Academic integrity means dealing honestly in your research and writing. It includes acknowledging the authors ideas and evidence we use.
Writing in your own words
It sounds simple, but summarizing what someone else has written, but doing it in your words, takes a lot of learning and a lot of effort. Most people find it much easier to just use a quotation, but the ability to summarize and paraphrase is an essential skill.
That’s why it is a requirement for this course, and some of our other courses, that you write your assignments in your own words, with no more than 5% of your text consisting of quotations. We do this to ensure that students understand what they have written, and to help you improve your writing. Learning to take good notes and write in your own words is also the best way to avoid plagiarism.
We do not require you to directly quote an author’s words to prove the accuracy of your account of their argument or evidence. Just tell us in your own words what the author has said, reference the source, and the marker can check your work if they want to. If you do directly copy text from a source, it must be in quote marks or indented, and you must reference it. You can report numbers without using quote marks—just make sure you reference them.
Students who quote excessively, or fail to put copied text in quote marks, will have marks deducted. You may even be required to completely rewrite your assignment. If there is a problem, you will receive feedback via EASE.
Ask for help if you need it
Writing in your own words sounds easy, but many students find this difficult. Some students use quotes, or copy text from their sources, because they lack confidence in writing English for university. We do not punish students whose English is not good, though a badly-written assignment will not get the same marks as a well-written one. The key people to ask are the staff at the Learning Centre.
Support for students doing assignments
The Learning Centre
...is there to help students on a one-to-one basis, whether on-campus or studying by distance education. They can help you with assignment problems, and other issues. http://www.usq.edu.au/learningcentre/consult
Toowoomba-based and external students: meet Lindy Kimmins
Hi! I’m a Learning Adviser with the Learning Centre, on the ground floor of R Block. My colleagues and I can help you with techniques to tackle your assignments, read legal material, and write for university. I’d like to encourage all students who are having problems with their course, or who want to improve their work, to come and see us.
Phone: (07) 4631 2751; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Students can book a session with us by phoning, or going online at http://usqstudydesk.usq.edu.au/mod/vlc/consultations.php
Springfield Learning Centre
The Springfield Learning Centre is based in the library on the ground floor of the campus. We can help you with techniques to tackle your assignments, with how to read legal material, and how to write for university.
Phone: (07) 3470 4275; Email: email@example.com
The USQ Library is the top university library in Australia and New Zealand for client satisfaction, and everyone who uses the library knows why: the resources are great considering the size of the university, and the staff are brilliant.
Toowoomba-based students wanting help with their research are encouraged to contact the
Library Help desk in-person or via phone 07 4631 2109.
External students can contact the Library’s Off-Campus Services section via firstname.lastname@example.org or 1800 063 632.
Springfield students: meet Kerrie McLaren
Kerrie is the Librarian at Springfield. Along with the other library staff, she can help with advice on where to find materials for assignments. Learning to use the library is a key skill for studying many subjects, including Law.
Phone: (07) 3470 4247