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Referencing: Reference, don't plagiarise

In your own words or direct quotations?

Summarising = rephrasing the information or the idea of the source material in your own words

  • Summarising is the recommended method.
  • It indicates that you have understood the topic you are writing about: you can sum up the key ideas in your writing.
  • The meaning in the original text must not change, even if you rephrase it in your own words.
  • Changing just a few words of the original text is not considered summarising.

Quotation = repeating the original source word for word

  • The Copyright Act allows you to quote published works without the author's permission (general quotation right).
  • Use quotations sparingly.
  • Do not take a quotation out of context.
  • The quotation must have a relevant connection to your topic.
  • Direct quotation must exactly match the original wording, e.g., possible spelling mistakes are not corrected.
  • Identify the quotation either
    • by using quotation marks (short direct quotation, no more than three lines)
    • or as a separate paragraph by indenting the quoted text and using a smaller font (long direct quotation)

More information, see Guidelines for writing reports and theses at Haaga-Helia .

Both methods require appropriate referencing!


Plagiarism refers to representing someone else's text, or part of a text, pictorial presentation or translation as one's own work. Both copying direct quotations and adaptation (paraphrasing) from another author's work is considered plagiarism. Also, reusing one's own text from previous work is considered plagiarism (self-plagiarism). Plagiarism is often unintentional, due to ignorance or negligence.

How to avoid plagiarism?

  • Always document the sources you have used with in-text citations and include them in the list of references.
  • Distinguish another author's words from your own either
    • by quotation marks (short direct quotation, no more than three lines)
    • or as a separate paragraph by indenting the quoted text (long direct quotation). More detailed instructions in Writing reports and theses at Haaga-Helia .

Plagiarism is a violation of responsible conduct of research. Other forms are misappropriation, fabrication and falsification. More information on Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) can be found in the RCR Guidelines compiled by Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity (TENK) .

Haaga-Helia takes a serious approach to plagiarism (Degree Regulations ) and uses Ouriginal plagiarism check software to track it.

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