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BIO1004F - Biological Diversity - Library Guide: Avoid plagiarism

This page intends to help in finding resources from UCT Libraries.


Plagiarism is "The action or practice of taking someone else's work, idea, etc., and passing it off as one's own; literary theft." (Oxford English Dictionary online).

Brief guide to avoiding plagiarism

Plagiarism is a serious crime in the academic world. Please refer to the UCT Student Guide to Avoiding Plagiarism.  

Brief simple steps in avoiding plagiarism:

Searching iconDuring preparation

Whenever you consult a source and intend to take notes, start by documenting reference of the source. This will enable you to remember the source of specific idea.

Include the following elements in your reference:

  • Author/s or Editor/s of publication
  • Title of publication as well as section of the publication if it is edited work.
  • Publication date
  • If the source is a journal remember to record the volume, issue/number, page ranges of the article and Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number
  • If the source is electronic resource record the date you have consulted the resource

Take noteDuring writing

  • In text citing 

When writing your essay or assignment, include a brief citation of a source after the ideas incorporated in your statements. If you are using Harvard style, the brief citation would be written as (Author, year). 

For detail guidance on what type of ideas are worth citing, please refer to UCT Student Guide to Avoiding Plagiarism.

  • Create Reference list

At the end of your essay, create a reference list in a logical order. Remember every source you have cited in your essay needs to have full reference. Consult a referencing style guides to get instructions on how to organize elements of references with examples. Please refer to Referencing page in this guide for more help.

Checklist icon

Final stage

Include a plagiarism declaration page with your signature specifying which Referencing style/convention you used.

Select appropriate plagiarism declaration content from Standard Plagiarism Declarations.

Finally, refer to the 10 point avoiding plagiarism checklist to make sure that you have taken the necessary steps.