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Reusing undergraduate work for postgrad (different unis) watch

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    Hi there,

    I've got a quick question regarding plagiarism. If I was to reuse old information from an undergraduate assignment, in my postgrad year, would that be considered plagiarism? Even though I'm in a completely different university now? Would my current university be able to access old assignments from my previous university?

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    If your work is uploaded through the same anti-plagiarism system, e.g. turnitin, then yes, definitely.
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    The only way to do this without it being problematic would be to rephrase the whole of your previous work. That way you could use the references you sourced for the essay at undergraduate level but you would be making an original piece of work then. But yes, you must reword the whole thing.
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    I'm pretty sure it is against regulations to reuse work from a previous degree unless you're building on it so you may want to check with the course director.
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    Not to mention that, as you're now a postgrad, your work should be 'that' much better than before.
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    Properly referenced, you could use it as a source.
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    (Original post by Duncan2012)
    Properly referenced, you could use it as a source.
    Quoting your own unpublished student work would be a really bad idea. It will have been marked, but not peer-reviewed, for starters. It's therefore not a reputable academic source.

    As above, you are expected to improve at Masters level. Anyone who was so obvious about relying on recycled undergrad work, would have been in for a nasty shock at my Masters uni.
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    (Original post by Klix88)
    Quoting your own unpublished student work would be a really bad idea. It will have been marked, but not peer-reviewed, for starters. It's therefore not a reputable academic source.
    Nonsense. It's just as valid a source as any other non-academic source (eg newspaper article, webpage, personal conversation). Of course it's not a peer-reviewed source, I never said it was. Plenty of people develop (or even refute) their undergrad work during masters courses. Assuming it's properly referenced then plagiarism doesn't come in to it.
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    Assuming it's properly referenced then plagiarism doesn't come in to it.
    My point was that you'll look very silly if you try it, will probably be marked down for it, and may (depending on the rigour of your marker(s)) be penalised for re-use of work which has already formed part of a formal academic assessment. Referencing it will merely serve to highlight that last point, which is an academic offence.

    You can certainly go back to the same sources you used for undergrad work, and use them to answer a Masters question. But you can't re-use your own work which has previously been derived from those sources.
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    Using your own work not referenced is plagiarism. If you uploaded your work to a program like turnitin (what my uni uses) then it will be saved there and can be detected by your new uni.
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    (Original post by Klix88)
    My point was that you'll look very silly if you try it, will probably be marked down for it, and may (depending on the rigour of your marker(s)) be penalised for re-use of work which has already formed part of a formal academic assessment. Referencing it will merely serve to highlight that last point, which is an academic offence.

    You can certainly go back to the same sources you used for undergrad work, and use them to answer a Masters question. But you can't re-use your own work which has previously been derived from those sources.
    Your posts are normally well reasoned and knowledgeable which makes it surprising that you don't seem to understand what can be used as a source. Each part of your post is wrong - you will not look silly (why should you?), you will not be marked down (why would you?) and you will not be penalised (if, like I said previously, it's correctly referenced). You're only using your earlier work as a source, not submitting it as your current work.

    If you'd like to provide a link to some academic regulations, from any university, anywhere, which says you must not use any of your earlier work (even correctly referenced) then I may be prepared to yield a little. None of the 3 universities I've attended, however, have had such a clause.

    What if I showed you an official university guide to referencing Facebook posts and computer games, would you incorrectly say a student could never do that either?
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    I have no idea about official rules on referencing your own work. But I can think of a couple of problems in doing so, from an academic perspective:

    - How would they check your source? The point of referencing is so that the reader can look up the source and see for themselves.

    - What exactly are you referencing? If you're referencing literature, then just reference the original source. If you're referencing data you collected in the previous paper then it is an unpublished, non-peer reviewed piece and has the same reliability and validity issues as any other unpublished, non-peer reviewed piece would have and if you're referencing conclusions or main points made in your previous work then just use the new information and your increased knowledge and experience to make these points again, without referencing your work. As I said before, the outcome of this new piece of work should be an order of magnitude higher than previously.

    I'd have the same problem with Facebook posts, in that unless they are freely accessible, they are not a fully reliable source as I can't go and check it.
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    (Original post by _Sinnie_)
    I have no idea about official rules on referencing your own work. But I can think of a couple of problems in doing so, from an academic perspective:

    - How would they check your source? The point of referencing is so that the reader can look up the source and see for themselves.

    - What exactly are you referencing? If you're referencing literature, then just reference the original source. If you're referencing data you collected in the previous paper then it is an unpublished, non-peer reviewed piece and has the same reliability and validity issues as any other unpublished, non-peer reviewed piece would have and if you're referencing conclusions or main points made in your previous work then just use the new information and your increased knowledge and experience to make these points again, without referencing your work. As I said before, the outcome of this new piece of work should be an order of magnitude higher than previously.

    I'd have the same problem with Facebook posts, in that unless they are freely accessible, they are not a fully reliable source as I can't go and check it.
    Webpages change, which is why, if they're referenced, they need to include the link and date they were accessed. You can then check the link, though it's accepted that it may have changed in the intervening time.

    It's perfectly valid to reference your earlier work as 'author, year, title, unpublished BA dissertation, university name', assuming it hasn't been published electronically. In theory one could approach the university to obtain a copy. You can also reference personal conversations/letters/emails, though these would be impossible to verify. In all cases it is for the author to justify their inclusion in the work.

    Depending upon the course the markers may expect to see a rough percentage split of references from journals, textbooks and other sources (webpages, trade publications etc). On my last degree it was 70/20/10.
 
 
 
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