How do I know what counts as plagiarism?

Plagiarism is the use of someone else’s work without correct referencing.[1]  The consequence of plagiarism is the presentation of someone else’s work as your own work. Plagiarism violates Woolf policy and will result in disciplinary action, but the context and seriousness of plagiarism varies widely. Intentional or reckless plagiarism will result in a penalty mark of zero, and may also entail disciplinary penalties.

Plagiarism can be avoided by citing the works that inform or that are quoted in a written submission. Many students find that it is essential to keep their notes organised in relation to the sources which they summarise or quote. If you are studying in tutorials, your tutor will help you to cultivate professional scholarly habits in your academic writing.

Tutorial essays do not require a bibliography or the use of extensive footnotes, and students are encouraged to write their tutorial essays entirely in their own words. However, tutorial essays must acknowledge the sources on which they rely and must provide quotation marks and citation information for verbatim quotes.

There are several forms of plagiarism. They all result in the presentation of someone’s prior work as your new creation.

Cut and Paste

Material taken verbatim from any source should be properly cited and referenced.


Even when material has been reworded, the source must still be acknowledged.

Unauthorised Collaboration

Collaboration with other students can result in pervasive similarities – it is important to determine in advance whether group collaboration is allowed, and to acknowledge the contributions or influence of the group members.

False Authorship (Essay Mills, Friends, and Language Help)

Paying an essay writing service, or allowing a generous friend to compose your essay, is cheating. Assistance that contributes substantially to the ideas or content of your work must be acknowledged.

Valuable Sources for Understanding Plagiarism

This section draws upon statements about plagiarism from the University of Oxford