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  What is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism at Edinburgh Napier is defined as the:

unacknowledged incorporation in a student’s work either in an examination or assessment of material derived from the work (published or unpublished) of another.

This means that you may not use work from others and call it your own, whether in written work or in other formats such as music, audio and video. Plagiarism is considered a breach of academic conduct regulations which is considered a serious offence that is dealt with according to the University’s Academic Conduct Regulations.
When investigating potential plagiarism and collusion (copying from other students), Academic Conduct Officers (ACOs) make use of TurnitinUK software to identify sections of text which match external sources and to evaluate these matches for plagiarism. On many modules you will be able to do this in advance of submission to check that you haven’t included and forgotten about copied material.

Academic Writing

When preparing coursework you will encounter third-party material on the web, read books authored by others, and receive answers from subject experts. This is a normal and exciting part of academic activity and research, but it is imperative that you always credit the original author of any source material you use to inform your work.
Acknowledging the work of others in your written work requires diligent referencing, paraphrasing and citation skills. Often we use the written material of others and it is imperative that you remember to add a proper in-text citation which directs the reader to your reference list or bibliography at the end of your paper. This ensures that the original author is being credited for his or her work and it separates clearly your written text from that of others.
Usually we use the written material of others in one of three ways, by:
  • Directly quoting a portion of text - Here you use quotation marks and after the quote you must remember to include a citation, the name of the author and the date of the publication, and page number enclosed by parentheses, in order to avoid plagiarising. Each School uses their own standards for citing and referencing so check the guidelines below or the Library pages for further details.
  • Paraphrasing a statement - This is restating what someone else has written using your own words, but in order to avoid plagiarism remember (again!) to cite the author of the original text within your written passage.
  • Summarising an original passage - Even when summarising something someone else has written you must be sure to include the author's name and the date of publication (a citation) within your summary.
​Self-Plagiarism: The use or re-use of a student’s own work (material), the work having previously been submitted for marking. This includes the act of copying (or duplicating) from any previously submitted written work which has been marked and recorded, which is re-submitted without due reference or citation and is presented as original work.

You can find out more about plagiarism in written work and how to acquire the skills to avoid it in this tutorial Using and Misusing External Sources in Academic Writing, and the Plagiarism exercises in the tutorials section of this site. | Edinburgh Napier Mobile App