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What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism is presenting the work or ideas of another person, with or without their consent, as your own. It can apply to published and unpublished material, and may be intentional or inadvertent.

Why is it regarded so seriously in academia?

Passing off someone else’s efforts and achievements as your own is not only a professional and academic discourtesy; it is a kind of theft. If you use plagiarism to submit an essay to the John Locke Institute, you are not only stealing from the originator of the work you are claiming as your own; you are trying to steal hard-won recognition from the other contestants.

What does the John Locke Institute do to prevent plagiarism? 

We use a number of different kinds of tools to detect plagiarism. We can detect the unacknowledged use of other published material and unpublished material. If any of your essay contains plagiarism you will not be eligible to receive a prize, and we will notify your school of the reasons for our judgment.

What should I do?

Generally, of course, almost all your essay should be entirely your own work. But if you refer to the work of others, even if you are loosely paraphrasing others’ work, you must acknowledge explicitly which sources you are drawing on and which of their ideas or words you are including in your essay.

For teachers, university students and professors…

If you have been approached by a contestant, or by an agent, seeking your help to write an essay for the John Locke Institute Global Essay Competition, we would be grateful if you would please forward any correspondence to

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