Avoid Plagiarism


Stealing other people's words and ideas and passing them off as your own is consideredplagiarism.

You can avoid it by:

  • Paraphrasing other people's words and ideas
  • Using quotation marks around any direct quotes
  • Citing your sources and providing a list of references at the end of your work

Why plagiarism is a problem?

Plagiarism is a serious offense and students who plagiarize at university can face serious consequences.

Depending on the severity of the offence, plagiarizing at university can lead to:

  1. Failure of the class / assignment / course or grade reduction
  2. If you plagiarize repeatedly, you may even be expelled from the institution
  3. The penalties may stay permanently on your academic record (transcript)
  4. Your actions may tarnish the reputation of GUST

Even outside college, you can face penalties for plagiarism:

  1. It can severely damage your professional reputation
  2. You may lose your job
  3. You may pay a large fine or be sent to prison

But you should not obey the law just to avoid getting caught! If you value original thought, personal integrity, and scholarly research, then you should want to avoid plagiarism.

The Reason It Happens

  • Make sure you set aside adequate time to complete your assignment
  • Get into the habit of citing sources in full as you write
  • Don't be writing your reference list or in text citations at the last minute!
Incomplete Understanding of Original Material
  • Avoid using any source if you are not completely comfortable with it
  • As a general rule, if you cannot restate the main idea of a passage in your own words without referring to the original source, then you should not use that source in your own work
Citation Errors
  • Accidental plagiarism occurs when you forget to use quotation marks, forget an in-text citation; use different citation format or stylize your citations incorrectly
Poor Note-Taking
  • If your notes are disorganized, you are more likely to plagiarize!
  • Make sure you can distinguish which notes are your own words and which are someone else's

Process by which GUST detects plagiarism

Software technologies have been developed to help universities detect plagiarism. Instructors at GUST use a software called Turnitin.

When you complete an assignment, especially an essay, report or presentation, your work will be checked by Turnitin. The text will be checked against a constantly growing database of:

  • Thousands of previously submitted student papers
  • Turnitin not only checks GUST papers - many universities in Kuwait and around the world are using it!
  • Millions of internet pages
  • Thousands of articles from academic books and journals

Turnitin produces a detailed originality report, and a percentage of plagiarism is calculated.

If you are suspected of plagiarizing someone else’s work, your instructor may request to interview you:

  • You will be asked to verbally demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of the work you submitted and explain the sources you used.
  • Your instructor will assess the type of plagiarism incident and the severity of the incident.