Avoiding plagiarism

Tips for avoiding plagiarism:

  1. Learn to reference according to the requirements of your faculty, school, or department.
  2. Complete the Academic Honesty in Education Module (AHEM).
  3. Read relevant style guides, course handbooks and your unit outlines.
  4. Complete any training provided by your faculty on how to reference properly.

If in doubt, talk with your lecturer, unit coordinator, or academic advisers within your faculty. Don’t rely on a friend.

Improve your skills in researching, note-taking, editing and time management

Poor study habits can lead to accidental referencing errors. When researching for your assessments, you will often be making a lot of notes. In your notes, always differentiate your own thoughts and ideas from the quotes and ideas you take from the texts you are reading. This will help you avoid the mistake of coming back to your notes later and thinking that another author’s quotes or ideas are your own original ideas. Poor note-taking can easily lead to an accusation of plagiarism. Learn to reference everything fully as you research and prepare your assessment. Keep your own thoughts and ideas separate.

It is best to not rely only on Google, Baidu or Youtube for your academic research. The University’s academic liaison librarians can help with ideas for scholarly search engines.

Do not leave researching, editing and referencing to the last minute. Make sure you have enough time to properly check your references before submitting.

Undertake group work honestly and responsibly

Working in groups creates significant challenges, especially when students prepare different parts of the assessment separately. Establish processes for cross-checking all references and the quality of sources, for all group participants. The whole group will receive allegations of academic dishonesty even if only 1 member was directly responsible for the problematic parts.

Learn to paraphrase properly

Get expert help early in your course. Learning how to paraphrase appropriately takes time, patience, and practice. If you are unclear on how to paraphrase well, seek advice from your unit coordinator, academic learning advisors, the Learning Centre or the academic liaison librarians.

Improve your academic English skills

Do not rely on Google Translate to change drafts that are written in another language into English. Using Google Translate too much can lead to a high similarity index in the Turnitin compatibility report, meaning you will face an allegation of academic dishonesty. If you need to improve your written English, seek assistance from the Learning Centre. You can also practice conversational English skills with the University Library’s peer learning advisors.

5 tips for taking ProctorU exams

  • Don’t forget to show your student card or government-issued ID – this is the step immediately after you are asked to take a photo in the Review+ exams.
  • Do not wear headphones, either wired or unwired. If you wish to block out background noise, use foam earplugs.
  • Sit directly in front of the camera so that your face is in full view. Both eyes must be visible to the camera, so make sure your webcam is positioned correctly.
  • If your computer has dual cameras, you must select the front-facing camera before logging into ProctorU.
  • If you experience technical difficulties that impact your progess in the exam, submit a special consideration application immediately after the exam is completed. Contact us for assistance.

Need assistance?

Contact us, our caseworkers can help you with any questions about plagiarism and academic dishonesty.

The Learning Centre can assist with paraphrasing and referencing workshops.


Check the University policy register, in particular:

Need help?

Our  casework and legal services are here for you.

Postgraduate Advocacy Service

Our caseworkers can help with any problems you face while you study at Usyd, from academic appeals to renting.

SUPRA Legal Service

Our solicitors can assist with a wide range of legal issues, including visas, migration law and intellectual property.