What is plagiarism?
- Submitting the work of another person as original work.
- Paraphrasing or directly quoting material from a source without sufficient or appropriate acknowledgment.
Plagiarism takes many forms, including:
- self-plagiarism: submitting an assignment or part of an assignment written for another course or purpose
- working on an assignment with another person when asked to hand in individual work
- failing to differentiate clearly between your words and the language of your source
- failing to note areas of agreement between your work and the work of other writers
- using quotation marks in the wrong place
- providing inadequate or incomplete footnotes or references
- submitting a paper from the internet. Remember these can be traced!
- putting together ideas from various sources (patchwork) without putting them in the context of your work, or without offering original work
Your rights and responsibilities
- Cheating and plagiarizing are serious academic offences. Depending on the severity of the case, penalties may include a zero on the assignment, a failing grade, a record on the student’s transcript, or a suspension.
- Plagiarism is sometimes due to ignorance or confusion, but it is your responsibility to know the rules. Different disciplines may have different norms so clarify the rules with your instructor.
- Students are entitled to a fair process. The academic department must notify you in writing and provide you with a reasonable opportunity to be heard.
How to avoid plagiarism
- Ask your instructor, TA, or department about the appropriate style for referencing sources.
- If you hire a tutor, remember that their role is only to critique your work. The submitted paper must be entirely written by you.
- When doing group work, ask the instructor or TA to clarify to what extent students are allowed to work together, and what is to be done separately.
- Keep an accurate record of all your sources, including page numbers.
- Always distinguish between your ideas and the ideas of others, your words and the words of others. Acknowledge areas of agreement between you and others.
- Keep copies of your work in progress, and consider submitting an early version of your work to the instructor or TA for comments.
- If you’re not sure, ask questions and keep your instructor or TA in the loop.
I’ve been accused of plagiarism. What do I do?
- Consult your course outline/syllabus and the undergraduate or graduate policy on academic integrity.
- Consider the concerns raised by the instructor or chair/director: did you do something contrary to the policy?
- Think about what to say to the instructor or chair/director.
- The ombudsperson can help if you have questions about your rights, your responsibilities, the process, or how to prepare for an interview with the instructor, chair or director.
I need help. What can the ombudsperson do?
- Meet with you at any point in the process.
- Provide information about your rights and responsibilities.
- Help you understand how to prepare for an interview with a chair.
- Clarify how the policy works.
- Explain what penalties may be applied and how they are recorded.
- Provide guidance or feedback if you think you have grounds for appeal.
- The Writing Centre: located in McPherson library
- Counselling Services’ Guide to Writing Essays and Reports
- UVic Calendar: Undergraduate Policy on Academic Integrity
- UVic Calendar: Graduate Policy on Academic Integrity
- Register for a writing course in your discipline, if possible.