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What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism is using someone else’s material and pretending to have created it yourself.

Two examples:

  • You submit someone else’s report and pretend to be the writer
  • You take someone else’s ideas and incorporate them into your own report, pretending that the ideas are yours Plagerism can also be created by accident.


You have copied a piece of text from an article or a newspaper and you forget to mention the source. Although this happened by accident, it is still plagiarism. You remain responsible for it.

Not everything is plagiarism. Some things are generally known and it is not (or no longer) clear who created them. For example: “The earth turns on its own axis in 24 hours”.

This knowledge is so general that you do not need to mention who ever discovered that the earth turns on its axis in 24 hours.

Please note! If you are in doubt about whether something is general knowledge, always give the source where you found the information.

What to do

You can prevent plagiarism! Always pay attention! When writing, think carefully about which ideas are your own, which are general knowledge, and which are borrowed from someone else. Do you use someone else’s material? Then always mention the source.

See: Source referencing.