According to the Herald today, over 1000 students at Scottish universities were caught cheating by plagiarising their essays last year. Plagiarising means using someone else’s work and not giving them the credit for it.
Universities are using special software that checks every essay against millions of others and compares them. If you haven’t been honest about where your work came from, the software will spot it. Lots of the students caught for plagiarism had used quotes from someone else and hadn’t provided proper references or a bibliography. The same applies to photographs, diagrams and images. Even if you’ve just got an idea from someone else’s work, you should mention it.
To help you pull together all your sources, it’s important that you write down where all your notes and ideas have come from, whether from books or websites or television programmes or other people. Get into the habit of writing it down before you start to take notes and it won’t be such a big task later on.