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    Its prime essay season again and once again I'm worrying about referencing. I have never knowingly copied somebody's work and never would, yet the amount of focus that is placed on referencing is insane. I always worry if I'm over referencing to be cautious or not enough. In the end I usually spend more time referencing an essay than it takes for me to write the damn thing!

    I can understand the importance of references, and its beneficial particularly if you want to go into journalism etc (where you need watertight sources) but at university level should they perhaps relax a bit? I sometimes feel creativity in essay writing is stifled by guidelines and rules, which is funny when most of the leading academics are those who break boundaries and go further with their research.

    Anyway, anyone agree? Or should the rules be made even more stringent?

    I think it's right that if you're using someone else's ideas you should reference them to effectively give them credit for the original idea.

    I agree with what you say about creativity though, I never feel like I can give my own opinion or suggest something of my own without finding someone else who's said it first. Anything I do say which is my own idea I get paranoid that someone else has said it somewhere before that I've not found and I'll get done for copying.

    I did once get sort of accused of plagiarism but not formally - it was the first essay I did at uni so I think they were more lenient then. It was a sentence that my tutor said didn't sound like something a student had written when I swear it didn't copy it, it's just my style of writing. I did think that was extremely unfair!
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