Although we realise that most AACP trainees are well aware of the need to avoid plagiarism, we ask that you take a little time to read the information below.
Below, the final tab - Harvard Referencing - will link you to a fuller explanation of this style of referencing.(Source: Glyndwr University)

This webpage has been put together to provide help and advice to avoid plagiarism in your assessed work. “Assessed work” includes all essays, projects, assignments, art work, dissertation, thesis or any other work that you may be required to present to meet the assessment requirements of your Acupuncture Foundation Course.

The AACP recognises that incidents of plagiarism are increasing and it wishes to help all trainees of the Acupuncture Foundation Course to ensure that they are not involved in any form of plagiarism, as all cases of plagiarism that are proven have serious consequences for trainees and their academic achievements.

Please take a few moments to read the points below to make absolutely certain that you are fully aware of what plagiarism is and how you can make sure that all of your work is free from any suspicion of plagiarism.


view more What is plagiarism

Pyper (2000) defines plagiarism as: “… simply theft. It is taking the words, ideas and labour of other people and giving the impression that they are your own…”

To expand, plagiarism is the representation as your own work, of the work of another person or organisation. This can include lecture notes, handouts, presentations, and also applies to any other material created by another student, past or present, or by any other person, including authors of books, journals or web pages.

You are plagiarising if you:

  • copy verbatim the work of another without proper acknowledgement
  • closely paraphrase the work of another by simply changing a few words or altering the order of presentation, without acknowledgement
  • quote phrases from another’s work without proper acknowledgement
  • deliberately or inadvertently present another’s concept as your own.

view more Unfair practice and plagiarism

Plagiarism is one of the ways that a trainee may either inadvertently or deliberately has used “unfair practice” to complete any element of his/her assessed work.

view more Why does it matter I plagiarise?

In most systems of higher education in the world, it is agreed that students must present their own work, and where they draw upon the work of others, they must reference that work correctly and not attempt in any way to present another person’s work as their own.

Depending on the country involved, to plagiarise is regarded as a serious academic offence that attracts a serious penalty when it is detected.

view more What are the possible penalties if plagiarism is proven in a trainee’s work?

We hope that trainees will avoid any suspicion of plagiarism in their assessed work by using this guide carefully and by asking for help if they are unsure.

However, if a case of plagiarism, no matter how small, is found, a trainee’s case must be considered for disciplinary procedure by the AACP Tutor.

Procedure can conclude in:

  • Verbal or written reprimand.NB. This is kept on file and discussed with the student to ensure that any repeat offence cannot then be classed as ‘inadvertent’. A second or subsequent offence will be treated more harshly
  • Cancellation of the trainee’s mark for all of the module affected
  • Cancellation of the trainee’s mark for all modules.
  • Termination of the Course without completion.

To summarise, plagiarism is a very serious matter and you must take steps to avoid it at all times, and if in doubt ASK before handing in your assessed work for marking!!

view more How will I know if I have plagiarised or not?

In many cases, plagiarism is committed simply because the student does not know how to reference properly. A typical piece of research quite properly involves taking different views on a topic from recognised authors and measuring them against each other. The result of this exercise is to produce a synthesis, and from that work – another view (that of the student) which draws upon the views or ideas expressed by the other persons is written up in the assessed work.

As long as you clearly identify these previous views and ideas as belonging to other authors whenever they are used in your work, no plagiarism is committed. The recommended way to identify such views and ideas is by using the Harvard Referencing Method. You should know/learn how to use Harvard and use it consistently.

A dissertation, thesis, essay, project or any other work submitted by you for formal assessment during the course of your study must be produced by you alone and in your own words, except for quotations from published and unpublished sources which shall be clearly indicated and acknowledged. You must acknowledge all sources, including thoughts, words, drawings, designs, illustrations, photographs, maps, statistical data, graphs, computer programs, information from the Internet, or any other work. Failure to reference the use of any of these sources constitutes plagiarism.

view more What should the balance be between use of my own words and using quotations or references from other people?

Making a decision about the balance between using your own words and acknowledging in the text where you are drawing upon ideas or work of other people is part of your examination technique and needs to be judged by you, and discussed with your tutor if you are unsure and need advice.

Also reading published work in books or journals will give you some ideas about the balance between using quotations and your own words.

As a general guide it is much better to use your own words to show that you have read and understood the work of another person and to acknowledge them in your text, than it is to use large quotations from other people.

Ask yourself the question – what am I being assessed on? The answer is that you are being assessed on the extent to which you have understood the topic which you have studied and the way in which you are able to communicate that understanding clearly to another person and to present your own ideas and analysis of the topic you have studied. You are not therefore likely to gain good marks for using cut and paste from other people’s documents (whether or not you reference or acknowledge the authors).

view more How to avoid plagiarism

The main thing to do is to provide full and meticulous references to any material that you draw on in your essay.  References should enable the reader to turn straight to the passage you are referring to or quoting in the same edition of the book or article that you read.  Therefore, it is important to include full details of publisher, place of publication and date and any other information that pinpoints the edition.  Different editions of the same book may vary in page numbers, for instance, so your reader will not find the passage on the page you cite.  

By putting in full references you are enabling your reader to check the quotation and its context to see if you have reproduced and interpreted it correctly.  It also alerts them to other material that might be interesting for them to read if they wish to follow up the topic for themselves.  Failure to provide accurate references must also raise the question as to whether you have something to hide from your reader.  What would they find if they did go back to the source?   To avoid plagiarism, remember the following advice:

• Take the time to learn how to reference properly and stick to one system (Referencing using the Harvard method).

• When taking notes from any source, remember to write down all the bibliographic details at the time (author, title, publisher, date, etc). This means you can reference it properly later on.

• When making notes, separate your ideas from the ideas of others, for example use a different coloured pen to note what others have said, so you do not inadvertently use it without referencing in your final work.

• Don’t be afraid to use your own words. You are not expected to write as professionally as the authors of the books and journals you have read. Be confident enough to write your own ideas in your own words. 

• Try not to write your own assignment based solely on your notes from books and journals. Think of your own views and ideas and use references from others to back them up or counterpoise an argument.