Plagiarism is the reproduction of somebody else’s work or ideas, presenting it as your own without giving recognition to that person. This represents academic or intellectual theft. When you write a sentence in your academic report or writing, without a reference or quoting it in inverted commas, it implies that it is your own work or idea. However, if this is not the case, you have committed plagiarism – a very serious transgression in academic circles. Even when you translate a sentence or part of another author’s work, or if you describe it in your own words (paraphrase), you still have to give credit to that author through an in-text reference and entry in the reference list for that source.
Plagiarism can be prevented by using precise textual references and entries in your reference list.
Academic report writing therefore requires that all consulted sources must be indicated in the text and that complete details must be given in the reference list.