What is plagiarism?

In an academic essay you are expected to read and understand the topic you are discussing. By including quotes from other authors you demonstrate that you are well read and this only adds to the quality of the work you will produce. However, if you present someone else's words or ideas as your own and don't credit the original author you are guilty of plagiarism. It is exactly the same if you submit something for publication – in this particular case, TBT.

The following are all examples of plagiarism:

  • submitting someone else's work as your own;
  • copying words or ideas from someone else without giving credit;
  • not putting a quotation in quotation marks;
  • giving incorrect information about the source of a quotation;
  • simply changing words within the sentence structure of a source without giving credit;
  • copying so much from a source that it makes up the majority of your work, whether you give credit or not;
  • even copying diagrams and visual aids from the internet without referencing.

How serious is plagiarism?

It is a very serious matter in any academic or publishing context. Beaconhouse has a strict policy on plagiarism, and will follow up on any transgressions that are identified. Please don't think that no one will notice if you try to pass off other people's work as your own. The editorial team is very experienced in recognising when something has been plagiarised and nowadays it is extremely simple to check anything on the internet.

When do you need to reference?

Book or film reviews, poems or short stories by definition need to be your original work. You should never submit anyone else's work as your own.
If, however, you submit a feature article, essay or commentary to TBT for which you have had to research background material or information, you need to clearly indicate your source.
Anything that is common knowledge need not be referenced.

Academic essays or articles

You need to use a referencing system throughout your essay or article as an accurate way of acknowledging your sources.
It is not enough to list all of your sources in the bibliography (the list of writings relating to the given subject). You need to include references throughout your essay with direct links to the original author each time you make reference to them.
Even if you paraphrase and rewrite the original words in a completely new way you still need to credit the original author.
Make careful notes as you are researching using quotation marks where necessary so that later you don't mistake other people's ideas as your own. Keep careful records of each source. This also helps with organising your bibliography.

Feature articles

Clearly, if you liberally sprinkle references/citations into your work it will only indicate that you are writing about something you are unfamiliar with. Ultimately, whatever you submit should be personalised with your own thoughts, opinions or views. Writing is, after all, a form of self-expression and an opportunity to be creative. Leaning heavily on someone else's ideas will only smother that creativity.

Examples of references/citations

  • Jones (1990) declared that he didn't agree with the current system.
  • It is said that there are disagreements over the current system (Jones 1990).
  • "Many adults returning to the classroom to learn a foreign language have come from a past learning experience which concentrated on studying grammar and structures and provided few opportunities for communication (Ellis 1989:8)."

Bibliography samples

Books: Braasch, G. (1988) Earth under Fire, Los Angeles, University of California Press
Edited books: Crawford, K. (2009) 'Continuing Professional Development in Higher Education – tensions and debates in a changing environment' in L. Bell (Ed) The Future of Higher Education: Policy, Pedagogy and the Student Experience (pp. 78-84). Continuum
Newspaper articles: Khan, A. (2012) Education quality in capital schools not up to the mark. The DailyTimes, 10 Feb. pp.4-5.
Internet websites: Harris, Robert. "Evaluating Internet Research Sources."
[cited 20 April 2011]. Lifted from:
Journals: Jones, A. & Souness, H. (2005) Student cheating and plagiarism in the Internet era: A wake-up call. Education Weekly, 19(35), pp.35-38.
Interviews: Nussbaum-Beach,S. Personal Interview (My vision of Teaching and Learning in the Internet Age), 14/11/11