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Plagiarism is an issue which has its roots in the heart of academic study. In the academic world, what you write essentially defines who you are. What is written by an academic is like currency. Promotion, recognition, financial support all develop from what you write. So if you take someone else’s work and try to pass it off as your own, whether or not you mean to, this, in the academic world, is theft.
It isn’t just the words. It also matters if you take someone’s ideas and do not acknowledge where they come from. So anyone reading what you’ve written will interpret those ideas to be yours. This is also theft. There might be an image or a diagram you wish to use to support your argument. But if you do not acknowledge the author of this material, then the reader will assume that it is yours. This too is theft.
So it’s very important when you’re using images, ideas, words, that originate from somewhere else that you acknowledge where these come from. It’s really important to let the reader know who said it and when they said it. And this is what forms the basis of referencing. So you make it extremely clear to the reader which ideas are yours and which originate from somewhere else.

The aim of this unit is that you appreciate the importance of ideas and writing, to the person who initiated them and why it is so important to acknowledge the source of material you refer to.

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