Avoid Plagiarism by Thomas Lancaster

The Blurb On The Back:

Need guidance on plagiarism and how to avoid it?

Avoid Plagiarism makes understanding plagiarism simple, giving you the know-how to write confidently and independently.

– understand what plagiarism is and why it is important to avoid it.

– grasp the notion of studying with integrity

– know when and how to accurately credit your sources

Succeed at university with Super Quick Sills

Giving you the tools and advice you need to progress your skills and excel in your studies and life.

You can buy AVOID PLAGIARISM by Thomas Lancaster from Amazon USA, Amazon UKWaterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

Thomas Lancaster is a lecturer and academic specialising in computer science who researches academic integrity, plagiarism and contract cheating.  This is a good summary of aimed at university students of what plagiarism is and how to avoid it, while also explaining what academic integrity is and why it’s important.  However the stock art choices are weird and some of the text formatting a little hard to read.

The main focus on the book is on explaining what plagiarism is and how to avoid doing it.  Lancaster sets out the case for why students should actively seek to avoid doing it and then goes further to explain how plagiarism ties in with academic integrity and why students should seek to practice it.  This is not a preachy book and Lancaster is careful to avoid any sense of judgment for students who engage in plagiarism by emphasising how it can be done accidentally.  He cautions against using contract cheating (which is when you either purchase an essay on-line) or using non-university provided reference checking websites, which can apparently be a gateway into contract cheating.  There is also a section on how to write academically, including making citations (although I would have liked some expansion on different reference systems as this was quite brief).

Each chapter in the book starts with a summary of what it’s going to cover and then there are short exercises that the reader can do to cement and test what they’ve learned.  There is also a section at the end with further resources for students interested in the subject matter, which includes two sites run by the author (which I mention only because I know that some readers take issue with self-promotion but given the credentials, it makes sense to me). 

However, I have to say that the graphics used to illustrate the book are really strange at times and don’t really seem to fit with the text.  Also the colour choice made by the publishers for the text in some of the illustrative boxes made the text very difficult to read in places – especially the boxes with pink text, which I found difficult to decipher.

All in all, I thought this was a solid guide for students and certainly one that would help set them on the right track for the start of their academic studies.  

Thanks to the Amazon Vine Programme for the review copy of this book.

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