Evaluating and using Information

This section explains how to use the information you find within your academic work.

4. Plagiarism introduction

4.1. Plagiarism and how to avoid it

We have a short cartoon for you that introduces the basics of plagiarism.


  • When marking essays and coursework, academics at Queen Mary use powerful software called Turnitin to check that their students have not taken material from books, journals and other publications without due acknowledgement. Turnitin also checks to ensure that students have not plagiarised the work of other students or lifted material straight from the Internet.
  • Students who are caught plagiarising other people's work face penalties that could have far-reaching effects.

So plagiarism is a very serious matter; but don't avoid it simply out of fear of the disciplinary consequences; avoid it because you seek to produce the best quality academic work you possibly can.

Once you have grasped the principles of correct source use and the citation style recommended by your department (see the next section of this module for more on citation styles) you can feel confident that you are steering clear of plagiarism.

Try the activity on the next page to further test your understanding.

Need help or advice with anything on this page?  Contact the T&LS Team