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What is plagiarism?

As a student at university you are expected to base your assignments on your own investigations, experimentation or research. In undergraduate study, typically you are asked to show an understanding of a topic or concept by writing about existing ideas published in books, journals or web sites.

So, in many instances the ideas you use in your assignments will not be your own. It is an important part of university culture that you acknowledge the use of other people's work through employing a standard referencing system.

Plagiarism explained

Academic misconduct is unacceptable and includes plagiarism, collusion and cheating:

  • plagiarism involves the use of any person's work without full and clear referencing and acknowledgement
  • cheating involves presenting any student's work as your own
  • collusion is a specific type of cheating, that occurs when two or more students fail to abide by directions from the examiner regarding the permitted level of collaboration on an assessment.

All are seen by the University as acts of misconduct for which you can be penalised, so developing study practices and writing skills that will allow you to avoid plagiarism and cheating is mandatory.

Examples of plagiarism

Plagiarism may take different forms in different disciplines. Examples are provided to demonstrate what may constitute plagiarism.

Avoiding plagiarism

There are a number of strategies and methods that can be used to help avoid plagiarism.

Detection and consequences of plagiarism

There are a range of detection and consequences which may apply if you are found to have plagiarised.