Africa and the world

Journalist and author Darrel Bristow-Bovey was caught in 2003 plagiarising chunks of text from Bill Bryson and reported first in The Star and then the Mail & Guardian.

Pamela Jooste, multiple award-winning SA author, admitted in Jan 2005 to plagiarising paragraphs from an article by WITS academic Lindsay Bremner, published in the Lifestyle section of the Sunday Times.

Dejavu database currently stands at over 79 000 plagiarism entries.



Some of the content of the Plagiarism libguide is copied or compiled with the collaboration of staff from the Stellenbosch University Post graduate and International office and other support staff partners on campus.


Did you know?

It is compulsory for all students to sign the Plagiarism Declaration (as attached in Addendum 1 of the SU policy on academic integrity policy document) and to attach it to any study assignment, as prescribed by the department concerned. SU Senate. 2010. Stellenbosch University policy on academic integrity: the prevention and handling of plagiarism [Internet}. Stellenbosch University. Available: Policy document [2011, 9 September]



Even if you paraphrase or put something into your own words, you still need to cite the original source.


Stellenbosch University Plagiarism tutorials - test yourself


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