What does my lecturer mean by 'independent thought'?

Developing your perspective

In your assignment preparation, you are expected to research widely, drawing on the ideas of others, and reference your sources appropriately in order to support and explain your own academic views.

As a university student, you are involved in the community of learning and knowledge creation in your subject areas. Knowledge is not fixed: you will notice there are a variety of competing perspectives. All disciplines are involved in an ongoing discussion, critique and argument that extends knowledge of the field, changes it and clarifies it.

Through your assignments you need to demonstrate the extent of your engagement with the knowledge and perspectives of your field of study. It is also important to take the opportunity to discuss and share your ideas with others so that you can test, clarify and argue your own ideas. It is in engaging with the ideas of others that you can clarify and develop your own.

Discussing topics via a MUSO Opens in a new window discussion forum, over the telephone, or via email, as well as thinking through ideas as you write assignments can help you clarify and develop your own academic position.

Sharing your ideas is an important part of tertiary education. Take the opportunity to discuss and clarify your ideas with your fellow students and with tutors. But also check the information on When can I share my ideas with others? under Plagiarism.