In an article published in the Journal of Geography in Higher Education, Burkill and Abbey (2004) discuss the problem with plagiarism among students and how to avoid plagiarism. The article discusses the definition and the seriousness of plagiarism so the reader comes away with a greater understanding of how important it is to give credit by following APA guidelines for the use someone else’s ideas other than your own.

The definition of plagiarism is “the intentional use of other people’s words or ideas without due acknowledgement“ (Race, 2001, p. 18). However, the authors go on to explain that “in different countries, in each institution and even on particular courses plagiarism is defined differently. Therefore, it is important that you also consult your institutional regulations and your student handbook” (Burkill & Abbey, 2004, p. 439). To demonstrate this there are examples given of different polices taken from student handbooks.

The article further explains that it can be hard to distinguish between collaboration and collusion when it comes to working in groups then submitting individual assignments. In order to avoid this the article suggests “at an early stage check with your tutor about the exact requirements for the assignment” (Burkill & Abbey, 2004, p. 442). The article goes on to give resources for the reader to review to get a better idea of how to document in APA style to avoid plagiarism, why students plagiarize, and penalties for plagiarism.

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The article also contains a quiz to test the reader’s knowledge of plagiarism by giving examples to determine if the scenarios constitute plagiarism, then providing the answers at the end of the article. The article also explains there are websites available to professors and universities to use to detect plagiarism. “There is an American detection system (Turnitin. com) which is widely used by academics in the USA” (Burkill & Abbey, 2004, p. 444). Therefore students are aware that not only are professors looking for plagiarism there is technology available today that can detect plagiarism as well.

This article contains great information for students to learn about plagiarism and the importance of using one’s own ideas instead of stealing from others. It gives a lot of great resources that are available to students to allow them to give credit to someone when they want to use an idea that is not their own. References Burkill, S. & Abbey, C. (2004). Avoiding Plagiarism. Journal of Geography in Higher Educations, 28, 439-446). Race, P. (2001) Assessment: A Guide for Students (York: LTSN Generic Centre).

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