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Academic writing and plagiarism


Plagiarism is the act of passing off work done by someone else as if it were your own. It even extends to your own work so reusing one assignment in another context will be counted as self-plagiarism. It does not have to be deliberate to come within this definition.

It can take a number of forms including:

  • Submitting work as your own which you have not written.
  • Copying and pasting from any published source without acknowledging where it came from.
  • Quoting or paraphrasing material from any source without acknowledgment.

How to avoid plagiarism:

  • Don’t collude
  • Don’t outsource your work
  • Keep good notes and reference everything
  • Create a bibliography

You can read more about plagiarism


You may be surprised to learn that it is possible to plagiarise yourself.

Self-plagiarism is when people reuse work that they have done before without citing it. So if you use reuse your own words or ideas in a subsequent piece of work without acknowledging it, you are plagiarising. This means that you must cite your own previous work in the same way that you would cite work by any other author.

There is more advice on this blog from Turnitin: Is recycling your own work plagiarism?