It’s really important that the coursework you produce is your own. Copying chunks of text and pretending they’re yours is cheating, and is known as ‘plagiarism’.
You can be guilty of plagiarism if you copy from sources such as:
- the internet
- computer programs
- friends or family members
If you simply copy someone else’s work, you probably won’t understand it properly. You could really come unstuck if your coursework is linked to exams you have to take later in the course.
Despite what you might think, plagiarism can often be easy to spot, as people’s writing styles can be very distinctive. There are also a number of computer programs that can help teachers, tutors and exam boards identify plagiarism.
If you get caught
As well as being dishonest and unfair on the person you’re copying from, plagiarism can get you into trouble. You might receive a warning, have your final grade lowered, or even be disqualified from the qualification altogether.
Sticking to the rules
When you are given a coursework assignment, you may want to share ideas or do some research with a classmate. This is okay, but you must make sure that you each write up your work on your own.
If you do quote text from other sources, you must always say where it comes from and who wrote it.