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Academic Integrity: Plagiarism

Ethics in Using Information

Canvas Module: Citing Referencing & Plagiarism


Check out the Library's Canvas module on Citing, Referencing & Plagiarism



UCC Policy

UCC Code of Honour

"We freely pledge to abide by the UCC Code of Honour. Being truthful, honourable and honest in all our conduct, we will not lie, cheat or plagiarise. We will always endeavour to show respect to fellow students, staff and to all members of the wider community."


"Express the meaning of (something written or spoken) using different words, especially to achieve greater clarity." (Oxford English Dictionary)

Paraphrasing can be fine but do it carefully and always credit the source.


Turnitin is software used to assess how original your work is and checks it for plagiarism. You submit your assignment electronically and it is compared to other work in a large database. You get a percentage mark based on how original your work is. If the percentage is high, it might indicate that you have used too many quotes so some editing will be necessary.

What is Plagiarism?

According to the Oxford English Dictionary the origin of the word goes back to the 17th Century and it means  "kidnapping" .

A more modern interpretation is stealing and presenting information as one's own.  This information can be in many forms e.g. books, music, presentations, lecture notes.

Note: Images within a work may have a separate source who will need credit.

What can I use?

Anything so long as you give credit.

You must not use too many quotes, this must be your work.

You may not use another student's work, without credit, even if they give you permission. This is called Collusion and both of you will be guilty of plagiarism.

Common Knowledge

This does not require citation but what is it?  It's something that you can expect your audience to know.

"The sky is blue" - no need to explain further.  The fact that something is freely available on the web doesn't automatically make it "common knowledge".

Context matters:

Murder is wrong but if using in a legal context, you might have to quote your source.

How to avoid plagiarising

Plagiarism is often just being careless. Scholarship demands high academic standards and attention to detail is paramount.  

When in doubt cite!  Crediting your sources eliminates any possibility of plagiarism.

Use quotations and use "in-text citing". Don't over use quotes or use lengthy ones as it can disrupt the flow of your assignment causing a reduction in your own work.