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Library Guides

Referencing: Plagiarism

This guide provides resources to support your citation and referencing practice in line with academic requirements


In this guide, we are providing information about the academic practices and conventions of citing and referencing that, if followed, will minimise your risk of being accused of plagiarism as a form of academic misconduct.

Tutorial / Guidance


Plagiarism and the University

In the University’s Handbook of Academic Regulations, plagiarism is discussed in two contexts:

  • using others' work without acknowledgement and
  • submitting work you have previously submitted for assessment (i.e. self-plagiarism)

It is not an offence to draw on the ideas and words of others - in fact, this is an essential part of academic writing. However, any such use should be appropriately acknowledged using quotation marks and referencing.  Using such conventions should ensure that it is clear the extent to which you are relying on the work of others in your assignment so that your work can be marked appropriately.

The full definition of plagiarism used by the university can be read in sections 10.38 and 10.39 of the Handbook of Academic Regulations.  There is also a table of penalties in the appendix.


Sanctions for plagiarism

The sanctions for plagiarism are set out in the Handbook of Academic Regulations (in the appendix of section 10).

Small amounts of plagiarism (up to 10%) will not generally result in automatically failing an assignment, but you may lose marks and receive a warning.

The level of sanction depends on several factors, including the amount of plagiarism and whether the plagiarism was verbatim or a paraphrase, with verbatim treated more seriously.  You should also note that using work you previously submitted for an assignment can be considered self-plagiarism.