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Referencing and Plagiarism

Plagiarism Basics


On this page, you will find details on:

  • What is plagiarism?
  • What counts as plagiarism?
  • What are the consequences of plagiarism?
  • How do I avoid plagiarism?
  • Review.
  • Polices and further support.

What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism is the act of using someone else's ideas within your own work without acknowledgement.

In your academic work referencing accurately and avoiding plagiarising is highly important as it is considered poor academic practice and may result in disciplinary action.

To avoid plagiarising, good referencing skills are imperative. However, it is also necessary to be aware of the different types of plagiarism and what risks there may be which can lead a student to plagiarise.

What counts as plagiarism?

  • Using someone else’s ideas and not including a citation in text and corresponding reference in the reference list
  • Copying text from a source without using appropriate quotation marks and referencing
  • Forgetting to reference
  • Copying another student’s work

What are the consequences of plagiarising?

  • Formal written warning
  • Refer assessment:
    • Capped grade as pass mark if first attempt is accepted
    • First attempt marked as 0%, with resubmission capped at pass mark
  • Fail component; meaning you need to retake the module which will be capped at pass mark.
  • Fail module:
    • you may be able to take an alternative module, in which case the marks will be capped at a pass
    • or this may result in termination of your studies, with a possibility it would appear on your academic transcript that withdrawal was due to academic misconduct.

How do I avoid plagiarism?

Referencing the work of others

To avoid the accusation of plagiarism, you must reference the work of others.

Examples of when you may need to reference include:

  • Another person’s ideas, words, opinions.
  • Any facts, graphs, drawings, … ANY kind of information that is not common knowledge.
  • Quotations: another person’s spoken or written words.
  • Paraphrasing: describing in your own words another person's words or ideas.
Do not falsify your working

Do not manipulate research materials, equipment, or processes, or changing or omitting/ suppressing data or results without scientific or statistical justification, such that the research is not accurately represented in the research record.

Do not fabricate results

Intentionally making up data or results and recording or reporting them can result in the accusation of plagiarism.

Word swap

It is a good academic practice to paraphrase the work of others effectively and reference their ideas. Swapping words for synonyms but leaving the sentence the same does not demonstrate to the marker that you understand the text and you could be misleading the marker. 


Please continue to the next page to further explore the different forms of plagiarism. 

Policies and Support