- Avoiding Plagiarism
Adequate referencing is a vital part of academic writing. The University defines plagiarism as:
the use, without adequate acknowledgment, of the intellectual work of another person in work submitted for assessment. This definition includes the unattributed use of course materials. A student cannot be found to have committed plagiarism where it can be shown that the student has taken all reasonable care to avoid representing the work of others as his or her own.
Checklist for avoiding plagiarism:
- When taking notes, be sure to put ‘inverted commas’ around direct quotes, so that when you return to your work , it is clear what is a quote, and what is a paraphrase in your own words. Always write down exactly where the material comes from, including page number or url.
- When taking notes, use the correct citation / reference format. If you are not clear about this, check your course guide or ask your tutor
- Familiarise yourself with the citation / reference format you are expected to use. Remember that paraphrases, as well as direct quotes, need to be referenced.
- Once you have written a draft of your essay / assignment, look at the balance between your own ideas and the ideas of others which you have referenced. It should be clear to the reader or marker which is which, because the ideas from others will be referenced. Your own argument (your ideas) should provide the main framework for the essay / assignment, and your evidence (the ideas of others) should be in support of your argument.
Books can be very expensive, so before you buy, why not try:
- Visit the Library or search their online database.
- Bookends is AUSA's second hand charity book shop, based in the Students' Union Building on Elphinstone Road.
- Blackwell's is at 99 High Street (Old Aberdeen), stocking new and second hand copies of core reading list texts.
- Check your course or departmental noticeboard as students often post adverts selling their old text books cheaply.
Or you could try these websites:
The University has three libraries: The Sir Duncan Rice Library (main library) which also contains the Special Collections Centre; Taylor Library (law); and the Medical Library (dentistry, medicine, medical sciences, health & nutrition). With over a million books, more than 500,000 ebooks and over 25,000 e-journals, library services provide flexible access to resources on and off campus at a time to suit you.
The libraries are open daily during term time and have hundreds of study places in silent and quiet study areas as well as group project rooms and areas.
There is a good support network of staff and resources including subject help, instructional talks, printed and electronic information guides, vodcasts, podcasts, Twitter.
MyAberdeen is the University’s Virtual Learning Environment where you can access learning materials and resources associated with your courses:
A number of resources have been developed to help you make effective use of MyAberdeen:
There are computer classrooms available for use throughout campus; the largest being in Edward Wright and MacRobert buildings in Old Aberdeen. The university computers can be accessed by logging in with your student ID and password.
- Currently available computers in Old Aberdeen, the Sir Duncan Rice Library and Foresterhill.
- Referencing and Citing
Referencing and Citing
There are many styles of referencing and citing. Check your course guide or ask the teaching staff which style they expect you to use. For more information you should also consult the Library webpage on Referencing. As well as a range of guides, they also have a team of Information Consultants who can advise students on referencing and citing.
- Skills Development
The University's Graduate Attributes are a wide-ranging set of qualities, which you will develop during your time as a student in preparation for future employment, further study, and citizenship. You will have many opportunities to develop and achieve these attributes. These will include learning experiences on credit-bearing courses and co-curricular activities such as work placements, study abroad, and volunteering.
The ACHIEVE site on MyAberdeen offers resources that will enable you to assess and reflect upon your present skills and development needs. You will also find resources to help you to improve your skills and links to a range of University services. When you have access to MyAberdeen, you will find the ACHIEVE site listed in your My Organisations module on the Home and Organisations tab.
Postgraduate Taught Students
The Academic Learning Resources site in MyAberdeen can be found in your My Organisations module on the Home and Organisations tab. These resources are provided by the Student Learning Service and include help with essays, academic writing and note-taking.
Postgraduate Research Students
The University offers skills training for Researchers through the Centre of Academic Development. Further details on courses run, as well as booking information, can be found on their website.
Individual Schools may offer their own skills training courses. Details of these should be provided on induction. If not please discuss what opportunities are available with your supervisor.
As a postgraduate researcher, you are expected to produce a thesis and you are also expected to develop a wide range of professional and research skills. Such attributes are desirable not only in an academic environment, but many employment sectors in the business, teaching, and voluntary field are actively recruiting researchers because of the transferrable skills they have.
Help from Former Students
- Staff Directory
How do I find staff email addresses?
Email addresses of University staff and research students, if available, are published through the Staff Directory. Email addresses are subject to Data Protection and therefore some staff may have chosen to opt out of this publicly available directory.
- Study Spaces
When they are not booked for teaching, computer classrooms are open for you to use. For more information on study spaces please visit the Study Spaces on Campus page which details term, vacation and exam time opening hours as well as PC availability across campus
TurnitinUK is an online service which compares student assignments with online sources including web pages, databases of reference material, and work previously submitted by other students across the UK. It matches sections of the text that have been found in other sources. This assists the marker with checking whether resources have been appropriately referenced and whether plagiarism has occurred. Find out how to avoid plagarism here.
The Student Instructions for TurnitinUK show you how to submit an assignment to TurnitinUK through MyAberdeen.
- Workshops and Study Advice
The Student Learning Service (SLS) works with students to enhance their academic skills.
They provide the following services:
For all SLS enquiries:
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: +44 (0)1224 273030
Workshops for undergraduate and taught postgraduates are free to attend and scheduled during term-time. The workshop schedule and descriptions will be listed on the online booking system at the start of each half-session.
Topics covered include:
- Academic writing
- Presentation skills
- Exam revision and techniques
- Critical thinking
If you are a research postgraduate, you can find workshops on the University course booking system.
Confidential, one-to-one study advice appointments for undergraduates and taught postgraduates are available. Topics covered include:
- General academic skills
- Academic writing
- Maths support
Assignments or essays that have been marked and are accompanied by feedback can be discussed but work on an assignment or essay that has yet to be submitted cannot be discussed. A proof-reading service is not provided.
- To arrange a undergraduate or taught postgraduate Study Advice Session please fill out this form.
- Students with dyslexia or other specific learning differences can also meet with a specialist study adviser. If you would like to book a study advice session, please fill out this form.
Individual Study Advice appointments with PhD students can be undertaken with the agreement of a student's supervisor(s). The initial contact will normally come from a student's supervisor(s).