FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
This is a complete listing of all Frequently Asked Questions for all modules in the HSC: All My Own Work website.
- Scholarship Principles and Practices
- What are the key principles of ethical scholarship?
- What rights do students have to ensure the ethical integrity of their own work?
- What responsibilities do students have to ensure the ethical integrity of their own work?
- How can students gain information about what is required of them for the HSC and school-based assessment?
- What are some examples of malpractice that are regarded as cheating?
- What are the possible consequences for students if they cheat in the course of undertaking the HSC?
- Acknowledging Sources
- What is meant by acknowledging sources?
- What is meant by attribution?
- Why should sources be acknowledged?
- What are the 'moral rights' of an author, artist or creator?
- How do you know which referencing style to use when acknowledging sources?
- What is the difference between quoting, summarising and paraphrasing?
- How should quotations, summaries and paraphrases be acknowledged in a piece of work?
- What is the difference between in-text citations, footnotes and endnotes?
- What is the difference between a reference list and a bibliography?
- Working with others
- How can students who are working in groups or receiving help from others ensure that the final, individual work they submit is all their own work?
- Why is it important for students to submit work that is all their own?
- What is appropriate and what is inappropriate help from others for students doing an assignment?
- How can students guard against receiving help from others that is inappropriate?
- What strategies can students use to ensure that group work is an effective, ethical learning method for all group members?
Scholarship Principles and Practices
A: The key principles of ethical scholarship include:
- being honest about the source of information used in a piece of work
- acknowledging the words and ideas of others used in a piece of work
- listing all the sources used in developing the piece of work.
A: Students have a right to:
- respect from their peers and teachers
- clear information about what is expected in a piece of work
- guidance about how to improve their work.
A: Students have a responsibility to:
- fulfil the school's study requirements
- be fair and honest in all aspects of their work
- respect the rights and integrity of their peers and teachers
- make their work their own.
A: Students can access:
- the Board of Studies booklet regarding rules and procedures for the Higher School Certificate - including procedures relating to malpractice - Rules and Procedures for the HSC
- the school's published HSC assessment policy
- the school's published assessment program
- the advice of teachers and teacher-librarians
- the modules: Acknowledging Sources, Plagiarism, Copyright and Working With Others in the HSC: All My Own Work program.
A: The following practices would be regarded as cheating:
- copying in an exam
- handing in work that someone else did and presenting it as your own
- making up journal entries for a process diary or log that is documenting the process of creating a piece of work
- using someone else's ideas without acknowledging the source(s).
A: Possible consequences include:
- zero marks for an assessment task
- the withholding of an HSC course
- ineligibility for the HSC
- specific school sanctions, eg. the withholding of a school reference.
A: Acknowledging sources means providing written recognition of any ideas that are used or adapted for students' work.
A: 'Attribution' is a term often used to refer to the acknowledgment of sources.
A: Sources used in the development and presentation of your work should be acknowledged to fulfil your moral and legal obligations to recognise and acknowledge the author(s) of the original ideas. In this way you can avoid plagiarism and ensure that you are not falsely claiming someone else's work or ideas as your own.
A: The 'moral rights' of an author, artist or creator are a legal requirement that entitles the person(s) to be named as the author, to be protected against false attribution and to have their work treated with respect.
A: There are many different referencing styles. The four most common are Harvard, American Pschological Association (APA), Modern Language Association (MLA) and Oxford. You should ask your teacher which referencing style is required for the work you are undertaking.
A: Quoting is using the author's exact words. Summarising is selecting and shortening the main idea(s) in a text. Paraphrasing includes every point in the text and keeps the same emphasis while changing the words.
A: Quotations, summaries and paraphrases should be acknowledged within a piece of work using in-text citations, footnotes or endnotes and at the end of a piece of work using a reference list.
A: In-text citations, footnotes and endnotes refer readers to exact page(s) of a source.
In-text citation is given within the body of an assignment to any ideas directly quoted or copied, any ideas adapted from an original source and any original diagrams or pictures, or major ideas paraphrased to help explain a concept.
Footnotes and endnotes are two other ways of acknowledging the sources of any material quoted, summarised or paraphrased on any page of a submitted work. Footnotes provide the information about the source of each numbered reference at the bottom of each page of the text. Endnotes provide this information in a list at the end of a piece of work.
A: A reference list includes all the sources of information that have been cited in a piece of work and is located at the end of the piece of work.
A bibliography includes all the sources used in the preparation of a piece of work - not just those that have been cited in the text of the work and included in a reference list. The bibliography is located at the end of the piece of work.
A: 'Plagiarism is when you pretend that you have written or created a piece of work that someone else originated. It is cheating, it is dishonest, and it could jeopardise your HSC exam results.'
(Board of Studies, HSC Assessments and Submitted Works, Advice to Students, 2006)
A: Yes. It is the responsibility of all students to understand what constitutes plagiarism and how to avoid it.
A: Students can avoid plagiarising by acknowledging the sources they have used. Using the Information Process will assist students to avoid plagiarism.
A: Teachers are very skilled in detecting plagiarism. They may require students to confirm their knowledge of a topic orally if they suspect plagiarism.
Plagiarism detection methods are becoming more and more sophisticated as technology is used to expose malpractice.
A: No. The same scholarship principles apply no matter what the source of the information that has been used. The only difference is that the form of acknowledgement for web-based sources is different.
A: Copyright protects what writers, artists and musicians have created. These creations are called their intellectual property. The creator of any original work has copyright which is the exclusive right to authorise copying and communication of their work. Australian law recognises that individuals have the right to make money from the sale of copies of their work. Copyright also protects creative works from being used without the copyright owner's agreement. We need copyright so that people can earn money from their creative work.
A: Yes, it is automatically protected by copyright because it is your original design. You do not have to register your copyright in Australia. Copyright protection is free and automatic. It is recommended that you put a copyright notice on your work so that you are identified as the copyright owner, for example: © Jane Smith 2006.
A: No. Copyright does not protect ideas. It only protects the expression of ideas. If you think you have come up with an idea or invention which should be protected, then you may wish to apply for a patent which will cost you money.
A: Students can use the following as a guide when copying for study or research purposes:
- books: Up to 10% of the book or one chapter
- anthologies: One whole item [up to 15 pages]
- journals: One article.
A: Copyright generally lasts until 70 years after the author's death at which time copyright lapses. The work then enters the public domain and it can be used freely without permission or payment of royalties.
- To promote a creative communities and rich cultures.
- To promote freedom of speech and expression.
- It is wrong to steal intellectual property and right to pay people for what they have made.
A: Every time someone copies a video, a DVD, a film, a logo or a picture or pirates a CD or computer game without permission they are stealing intellectual property and breaking copyright law. Everyone deserves the right to earn money from selling copies of their work.
Working with others
A: Students should:
- know the difference between collaborative learning, collusion and copying
- know that collusion is a form of plagiarism that can occur as a result of inappropriate collaboration during group work
- realise that copying is cheating
- show respect for the ideas of others and not claim others' work as their own
- acknowledge appropriately the ideas of others
- be clear about referencing methods - how to acknowledge others' work and ideas and how to cite different types of sources (written and non-written)
- be honest and ethical in all aspects of the work they submit.
A: Students can:
- gain credit for what they have done, not for what someone else has done
- learn new skills that will benefit them in future study and work
- take pride in achieving and submitting their best work
- gain satisfaction in knowing that the work submitted is their own
- demonstrate that they value honesty and ethical practices.
Note: Teachers want to reward original work and are responsible for supporting honest, responsible scholarship.
A: Any help from other people that can be considered as cheating, collusion or copying is inappropriate.
- While help from others in the form of discussion or advice can be appropriate, students should ensure that the work they submit is all their own.
- Students should ensure that help from others does not overstep the mark and lead to collusion or copying that is cheating.
- Understand clearly what the group is to do.
- Have a clear and fair division of responsibility for each group member.
- Discuss the group's expectations for work quality and identify the group's final goal.
- Make sure that all members of the group know about appropriate citation, referencing and acknowledgements.
- Encourage each group member to keep a personal journal in which they record their contribution to the work of the group - this can be used to inform the teacher of individual contributions.
- Check the final draft for citation and attribution errors before submitting it for marking.
- Communicate frequently with the teacher - if there are problems with unequal contributions to the overall group task, discuss this with the teacher.
- Seek support from your teacher or school counsellor if you are being bullied into unethical behaviour.