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As a teacher, you must make sure that the work submitted for examination or moderation is the candidate’s own work. Candidates must understand that they cannot submit someone else’s work as their own, or use material produced by someone else without citing and referencing it properly. A candidate taking someone else’s work or ideas and passing them off as his or her own is an example of plagiarism.
It is your responsibility as a teacher to prevent plagiarism from happening and to detect it if it does happen. We need to be confident that the work we assess is the candidate's own before we can award a grade. You are responsible for the supervision of candidates when they are completing coursework and you are responsible for authenticating the candidates' work before you submit their marks for external moderation.
If you discover plagiarism in a candidate's work during the course, you may resolve the matter internally.
If you discover plagiarism in a candidate's work at the point of submission to us, you must not submit it. You should contact us if you are unsure whether to submit work or not.
Whether the information is in the form of a diagram, an image, a quotation or a passage, if it has come from another source this must be cited at the point it appears in the candidate’s work, and included in the bibliography or list of references section at the end of that work.
Candidates must clearly show:
When candidates use the work of others, they must ensure that they are not trying to present this work as though it is their own. In this guide we explain how sources should be referenced in candidates’ work.
You should encourage candidates to record details of each source they consult as they prepare their coursework. They should use either ‘single’ or “double” quotation marks accurately and consistently around the text quoted when recording material taken from sources. This will allow them to use these quotations accurately within their own work.
Please read the acceptable and unacceptable approaches to referencing (PDF, 37KB) guide.
Please check the syllabus document as we do sometimes specify a preferred system. If one is not specified in the syllabus, you may select the system to use. Whichever system you teach your candidates to use, it must be clear and consistent within the work and should include, at a minimum:
When students are using videos from the internet, the following information should be included in the reference:
References for personal communications via conversation, phone, Skype, FaceTime, email, text message, letter or fax should include the following information:
When a student is referencing leaflets or business cards, it may not be possible to include all of the information below, but the student should include as much information as possible. It may also be useful to include a copy of a leaflet in an appendix to the student’s work:
Many types of coursework and creative work can and should use the work of others to influence their work, illustrate points, provide a contrast or explore ideas in further detail. The use of others’ work is also an important part of research and it is legitimate, provided that the source is appropriately cited and referenced so that the reader can see what it was and where it came from.
Different syllabuses and components will have different requirements for the content of the work, as they are assessing different things; however, if a candidate simply quotes others’ material at length without commentary or discussion, they are unlikely to achieve high marks. This is because it is not their own work, nor are they using it to explore their ideas.
As well as including others’ work without properly citing it, candidates may also commit deliberate misconduct by buying the work of others, usually online. Such attempts are often detected by antiplagiarism software after the work is submitted to us, but teachers also have a responsibility to verify that each submission is the work of the candidate. You can detect misconduct of this type by comparing the material presented for submission to work that is verifiably the candidate’s own (e.g. work produced in class).
Look out for obvious deviations in fluency or style from the candidate’s other work, and for substantial amounts of work produced which you have not seen in previous lessons. You may find that typing some of the suspected text into a search engine within “speech marks” helps to identify whether it comes from an existing website or not.
Some candidates attempting to pass off others’ work as their own use so-called ‘article spinners’. These are web-based tools that disguise copied material by replacing key words with their synonyms, producing material that is structurally identical to the original but features subtly different vocabulary. As demonstrated in the example below, the prose generated by ‘spinning’ can seem superficially impressive at a glance, but clearly lacks coherence when read attentively.
An example of text produced using a ‘spinning’ tool is provided below.
Learning is the process of acquiring new or modifying existing knowledge, behaviours, skills, values, or preferences. The ability to learn is possessed by humans, animals, and some machines; there is also evidence for some kind of learning in some plants. Some learning is immediate, induced by a single event (e.g. being burned by a hot stove), but much skill and knowledge accumulates from repeated experiences. The changes induced by learning often last a lifetime, and it is hard to distinguish learned material that seems to be "lost" from that which cannot be retrieved. 1.
Learning is the way toward procuring new or changing existing information, practices, abilities, qualities, or inclinations. The capacity to learn is controlled by people, creatures, and a few machines; there is additionally prove for some sort of learning in a few plants. Some learning is prompt, initiated by a solitary occasion (e.g. being singed by a hot stove), however much aptitude and learning amasses from rehashed encounters. The progressions actuated by adapting regularly endure forever, and it is difficult to recognize learned material that is by all accounts "lost" from that which can't be recovered. 2.
Look out for candidate work that displays unusually grand or overstated vocabulary (‘progressions actuated’), especially alongside awkward or faulty phrasing (‘there is additionally prove for’). 'Spun’ text of this type is still plagiarism. It is not acceptable in material submitted for assessment. You will already be familiar with your candidates’ usual standard of work, so be wary of any inconsistencies in their usual style and level of performance.
Depending on the type of component that you teach, you may have the opportunity to set the questions or the topics that candidates use as the basis for their coursework. If so, try to vary these from year to year, so that there is less opportunity for candidates to use material written by a candidate in a previous year. It may also be appropriate to encourage candidates to select their own topic and to relate their work to their own personal experience, or to specify that candidates use one or more source written in the last 12 months.
Where the rules of the syllabus allow it, you may find it helpful to see and check candidates’ work regularly, looking at the sources they are using at regular intervals. Encourage candidates to annotate their source material to make it clear how they are using it in their work.
Asking candidates to explain verbally what they mean by a certain phrase or paragraph in their work is an effective way to check whether they understand what it is they have written. You could take this further by asking them to deliver a presentation about their coursework topic. You could also consider asking them to write a sentence or two about a source they have cited in their bibliography.
You can find further information on preventing and identifying plagiarism in the University of Cambridge referencing guidance
1. 'Learning' from the English Wikipedia (accessed 5 July 2018)
2. Generated using Spinbot (accessed 5 July 2018)