Advice and resources to help you ensure your academic work follows the appropriate standards.
Academic conduct basically means how you act and behave during your studies: how you study, your approach to attending and taking part in classes, and how you approach and complete your assignments and exams.
Plagiarism: plagiarising the work of others and your own (e.g. from another assignment) - whether accidentally or intentionally - is perhaps the most well-known form of poor academic conduct.
Plagiarism is the presentation of another person’s work as the student’s own, without proper acknowledgement of the source, with or without the creator’s permission, intentionally or unintentionally.
Academic Services guidance
Other types of misconduct include collusion, falsification, cheating, deceit and personification.
These terms are explained on the University’s Academic Services web pages:
Very few students do something wrong on purpose. Often poor academic practice comes from being unprepared, too busy, or unsure about what is expected. Tips to help include:
Check the guidance offered: if you are not sure about what is expected, check your programme handbook for guidance (e.g. on referencing), and read and use other guidance and resources on effective academic writing.
Ask for clarification: ask your class teachers if you are not sure about how to correctly present and construct essays and assignments.
It is always better to ask for help early in your programme, than to struggle on alone
Organise your notes from the start: messy notes can be a real problem when later writing up an essay.
Start a system at the start of your course for logging the source and author of quotes, key ideas, etc. This way you will more easily be able to identify and correctly attribute the sources you have drawn on.
Give yourself enough time: both for tackling assignments, and for studying throughout your programme.
When stressed and under time pressure for submitting an assignment, you may not give yourself enough time to construct a coherent and meaningful argument, and may make errors with checking and citing your sources correctly.
Develop your confidence in English: to write confidently, including successfully summarising others’ arguments and ideas, you need to feel confident in your own ability to express yourself in English. You can get help here by:
Value your own work: it’s not about presenting the perfect assignment at all costs, and therefore using the words of others that you think ‘say it better’ than you. It’s important that your assignments and essays are a genuine reflection of your own critical engagement with the material and your programme, and your own learning.
You can of course summarise and paraphrase the ideas of others where needed and where appropriate; however, you must always reference where the ideas you are expressing come from.
Use your feedback: read your feedback very carefully, and if you are still unsure how you could improve, talk with your tutors, lecturers or programme director.
This article was published on Sep 13, 2012