We really hope you found this website helpful. Do keep coming back, as we’ll be adding more and more content, including videos and quizzes.
To recap here, it’s important to remember again that the concepts and ideas addressed hereare far from straightforward. We have examined the numerous ‘grey areas’ and misunderstandings that can exist around plagiarism, as well as explored acceptable versus unacceptable forms of collaboration and we’ve seen how incomplete understandings of what constitutes plagiarism and other forms of academic malpractice may greatly enhance the risk of committing such offences.
Crucially, we have explored the nature of studying in a Higher Education setting in the UK setting, identifying the central importance of understanding our role to be that of a participant member of academic learning communities, and the importance of thinking academically, of ‘being academic’, in the way the we engage with our studies and develop.
Understanding, and keeping to the fore, such key notions as the importance of:
- ... understanding that ‘knowledge is contested’: that no one ever set an essay – or comparable academic assignment – where the answer constituted some straightforward, universal, undisputed ‘truth’, and that therefore being academic requires us to identify and ‘engage with the debate’,
- ... ‘building our argument’ - through ‘careful consideration and crediting of the ideas of others’,
- ... ‘critical thinking’ and making sense of evidence, at the information-gathering stage, gauging the relative usefulness – the ‘validity andreliability’ – of any potential evidence to help us build our argument,
- ... ‘comparing and contrasting’ evidence, looking for ‘similarities and differences’ (whether opinion, argument, explanation, theory: whatever’s relevant to our investigation), and considering the relativecompatibility – the ‘fit’ – of the different positions and perspectives we locate (and, indeed, contemplate the reasons as to why such differing positions may have emerged),
- ... conducting genuinely open enquiry, which includes being prepared to have our existing beliefs overturned as part of this, as part of the process of our seeking to ‘establish our position’ – “what do I think?” – based on this careful consideration of the arguments and ideas of others,
- ... working and extensively reworking of our writing, in order both to hone and refine our thinking and to communicate effectively, with full regard for referencing at point of use of the ideas and words of others, and appropriate signposting of authorship in-text, to build and present our argument clearly,
- ... time-realism: understanding the time necessary to allow ourselves to do justice to all of the above ...
... are all central to our goal of ‘being academic’, not just in terms of producing excellent assignments, but more generally in terms of our engaging fully with, and making the most of, our studies.
The key points? Understanding and addressing all of above will substantially reduce any risk of unintentionally committing any academic offence. Nail these exemplars of academic good conduct, and we reduce the risk of unintentional plagiarism, collusion and cheating to zero. Most importantly, however, the experience of this level of critical engagement is such that it must be truly transformative on us as individuals in the most positive sense – marking a genuinely paradigmatic shift in which we become considered critical thinkers, adept in applying ourselves to any challenge (with all the benefits this is likely to entail in terms of our future employability, meaningful professional development, career opportunities, etc.).
Given all the complexities addressed here, this is why we recommend, if you haven’t done so already, bookmarking this website as a ‘favourite’, keep returning to sections, work your way through all the sections, slowly and carefully, and refer back to the website throughout the course of your studies.
... and further advice
Finally, here’s a reminder of some of the key sources of advice and support that can be accessed at London Met University, in addition to this resource.
Many of these options will offer the opportunity to explore further some of these key concepts associated with academic good practices.
The Students’ Union (SU)
The SU is here to assist you with academic and course based issues and difficulties you may have while at university. This may include dealing with an allegation of academic misconduct, suspensions and/or termination, complaints, mitigating circumstances applications and all other appeals.
Check out our website for further info: http://www.londonmetsu.org.uk/advice/
To contact us or to make an appointment please phone 020 7133 4171
or email firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also pop in to our main reception TMG 75 Holloway Road.
We can offer appointments at Holloway, Moorgate and Calcutta House.