Plagiarism

  • Plagiarism - what is it?

    Plagiarism is presenting or submitting someone else's work (words or ideas), intentionally or unintentionally, as your own. This is considered to be a form of cheating and may be subject to disciplinary action.

    There are various forms of plagiarism including:

    • Copying: using the same, or very similar, words to the original text (whether in a book, journal, website or any other source) without either acknowledging the source or using quotation marks. This also applies to images, pictures and melodies 
    • Inadequate paraphrasing: changing a few words and phrases from the original but retaining too much of the original structure and expressions
    • Collusion: working with others but passing off the work as your own individual work
    • Duplication: submitting work for one module which had been prepared for another

    How to avoid plagiarism

    • Time management: allow yourself plenty of time to carry out all the steps involved in producing an assignment (reading and research, making notes in your own words, thinking time for your own ideas, putting your information in order, writing up and citing sources used). If you are short of time it can be more tempting to copy or just change a few words of the original text 
    • Making notes: When you have found a good source of information (book, journal article or web resource), make notes in your own words. If you wish to include an actual quotation from the source (i.e. using the original words), then mark your notes accordingly.
    • Keeping records of sources: Write down details of all sources used - author, title, publisher, etc.
    • Citing all sources: All ideas gained from someone else, whether expressed in your own words or exact quotations, need to be acknowledged both in the text of your work and in the reference list/bibliography at the end. Detailed help with citing references  is available 

    University regulations

    The University Regulations and Policies give detailed information about all aspects of cheating. 

    Further help about plagiarism and Turnitin

    There are a number of useful books in the Library about avoiding, and deterring, plagiarism.  Search the Library catalogue, using plagiarism as a keyword.

    Information about the text-matching tool Turnitin is available: