Watching Out For Plagiarism

Among the halls of academia there are few sins greater than that of plagiarism.  Being found guilty of this offence can be the death knell of careers and reputations and can invalidate years of work.  That’s why it is so important for students to be aware of what plagiarism is and how they can avoid being incorrectly accused of having done so.

Plagiarism, in its simplest form, is recognised as the copying of another person’s work as one’s own.   For example, copying a report word for word that has been written by a classmate and submitting it under your own name would be considered plagiarism.  However it also comes in other forms for example, copying information out of a text book without properly attributing the source would also fall afoul of the rules. 

Now in many parts of the world the educational tradition, especially in younger years is to rote learn whatever the student is taught.  Entire classes will learn to almost chant the answers on demand to those questions deemed important by the examining board in their countries. 

However, at the higher levels of education demonstrating your understanding of why the answer is what it is, is as important, or even more so than actually having the right answer.  This in general terms is why students on an ADL course are asked to complete set tasks, submit assignments and sit exams.  These are opportunities and ways for the student to demonstrate to their tutors their mastery of the subject.  There's a fantastic explanation of Plagiarism at the website

Attribution and Using Sources

Even at the further education level students are not expected to reinvent the wheel.  That is to say students are fully expected to learn from the sources available to them be they asking questions of experts, watching documentaries, reading textbooks and so on.  Indeed quoting a source is often an excellent way to make a point in course work.  

This is why we use referencing to ensure that proper recognition is given to the people who wrote the work that we quote in our own.   Referencing generally means making sure that any text or data you have taken from another source is clearly attributed such that the reader could find it for themselves based on the information you provided.  Exactly how this is done varies on the style chosen by the institution in question – at ADL we generally prefer the Harvard style for referencing for example. 

Furthermore, while it is accepted, even expected that a student will use referencing to include the work of others in their own, it is expected that the majority of any assignment will be the students original work.  As a rough rule, a student should aim to allow no more than 10% of the content of their work to contain referenced material. 

Consequences of Being Found Out

The path of education and self-improvement can be a hard one and we would hardly be human if we were immune to the temptation at times to take the easy road and cheat.  However it is urgently important for students to resist this urge due to the severe consequences that can arise.

Any educational institution of worth will be vigilantly keeping a watch for potential instances of plagiarism.  This is because of the potential damage it represents to the integrity and reputation of the school or University.  Plagiarism undermines the value of the degrees and other awards the college makes because it now becomes difficult to tell if a student earned their degree and actually knows what they are supposed to, or if they just copied the material from somebody else.  This then hurts genuine students who come under suspicion and the institution itself as nobody wants to study at a college whose awards are regarded as worthless.

However the plagiarist themselves also runs a heavy risk if they are found out.  Qualifications earned that might be brought into question may be revoked on the basis of having been earned in a fraudulent manner and the individual may face professional and reputational consequences.   If you are still studying towards a qualification you may be required to resit the work or even expelled from the course or institution you are working on. 

In the long run, doing the hard work yourself and doing it properly will save you a great deal of trouble later.  




ADL Success Stories – Dairy Cattle Farming with Annabella Baker

Education opens doors to success windows of opportunity and in at least one case, gates to new possibilities. Such is the case with ADL success story Annabella Baker.  Originally from Italy, but now living in the UK, Annabella faced a tragedy all too familiar to many when she lost her airline job during the Covid

Read More »

Horticulture – Learn the Basics: Three Problems for New Gardeners

Gardens are hard work.  Behind every immaculate lawn and carefully tended flowerbed is a never-ending struggle between nature and gardener. Of course simply leaving the garden to its own devices isn’t really an option; Untended, plants will grow freely for the whole of spring and summer and even into autumn. Worse yet, an uncared for

Read More »

Henry Hoover’s Broken Plug

Some stories of educational achievement soar into the heavens.  Of individuals who through hard work and toil overcame the challenges in their life to achieve. Certainly, at ADL we’ve seen and helped many individuals achieve their dreams through completing a course which helped them get a place at university or begin a new career. This,

Read More »

King Charles and the Grey Goo

If you’ve been in the UK over the past weekend you might have noticed you had a day off on Monday (or looked on enviously as other people had a day off).  The coronation of a new monarch in Charles the Third means a new era. One that the Monarch is especially keen does not

Read More »

Could You Be a Personal Trainer?

If you’re looking for a side business or career that combines a love for fitness and a mentoring role. personal training might be for you Personal training is at it’s heart all about being able to help people live healthier, happier lives.  By combining physical exercise with essential lifestyle changes like diet they help their

Read More »


Scroll to Top


To speak to one of our course advisors, please enter your name and phone number below and click the "Please Call Me" button. We will call you back as soon as possible!

By submitting this form, I provide my consent to ADL to contact me via email or telephone, regarding the course I selected. All information provided is protected in conformity with our Privacy Policy.


required fields are marked with *

By submitting this form, I provide my consent to ADL to contact me via email or telephone, regarding the course I selected. All information provided is protected in conformity with our Privacy Policy.