1.1 What are the principles and practices of good scholarship?
What is meant by good scholarship?
Good scholarship means three things. It means:
Being honest and ethical
You must be honest about what is your own work and what isn't, and about where you got your information.
Listing all your sources
Research using different sources of information is an important part of HSC work. Being an ethical researcher and a good scholar means listing all your sources and correctly citing each source.
Using your own words
Communicate what you have learnt in your own words. This isn't always easy to do but it is very important and really worth the effort.
Remember, you deserve credit for your own work.
Key attributes of good scholarship:
- Being an effective researcher
- Applying effective study habits
Being an effective researcher
Effective research is an important part of learning. It is something that we need to do throughout our lives and not just for the HSC. Buying a car, applying for a job, choosing a bank or deciding on a holiday destination are all actions that require research. So it is wise to develop effective habits early.
When we undertake research as part of preparing to write an essay or completing an assignment, or as part of a major research project, it is important to keep on track and stay focused on the main task. Has a teacher ever said to you, 'You wrote a lot of information, but you didn't answer the question!'
Staying on track in your research tasks: some key questions to ask yourself
- What does the question ask me to do?
- What are the key terms?
- What do I think about this?
- What information is out there?
- Which information is best?
- How can I put this in my own words and how can I acknowledge that some of these ideas belong to other people?
- Have I answered the question?
- Have I acknowledged my sources?
Want to know more about research? How do you research for an assignment?
Information Process steps:
- Define the question and break it down into key words and ideas to use as search terms.
- Plan the steps in your research to fit in with your available time.
- Consider what you already know.
- Consider where you can gain an overview of your topic, especially if it is complex. Use print and online encyclopedias for this.
- Break the task down into focus questions you can investigate.
- Search a variety of sources. Don't rely on Google only. Remember Google is fine, but does not filter the information for you in the same way as a library catalogue or a book does.
- Use paraphrases correctly.
- Use quotes correctly and sparingly.
- Make sure your paraphrases and quotes are acknowledged in footnotes or in-text citation.
- Create a reference list.
- Choose those resources which are accurate, authoritative, recent and show no bias.
- Take effective notes.
- Develop a note-making system that keeps your words, ideas and data separate from the words, ideas and data of any other writers or researchers you are taking notes from for your assignments.
- MAKE SURE YOU RECORD THE DETAILS YOU NEED FOR CITATIONS - both in-text citations (or footnotes) and bibliographic details for your reference list.
- Make sure you record your response to each source you have used.
- Gather your notes together - do you have enough information?
- Consider: How can I best combine all this information for my product?
- Use the focus questions you created back in Locating to provide the means of synthesising all your information.
- Consider the requirements of the form of presentation you are doing.
- Check availability of templates to help you with this.
- Review the extent to which your product meets the requirements of the task.
- Keep your notes and drafts so that you can prove that you have not plagiarised.
Consider this situation
Tom is given a research task for Geography. The task is to research current views about ways of saving water, including recycling sewage. Use the Information Process to think about the steps Tom should take in getting started on his research. Where would you start if you had this task?
Applying effective study habits
Effective study is an important part of good scholarship. Being well organised, planning ahead and being sure of what is required will help you to avoid rushing your work and not doing your best.
What are some study habits that work for you? It is good to remember the things that help you study well, complete your assignments on time and do your best work.
Here is a list of some things that can really help you do your best work.
- Keep a diary and make sure you know when your work is due to be handed in.
- Note the dates and times when you will gather information for research tasks and when you might do a first draft of your work.
- Be well organised - keep your notes and folders in order and reorganise them regularly (use dividers or coloured paper or properly named digital files to separate each topic).
- Make sure you understand what is required for each task, project or assignment. If you are not sure, ask your teacher for further explanation.
Consider this situation
You have three weeks to complete a History essay on the 1967 Referendum and its significance.
Where would you start? What information sources would be useful and how would you access them? Draft a timeline that shows, across the three weeks, when you will complete each stage of the essay.
Work through each step in the module:
- 1.1 What are the principles and practices of good scholarship?
- 1.2 What are the rights and responsibilities of students in ensuring the intellectual integrity of their work?
- 1.3 What is malpractice?
- 1.4 Why do people cheat?
- 1.5 Why is it wrong to cheat?
- 1.6 What are the consequences of cheating in the HSC?