Legal use of the information

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Before you start




STEP 4: Legal and ethical USE

- Plagiarism

What is it?

What is a paper mill?


Detection tools

- Copyright

SA copyright law

Practical tips

Own vs others work

- Quiz


What is plagiarism?

" Most simply, plagiarism is intellectual theft. Any use of another author's research, ideas, or language without proper attribution may be considered plagiarism."
(Source:; 2001)

"An adacemic malpractice. Plagiarism is the use of the ideas, words or findings of others without acknowledging them as such. To plagiarize is to give the impression that the student has written, thought or discovered something that he or she has in fact borrowed from someone else without acknowledging this in an appropriate manner".

It is unethical and illegal to submit someone else's work as your own - it is the same as stealing.

Plagiarism can take various forms. It can be blatant theft or accidental "borrowing". See the following examples:

  • You submit an assignment done by another student (or from a paper mill) as your own.
  • You pay another student to write an assignment for you and hand it in as your own work.
  • You copy and paste sections from someone else's work and add it to your work without acknowledging the source.

Although this sometimes happens accidentally, it is still considered plagiarism:

  • You have done a lot or reading and made notes for your assignment. At some point you find a good idea between your notes, but you can't remember whether it was your idea or someone else's. If you submit this as your own work and it turns out that it was not your idea, you have committed plagiarism.
  • If you make use of someone else's work, you must make sure that you have the correct citation information and add it to your assignment. (Citing and referencing will be discussed in more detail in step 5 of this course.)

(Source:; 2001)