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Anti-Plagiarism Guide

Tags: English

What is plagiarism and how do I avoid it?


One form of plagiarism is to use other authors' phrasing without citing references or quotations. It is also plagiarism to use other students' source code or results from experiments as if they were your own; or to design a product that is too similar to the original from which you got your inspiration (Carrol & Zetterling, 2009). The cause of plagiarism might be that you are not familiar with the regulations regarding citing and referencing, or have not been working on your text sufficiently. Submitting someone else's work as your own is a serious form of plagiarism. A text written by an AI tool is also considered plagiarism..


Self-plagiarism is when you recycle or reuse your own texts from a previous assignment without proper citations. It is important to cite your own texts the same way you would cite texts by other authors.

Academic writing

All plagiarism is not made intentionally. A student might plagiarise because of a lack of understanding of the way to write within academia. Therefore, it is important that you now familiarise yourself with the principles of academic writing. 

Academic writing is to present your research findings while also connecting your findings to previous research. When you use previous research it is important that you describe it in your own words and cite it correctly. Some things to consider:

  • The use of earlier research strengthens your credibility and shows your knowledge and understanding of the subject. 
  • The primary reason to cite your sources is to show your reader the distinction between your own and other authors' thoughts. 
  • Your reader will probably want to follow up on some of your references. Follow the format of how a reference should be written so that it is easy to find and understand the references in the reference list.
  • You should always give credit where credit is due and the references are a way of saying thanks to the authors that helped you along the way. 
  • If you reference correctly, there is less risk that your work will be caught in a plagiarism check.

Use your own words

The most common way to cite sources is to paraphrase, which means that you summarise a text using your own words. When an author has expressed something particularly striking, you may use a direct quotation with the same wording. Specify all the sources you have used in a reference list.

Students sometimes use translation tools on the internet to translate and read academic texts in their mother tongue instead. Keep in mind that the translations may have their shortcomings and nuances in the text may disappear in the translation. Also, remember that you may never copy the translated text and use it as your own. You still need to read the text and write the summary in your own words.

The difference between paraphrases and plagiarism

Examples of correct paraphrases versus plagiarismLinks to an external site.
In the examples, you can see how students have done to include information from a source in their text, both correctly and in a way that makes it plagiarism. There are examples from the humanities and social sciences, science and medicine, and engineering. (From the anti-plagiarism tool ReferoLinks to an external site..)

AI tools and academic writing

Many AI tools can be used in academic writing. Remember to always ask your teacher what is allowed to use in the course.

Reference styles

Academic disciplines use different reference styles. The school, the department, or the course manager decide what reference style to use in a thesis or project work. The four most common reference styles at JU are:

In the film (10 min), Karin Enskär, associate professor of nursing at the School of Health and Welfare at Jönköping University, discusses the importance of references within the academy. 

Further reading