Achieving good academic practice
Good academic practice refers to the process of completing your academic work independently, honestly and in an appropriate academic style, using good referencing and acknowledging all of your sources. Achieving good academic practices involves:
- developing your own independent evaluation of academic issues
- drawing upon research from academics in your field of study
- discussing and evaluating existing concepts and theories
- demonstrating your understanding of the key literature
- developing your own arguments.
Good academic practice means developing:
- study skills (eg reading, note-taking, research etc)
- critical enquiry and evaluation (eg balanced opinion, reasoning and argument)
- appropriate academic writing (eg essays, reports, dissertations etc)
- referencing skills (eg when and how to reference)
- exam techniques (eg preparation, timing, etc).
Achieving good academic practice is not as complicated as it may appear.
You need to:
- know the rules and make sure you reference all sources. Bad academic practice or academic dishonesty (plagiarism, cheating, fraud etc.) is often caused by insecurity as to what is expected of you and what is allowed.
- find your own voice. Both home and international students tend to keep too close to original texts or work when working with sources as they believe that they cannot put it any better. However, there is no need to ‘put something better' if it is good. All you need to do is to put it in your own words. You can then
- make your own judgements and evaluations . Admittedly, finding your own voice is not always easy but there are a number of skills you can apply and develop to ensure that you use sources properly.
Help and advice in achieving good academic practice is available from the Student Learning Advisory Service.