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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. To submit another person's work as if it was your own is a very serious form of 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.

In the film Plagiarism - What do students need to know? (13 min) Göran Wahlgren, assistant professor emeritus in Law at Jönköping International Business School, is interviewed about various forms of plagiarism. Creative Commons License

British university teacher Jude Carroll has long been involved in plagiarism issues. In the film (6 min) she answers the question of whether plagiarism is more common now than before. Creative Commons License

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 own 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. 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 be interested in checking and reading some of your references, and it should therefore be easy for the reader to understand who the author of the source is, and what type of publication to look for. Secondly, it strengthens your credibility and shows your knowledge and understanding of the subject. The third reason is that 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. Lastly, of course, you do not want to be caught plagiarising. 

Use your own words

The most common way to cite sources is to paraphrase, which means that you summarize 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 in order 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.

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. Creative Commons License

If you want tips on how to develop your academic writing, the Academic Resource Center has guides and tips. From them, you can also get guidance on your writing.

If you want to immerse yourself in academic writing on your own, you can get help from Refero - an anti-plagiarism guide. Refero is a web-based resource that presents how you can use other authors' texts in your own text without plagiarising. It is developed at the university libraries of Blekinge Technology Institute and Linnaeus University and is used by many Swedish universities

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:

Further reading