Skills Hub


Academic integrity and avoiding plagiarism

What is Academic Misconduct? 

Academic misconduct is cheating. It includes plagiarism, collusion, fabrication of results, and cheating in exams. It also includes asking someone to write assignments for you, or buying an essay from an essay writing company. This sort of cheating is known as 'personation' and is treated very seriously by the university. You will find more detailed definitions and information about academic misconduct in your Examination and Assessment handbook.

Sometimes students commit academic misconduct without fully understanding why they have done something wrong. To protect yourself from committing academic misconduct, you should understand what it is and learn some of the common mistakes students make.

This section will show you what academic misconduct is, when it usually happens, and how to avoid it. Before we look at the details, take note of the three rules which should guide you throughout your academic career.

Three rules to follow to avoid academic misconduct

  1. Remember that all the work you submit has to be your own. If you refer to another person's work, you must acknowledge it properly. Find out how to do this on the referencing pages.
  2. If you are unsure whether what you are doing is correct, ask for help. Your tutor or Academic Advisor can help you with academic enquiries. Student Mentors and RLF Writers in Residence also offer free assistance.
  3. If you are suffering from difficult personal circumstances, don't keep it to yourself. You can receive confidential help from the Student Life Centre if you have been affected by mental or physical illness, or problems such as bereavement.

With these rules in mind, the following pages give more detailed guidance on different kinds of academic misconduct and how to avoid them. The final section gives advice on how academic misconduct is handled, and what to do if you have been accused of academic misconduct:

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Try using the Turnitin - Originality Reports tool in Study Direct to check your draft assignments for any text matches. 

Next page - Plagiarism