Guidelines for Essays and Assignments
It is very important to ensure that you have properly acknowledged your sources in any material that you submit for assessment. Any argument, quote, diagram or idea taken from a reference source or copied from another student and included in your essay or assignment without acknowledgement is termed plagiarism. If plagiarism is detected in an assignment, that assignment will be failed and disciplinary action taken. Plagiarism is regarded as a serious example of “academic misconduct”. The official university policy on plagiarism is available at

Acknowledgement of Sources

Use of external sources and references is an essential part of good scholarship, and helps to add weight and authority to your essay or assignment. It is vital, however, that all such sources be acknowledged accurately and honestly. This applies whatever the source may be, whether printed, stored on a CD or other medium, or found on the Internet. It is also important to include your own thoughts and ideas. A good essay or assignment does not consist solely of quotes from other sources, but should include at least an interpretation and evaluation of the information from those sources.

You can find information on how to reference your work and how to avoid plagiarism from the Learning Centre website: Some brief notes follow.

References may be placed at the end of the essay (preferred), or at the foot of the page, e.g.


1.R. Miliband, “The State in Capitalistic Society” (London, Quartet Books, 1973), p. 6.

2.I. Jones, Phys. Rev. Letts. 17, 4500 (1906).

If you are using a direct quote from a book or article, it must be enclosed in quotation marks, and the source identified, e.g.

The pluralist theory has been attacked by Miliband [1] who argued “it cannot give adequate account of the role of the state in advanced capitalistic societies.”

Or alternatively,

The pluralist theory has been attacked (Miliband, 1973, p. 6), on the grounds that “it cannot ..”. ..

[Note that with this form of referencing the references at the end are usually ordered alphabetically]

A subsequent reference to the same source need only include, e.g.

3.  Miliband, op. cit., p. 21.

-and another reference to the same work immediately afterwards:

4. Ibid., p. 25.

On the cover sheet of your essay or assignment you should include a declaration that the work is your own, and is properly referenced, and sign it.


[ Search | School Information | Physics Courses | Research | Graduate ]
Resources | Physics ! |
Physics Main Page | UNSW Main Page |Faculty of Science ]
The University of New South Wales - Sydney Australia 2052
CRICOS Provider Code - 00098G
Site comments © School of Physics UNSW 2006