It’s that time of the trimester again. With exams and assessments just around the corner, it’s easy to get caught up in a whirlwind of responsibilities and tasks that need to get done. More often than not, things slip and we find ourselves making mistakes we don’t mean to (we are only human after all). It’s around this time in the trimester where the WSU Student Support and Advocacy team starts to see an increase of assessments being handed in, and with them, students who are accussed of plagiarism.
Firstly, let’s define plagiarism. Plagiarism is the act of “presenting someone else’s work or ideas as your own, with or without their consent, by incorporating it into your work without full acknowledgement” (Oxford, 2021). Think of it as stealing someone else’s artwork (no matter how terrible or abstract) and displaying it as yours at an auction and taking the cash.
The general rule of thumb is; if the content is not yours, cite it. Yes, it’s a tedious task and yes, it will take time out of your daily Netflix procrastination binge. But in the long run, it saves you from having to face being put to the guillotine (a.k.a. a disciplinary hearing). So, take advantage of the resources available to you. The University website offers an abundance of readily-available guides to the different referencing styles and if you’re like me and are woefully imcompetent with technology, just Google ‘waikato referencing’ and the first few links are yours to peruse. If you need more help, reach out to the staff members at Student Learning or the Library.
While it is all good for us to give you pointers on how to avoid plagiarism, it does still happen. So on the off chance that a student does need support going through a hearing, our Student Support and Advocacy team is always here to assist. We can provide advice and guidance around how the process works, help the student formulate their explanation and statement for the hearing, and even attend the hearing with them as their support person.
So heed our advice and just cite it. If you ever need our support (not just with plagiarism because that’s not all we deal with), email firstname.lastname@example.org.