You must ensure that your assignment:
- Commences with the following information – student’s name, student number, the assignment topic (e.g. ‘LAW100 Assignment 1’) and a computer word count. There is no need for a title page.
- is double or 1.5 lines spaced.
- is presented in text that is at least 11 point; the type-face in the footnotes is at least 10 point. An easy-to-read font is recommended e.g. Lucida Sans or Times New Roman.
- has page numbers at the top of each page.
- has a left-hand margin of 5cm and a right hand margin of 2cm.
- has been referenced in accordance with the Australian Guide to Legal Citation
(3rd ed, 2010).
Students are liable to a penalty if they exceed the maximum word length stipulated for an assignment even if only by a few words. The penalty is 5% of the total marks allocated to an assignment for every increment, or part thereof, over the word length. The ‘increment’ is one-tenth of the maximum word length. For example, consider an assignment with a maximum word length of 2000 words and the student wrote 2,300 words and would receive 15 out of 20 if no penalty were applied. The student has exceeded the word length by more than one increment – the first increment is exhausted at 2,200 words. Therefore, the penalty would be 10 percent. The student would receive 13 out of 20 for the assignment.
The word count excludes all footnotes unless some footnotes go beyond providing references and instead contain discussion. The word count also excludes any bibliography.
Your assignment must be referenced in accordance with the Melbourne University Law Review Association Inc., Australian Guide to Legal Citation (3rd ed, 2010).
(Note: Students who are unable to access reports of cases in hard copy may use references to reports which are available on the internet. In those cases, instead of page numbers, paragraph numbers should be used.)
UNE uses a software application to determine the originality of assessable work submitted by its students. This software is called Turnitin and it is part of the online submission process. However, again note that scanned PDF documents are not able to be read by markers using online marking technologies.
In order that you may use Turnitin as an educative tool, the online submission process provides you with the option to submit your assignment to Turnitin for checking before you submit it for marking. This is called the ‘Self check’ option and is on a separate Moodle site to your Moodle unit, please see instructions here. Once you are satisfied with your report, you must go back to your Moodle unit and submit your assignment.
When a file is submitted to Turnitin, the software compares the text in the submitted files with text from a range of electronic sources including online journals, online databases, the Internet and the Turnitin database. Any strings of text that occur in both the submitted document and in one or more of the electronic sources are identified by the software with a unique number and colour in what Turnitin calls the ‘originality report’.
The software does not pay attention to whether or not you have provided a citation, thus it is possible to have a reasonably high ‘score’ and no problem in terms of plagiarism if your sources are properly cited and quotations are properly indicated. As Turnitin does not check against all possible sources, and only seeks verbatim word matches, a low score does not necessarily show that your material has not been taken from elsewhere. As Turnitin is a very ‘rough and ready’ measure in this way, there is no acceptable or unacceptable ‘score’. If you have a high score – say 20% or more – it is worth checking your paper to ensure firstly that you have provided references to your sources and secondly that your work is your own, rather than just a string of quotations. Clearly, as the software checks your submission against other students’ submissions, it is foolish indeed to copy another student’s paper, it will be detected very easily and severe penalties can apply to both parties.
Note that when you use the ‘self-check’ option for Turnitin and when you first submit your paper, it has not been checked against other student papers. Thus, there will usually be a difference between the score you see initially and the final score visible to the unit coordinator. As students often use similar sources, there is invariably some overlap between assignments that will increase the Turnitin score.
Your lecturer’s focus will be on whether you have provided appropriate citation and appropriately marked your quotations. He or she will thus always ‘look behind’ a Turnitin score, whether low or high. Therefore, your focus in your writing should be on providing citations for all material you take from other sources, whether quoted or not, and on marking quotations appropriately (either with quotation marks or an indented paragraph for longer quotations), rather than on what the Turnitin score is. For example, slightly rearranging words or altering the words you find in your source may bring down the Turnitin score, but will not remove the need to provide a citation.