RGU encourages Academic Integrity. Academic Integrity involves students being clear about where the work of others has been used in their own work. This could be information (text, data, code, graphs, illustrations etc...) researched and gathered from books, articles, journals, web-pages or any other type of source. When you incorporate information from other sources into your own work, it must be acknowledged through the use of appropriate referencing and citations.

Plagiarism is the representation of another author's language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions as your own original work. Plagiarism goes against the principals of academic integrity and failure to acknowledge where the work of others has been used in your work, could result in your assessments being identified as containing plagiarised material. If this happens, it could lead to disciplinary procedures provided for in the Student Conduct Procedure.

There is a lot of information and guidance on Campus Moodle regarding academic integrity and plagiarism, and the Library has access to a range of resources centered on referencing appropriately. Study Skills can also provide you with information on avoiding and detecting plagiarism.

Below are some common forms of plagiarism that you should be aware of:

  • Verbatim

    Verbatim: When parts of another's work are copied directly and presented as your own work without appropriate quotations and/or citations.

    Any use of the exact words from another's work should be placed in quotation marks (" ") and cited appropriately. Ensure you make distinction between your own work and someone else's!

  • Collusion

    Collusion: Two or more students working together, without prior authorisation of the school, to produce the same piece of work or to produce certain aspects of a piece of work, with the intention of presenting the work individually as their own.

    Ensure you understand fully the extent of collaboration permitted on any given assignment, and specifically which parts of work must be completed on your own.

  • Omitting Assistance

    Omitting Assistance: A failure to mention assistance which contributed and aided in the production of your work, such as advice from fellow students and other external sources. This does not apply to assistance provided by your school or to ordinary proofreading. However, guidance which has lead to material changes of content or approach to your work needs to be acknowledged.

    If you are unsure whether you are omitting assistance or not, contact your course leader/personal tutor and/or Study Skills.

  • Contract Cheating

    Contract Cheating: Use of third parties in the production and/or submission of work, such as material which was written for you, and for which payment may or may not have been made.

    The work you submit must be your own and you should not submit work completed for you by a third party.

  • Self-plagiarism

    Self-plagiarism: Resubmitting work (or reusing portions of a previously written/submitted text) while you are authoring new work is self-plagiarism. You should avoid reusing your own previously written work or data in a new written product without informing the reader that the material has appeared elsewhere.

    Unless using your own previously submitted work is specifically provided for in course regulations, then if your work is citable (it has been published) you need to reference it clearly. If you are unsure whether you are self-plagiarising, contact your course leader/personal tutor.

Should you have any questions or concerns about plagiarism, contact Study Skills.

Below is some guidance centered on using the work of others, avoiding plagiarism and what happens if it is alleged that your work contains plagiarised material.

  • Using the Work of Others

    Using the work of others is not only a great idea, but it is expected when writing academically. Framing your own work within the already established ideas of your studies gives credence and authority to your work. When researching, it is a good idea to read a breadth of material to understand where your argument sits and feeds into these already established ideas.

    When you have a source that is going to influence your work, think carefully about what the original work is saying and what conclusions/arguments it is making. You should also think about how far it influences and integrates into your own arguments.

    Before using the work in your assessment, ensure that you fully understand it and have the capability to explain the material you are using. A good technique is to envision yourself explaining the work to someone - when you can effectively explain the material to someone (without the text in front of you), you are ready to incorporate it into your own writing. You should even be able to do this without having the text/source open as you already know the how to explain the work without the test itself. If you do this, there will be minimal chance of you copying over any material unintentionally.

    After using sources in your work, remember to include appropriate acknowledgement with the use of citations and references. Not only does this strengthen your work by providing the knowledge and research you are drawing on, but it also allows the reader to check the validity of your work.

  • Avoiding Plagiarism

    One common technique that should be avoided, is any form of copying and pasting of text. If you plan on paraphrasing from a particular source, you should ensure that you have read the work thoroughly enough in order to fully understand it. Once you have done this, you will be able to clearly see where this text supports and feeds into your own writing whilst also being able to put the original text into your own words.

    A great technique to use is the labelling (with colours and highlights) of sources throughout your assessment. The idea of this technique is to create your own Turnitin-style document, and the benefit of this is twofold. Firstly, you can keep track of where work from other authors appears in your writing, making it far easier to check your references and citations. Secondly, you can clearly assess the percentage of your own writing, making it easier for you to evaluate how you have integrated the work of others into your own text and to see the levels of reliance you have placed on certain sources.

    Time is also a key factor in avoiding plagiarism. Ensure you give yourself enough time to proofread your work and to check that you have accurately acknowledged your sources with the use of appropriate references and citation. The Library has a lot of information and advice on referencing that you can access and there is also further information on Campus Moodle.

    The most important skill to acquire to help you avoid plagiarism, is to seek out support when it is needed. If you are having issues with your assessments, you should speak with your personal tutor or course leader for guidance. If you do not understand something, then it is better to reach out for support than to struggle. If you have concerns or queries about your own academic writing, contact Study Skills for support.

  • Alleged Plagiarism

    Plagiarism is a form of academic misconduct. In cases where misconduct is alleged, students shall be liable to disciplinary procedures provided for in the Student Conduct Procedure.

    Misconduct is treated very seriously by RGU and sanctions can be given in the instance misconduct is established. In the instance you have been asked to attend a misconduct hearing, you should read the Student Conduct Procedure to familiarise yourself with the process.

    If you have any questions/concerns regarding misconduct hearings or require advice and/or support for one, read our Student Conduct guidance and contact RGU:Union Advice & Support.

For more comprehensive plagiarism guidance, you are encouraged to access the information on Campus Moodle.

Contact RGU:Union Advice & Support via the below links or via the chat-widget on this page. If you wish to help improve our service, provide feedback by completing our questionnaire.


Map Icon  Email Icon  Phone Icon  Twitter Icon


This page has been updated for academic session 2021-2022.

Top stories from Radar

[PODCAST] Radar Interviews: Shed Seven

Arvind chats to Rick Witter, lead singer of the band Shed Seven, as they promote their No.1 album "A Matter of Time".

Ticket to Solidarity
Airplane flying over a series of red placards with slogans "Defend our Jobs" and "Strike!". A blue s

Aviation Unions Join RMT in Summer Strike Action

Rural Disconnect
Radar Media: White background with two rails crossing over each other.

Signaller Strikes Leave Scotland Stricken