Plagiarism is the act of using the ideas, words or images of another person and presenting them as one's own. Those ideas, words and images might be from sources such as the internet, a book, a photocopied handout or a recording of a speech.
Scotch College aims to develop independent thinkers who demonstrate intellectual independence and integrity, and critical, analytical thinking; skills necessary for life both in and beyond school. The act of plagiarism undermines this aim. In light of this, plagiarism is treated as a serious academic offence which carries a range of consequences.
Scotch College minimum standards:
Years 7 and 8: All assessment tasks that utilise research require a bibliography. You are encouraged to utilise the Scotch College Style guidewhen completing your bibliography*. Note that the resource ScotchBib on the Library home page enables students to generate Harvard style references very easily.
Years 9 to 12: In addition to a bibliography, all assessment tasks utilising research should move towards accurate and complete citations. Again, students are encouraged to refer to the Scotch College Style guide and ScotchBib.
Student guidelines on avoiding Plagiarism:
- If working individually, do not allow your work to be copied by anyone else.
- If you see another students work, do not attempt to submit that work as your own.
- Do not work with someone else if you are supposed to hand in your own independent work.
- When you collect information, keep a record of where that information came from so you can correctly reference it.
- Use multiple sources where possible. Instead of relying on one source of information for your assignment, find and read a number of sources.
- Try to come up with your own ideas on the subject matter. Do not copy and paste into your assignment. Instead, put the ideas into your own words (this is paraphrasing), summarise the ideas or quote directly. When quoting, paraphrasing or summarising, plagiarism will be avoided by properly referencing your sources of information or ideas.
- 'Common knowledge' is information which is widely known, cannot be contested and can generally be found in numerous sources. Such information does not have to be cited. Examples include 'Sydney is the capital city of New South Wales' and 'Shakespeare's character of Macbeth is a Scottish noble who kills his ruling monarch, King Duncan .
- You must also include a bibliography. This will include more information about your sources than you used in your citations and will assist a reader to find the sources you have used.
- Properly referencing an assignment takes time. You need to factor this time into your study plan.
- Refer to the style guide and ScotchBib on the library home page when constructing bibliographies.
Scotch College reserves the right to submit any assessable task to a screening process to check for plagiarism. Students may also be asked to verify written work via interview and/or a test. This could be completed either orally or written.
If a teacher has evidence that a student has plagiarised work they should undertake the following.
Years 7 to 10
Students may be asked to resubmit either part or all of the task after discussion with his teacher. Marks may be deducted. If there is an ongoing issue regarding plagiarism after an educational process has been established by the teacher, the student will be referred to the Head of Year. This could lead to involvement of the Head of Middle School, Head of Department and parents.
Years 11 and 12
VCAA set out clear guidelines regarding the submission of work. These can be found in the VCE manual and it is the responsibility of each student to follow these guidelines. For clarification purposes the following has been taken from the VCE manual:
In the case of a Breach of Rules relating to authentication, a student may be required to provide evidence of the development of his work. In some instances students may be required to demonstrate their understanding by interview and/or repeat part of the entire task. The Scotch College VCE panel (Head of Year, Head of Upper School and Head of Department) will determine the consequences of all Breaches of Rules.
* This is based on the Harvard method - the most widespread;
some departments might prefer to use the Oxford system -
details on this can be found here.