Academic Writing

3 min read
There are various tools available to assist you with your academic writing. These help you to understand reference systems as well as know how to avoid plagiarism. The Copyright Act determines rules related to copying and protecting your own work as well as that of others.

Referencing

When you are writing an academic text, it is important that you cite the sources that you use to clarify where you have taken the information from and to distinguish your ideas from those of others. If you use another person's work without citing the source, you risk committing plagiarism. How you should cite sources depends on what citation style you use. Always check with your teacher which style you should use. Here follows information on guides for some citation styles:

Guides for citation styles

APA

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.) is the official manual for the APA style. You also find some information about the style in the APA Formatting and Style Guide (Purdue University Online Writing Lab).

Chicago

The Chicago Manual of Style (17th ed.) is the official manual for the Chicago style. You also find some information in the Chicago-Style Citation Quick Guide online.

IEEE

IEEE Editorial Style Manual is the official manual for the IEEE style.

MLA

MLA Handbook (8th ed.) is the official manual for the MLA style. You also find some information in the  MLA Formatting and Style Guide (Purdue University Online Writing Lab).

More guides

Harvard Referencing (Victoria University Library)

Oxford Referencing (Victoria University Library)

Vancouver Referencing Style (University of Queensland Library)

Reference Management Programmes

There are several different programmes available for managing references. These programmes enable you to retrieve reference from different databases and collate them in pdf format. You can also for example, create citations and literature lists in your documents, allowing you to keep better track of your references. Below are two reference management programmes we recommend.

Zotero – for students
Zotero is a reference management programme that you can download for free. 

EndNote – for staff
The university provide access to staff members wishing to use EndNote. You find information on how to install EndNote here. EndNote guides provide help with getting started and using the programme. 

Contact the library at bibinfo@du.se if you need help with EndNote or Zotero.

Copyright

When you create a work, for example, your dissertation, it is automatically protected by the Copyright Act (1960:72). You are therefore entitled to determine how your work may be used. Others are not entitled to claim the content of your work as their own, disseminate it or copy it freely. When you use other people's work, it is important that you also abide by copyright laws.

Rules for Copying

The right to copy is limited according to the Copyright Act. Students and teachers have the right to copy and disseminate copyrighted material for educational purposes since the university has license agreement with Bonus Copyright Access. The license does not entitle you to copy and disseminate audio or moving image files.

How much digital material are you permitted to copy and disseminate?
You may download, photograph or print out a maximum of 15 A4 pages of digital material per item, student/teacher and calendar year.

How much printed material are you permitted to copy and disseminate?
For printed material, the 15/15 rule applies. This means that you can copy and scan up to 15 percent, but no more than 15 pages per item, student/teacher and calendar year.You may however copy up to three extra pages if necessary in order to complete a section.

How much are teachers permitted to copy?
Teachers are permitted to copy material for their students according to the 15/15 rule so that students receive their copies and the teacher may retain some copies. You may also make a paper copy of a book without considering the 15/15 rule, however you are not permitted to copy and save the book in digital form.

Plagiarism

Plagiarism is the act to taking someone else's work and passing it off as your own. Plagiarism is considered a violation of proper academic practice and may lead to the suspension of your studies. To avoid plagiarism, it is important that you reference and cite correctly when using other people's texts.

Refero is a web-based teaching tool that helps you understand what plagiarism is and how to avoid it. You may also find the Urkund plagiarism manual useful. 

At Dalarna University, teachers use SafeAssign to check for cases of plagiarism in students' work (manual SafeAssign (pdf)).

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