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What is Plagiarism? [Extract from Student handbooks]

Plagiarism is defined as "the verbatim or near-verbatim copying or paraphrasing, without acknowledgement, from published or unpublished material attributable to or which is the intellectual property of another, including the work of other students."


Plagiarism is a very serious matter within academia. It is, basically, cheating - using someone else's ideas and passing them off as your own. These ideas may be from published sources, obtained through the Internet or from fellow students - in all cases use of such material is termed plagiarism, and will, at the very least, lead to failure of the assignment of which it forms a part. Serious breaches may lead to failure of an entire module - something which might affect your ability to graduate.


The above applies to intentional plagiarism - the fraudulent use of someone else's argument in the hope of self-advancement. If you are influenced by something you have read then that is perfectly acceptable - provided you make it clear. The safest bet is to acknowledge everything.


Your tutors are all researchers in the areas in which they teach. It is therefore likely that they have read the same texts as you. They are also easily able to spot when a piece of writing adopts a different tone to that which it had previously exhibited - such changes of tone etc can arouse suspicion.