Throughout your written work at NCI, you will need to refer to material written or produced by others. This is called citing or referencing. It is important to be consistent and accurate in your references to enable readers to identify and locate the material to which you have referred to. To do this, the same set of rules should be followed throughout your written work every time you cite a reference.
Referencing styles provide a system for in-text citations and for the creation of a bibliography or reference list to be appended to the end of your written work. Currently, there are three key referencing styles used at the National College of Ireland – Harvard, APA and IEEE.
Which style should you choose?
Choosing a referencing style usually depends on what course or subject you are doing. Harvard is required by most courses; however, students in Psychology courses use the APA style and some Computing students use IEEE. Please double check with your lecturer or supervisor regarding which referencing system you should use.
Academic Honesty means the use of your own thoughts and words in you written work, taking of exams, and other course related activities. Academic writing is built on trust and students are expected to be honest. When information has been taken from another source, you are expected to give full credit for the use of another person’s thoughts and ideas. Intentional or unintentional use of another's thoughts and ideas, without acknowledging the source constitutes plagiarism. As a student, it is your responsibility to avoid plagiarism.
Plagiarism is the act of taking another person’s words, ideas, data or images and using them as your own without giving credit to the original source of the information.
Examples of plagiarism
The following are a few examples of plagiarism:
See Page 11 of the NCI Library Referencing Guide, 5th edition for more examples of where and how plagiarism occurs.
Collusion is the presentation by a student of written work as their own when it is in fact the result in whole or in part of unauthorised collaboration with another person or persons. Collusion involves the cooperation of two or more students in plagiarism or other forms of academic misconduct. Both the student presenting the written work and the student(s) with who they have collaborated are considered participants in the act of academic misconduct.
Academic integrity is highly valued in the National College of Ireland. Plagiarism is a serious academic misconduct and the penalties are severe if a student is found to have deliberately plagiarised the work of another, including copying the work of other students.
The college uses a plagiarism software package called Turnitin to help academic members of staff to detect these instances of plagiarism. If a lecturer has serious concerns about plagiarism, they will notify you and then seek a second opinion. If concerns are found to be justified, the consequences can range from the following:
See our Academic Integrity Guide for more details.
A few ways to avoid plagiarism:
For further advice on avoiding plagiarism, take a look at the Avoiding Plagiarism Tutorial. You can access the tutorial through the 'Avoiding Plagiarism' link on the dashboard of your Moodle page, then select the enrolment link.
Tips to remember:
NCI Library's interactive Tutorial on Recognising and Avoiding Plagiarism is is designed to help students learn about the importance of referencing the information used in assignments as well as how to avoid plagiarism. Access the tutorial through the 'Academic Integrity Hub' option on the Library dropdown menu on Moodle.
Need advice for your assignments or research?
The Library Academic Support Centre is here to help!
We offer in-person and online appointments, remote assistance via email and a drop-in service.
For more details about how we can help you, see here.
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