Why does it matter?
It’s a question of honesty and trust. People around you need to know that your work is conducted with integrity and that your findings are genuine.
Working ethically shows respect for yourself and for others. It is vital for research to be of the highest standard – others may be building on it in the future and need to know they can rely on it for their research in turn.
By simply copying information you are short-changing yourself – it means you are not really learning, thinking creatively or critically evaluating material. It is also difficult to see where your own strengths and weaknesses lie. After all, you’ll be on your own in the exam room, and you’ll need to rely on your own knowledge and understanding.
When it comes to assessments, it’s also a question of fairness and respect – if you plagiarise to get a good grade, you are essentially stealing your grade while others are working for theirs. It is important to have respect for them, and also self-respect and a sense of achievement in grades you have earned honestly.
It is important for academic qualifications such as the Diploma or your degree to have value, and that depends on students studying and working with integrity. No-one wants to live in a building designed by an engineer who faked their qualifications, nor would we want a doctor who bought a research paper online instead of conducting proper research.
So, both for your own sake and the sake of the wider academic community, work fairly and honestly and credit the work and ideas of those who have gone before.