Plagiarism policy

Earnshaw State College values excellence in learning and respect for the intellectual property rights of others. We regard plagiarism as academic dishonesty, theft, and an ethical offence. A student who plagiarises is dishonest with their teacher, their peers and themselves. ESC regards plagiarism as unacceptable behaviour.


All students are expected to adhere to the highest standards of personal honesty and integrity in their work. Submissions to teachers must be original, or respect the intellectual contributions of others through correct referencing. The school has adopted Harvard referencing and bibliographic formats. These are outlined in this section of the website. Any violations of this policy will have serious consequences.


Plagiarism is defined as stealing and passing off the ideas and words, and pictorial material, of another as one’s own, when they actually come from another source. This source may be written, oral or electronic, and includes copying/pasting from the Internet.

Examples of plagiarism

You are plagiarising when you deliberately or unintentionally:

  • copy in any way (including copy and paste, paraphrase, etc.) information, ideas, theories, opinions, concepts or graphics from another source (including the Internet, books, novels, television shows, photographs, designs, pictures, films, CDs, etc) without acknowledging the source.
  • copy verbatim (exactly) material from another source without putting it in quotation marks and acknowledging the source with a reference.
  • fail to provide a correct bibliography with your assignment.
  • fail to name a person you quote when presenting an oral report.
  • copy part or all of another person’s (parent, friend, tutor, other student) work and hand it in as your own.
  • purchase or obtain a paper from an Internet research service or ‘paper mill’ and submit it as your original work.

How to avoid plagiarism

To avoid inadvertent plagiarism, you should try the following techniques.

  • Read through your assignment task carefully. Check with your teacher that you understand your task. You are less likely to copy if you feel confident that you know what to do.
  • Understand and use referencing techniques; acknowledge sources (by way of references and a bibliography). Refer to the guides available in this section of the website.
  • When taking notes, always jot down the bibliographic information so you acknowledge it (and find it again) when writing your assignment later.
  • When quoting, put the words in quotation marks “like this”, and acknowledge the original author.
  • Use a large variety of sources, this will strengthen your writing and make you less likely to plagiarise.
  • Don’t waste time, give yourself enough time to research, take notes, think and write your drafts and final piece. That’s why you are given several weeks to research.
  • Do not copy someone else’s work and hand it in as your own.
  • Do not allow someone else to copy your work and hand it in as their own.


If a teacher reasonably believes, based upon significant evidence, that a student has been guilty of plagiarism or assisted another student to do so, then that student may be subject to any of the following penalties, depending on the nature and extent of the plagiarism:

  • Verbal warning.
  • Plagiarised sections eliminated/ignored and assignment marked on what remains resulting in: 
    • Reduction of marks for the assignment, or
    • No marks given at all for the assignment.
  • Insistence on student re-writing the assignment (or a similar one), using original ideas or style.
  • Written notification to parents/guardians, possibly with interview.
  • Referral to Head of Department, administration team or Guidance Officer for additional discipline/counselling. Incident recorded.
  • Suspension of participation in designated school activities.

Please note that the penalties for tertiary plagiarism are even more severe, and may include exclusion from a subject or course, even if fees have been paid.


This policy has been developed for the protection of Earnshaw State College students who observe the guidelines for honest authorship, and for the protection of our academic community’s integrity.


Gardner, David 2003, “Plagiarism and How to Avoid It.” University of Hong Kong, [Online], Available: [5 February 2008]

Harris, Robert 2004, “Anti-Plagiarism Strategies for Research Papers” Virtual Salt [Online], Available: [5 February 2008]

King, Jennie 2004, Plagiarism Draft Policy, (later modified by Corinda SHS & then Craigslea SHS), Brigidine College.

University of Queensland 2003, “Plagiarism: Avoiding, Stopping and Detecting” UQ Library, [Online], Available: [5 February 2008]

ESC Plagiarism Policy last updated February, 2008

Last reviewed 05 June 2020
Last updated 05 June 2020