Good scholarship and avoiding plagiarism

The following are some common forms of plagiarism where students have failed to acknowledge the source or ownership of particular words, or ideas. Students who use such dishonest practices will be subject to the academic misconduct provisions of the Academic Board Regulation.

How can you avoid these examples of academic misconduct?

The common mistakes presented below contain links to examples of good scholarship and brief advice on how to avoid plagiarism and poor scholarship.

More comprehensive resources are available for:

Forms of plagiarism and academic misconduct


Verbatim copying / Direct copying / Uncited quote

This is copying directly from paragraphs, sentences, a single sentence or significant parts of a sentence without acknowledging the source. This is plagiarism.

See example

Mosaic copying / Scaffolding

Where the key points and structure of another person's work have been used as a scaffold (framework) for your own work, without acknowledging the source. This is plagiarism.

See example


This is sometimes called self-plagiarism or multiple submission. You cannot re-use work that you have submitted for assessment in any course at any university. Copying from your own work is the same as copying from someone else's work. It is plagiarism.


Inadequate paraphrasing

This happens when you try to explain another author's ideas in your own words, but your wording remains too close to the original text. This is poor scholarship and amounts to plagiarism.

See example

Uncited paraphrase

This is when you paraphrase another person's work but do not acknowledge the source. This is plagiarism.

See example

Misrepresenting and misquoting

When you cite a source correctly but misrepresent what that source claimed. You may have not understood the original source and have inadvertently misrepresented the author's ideas. This is poor scholarship. Alternatively, you may have deliberately taken the words or ideas of an author out of context to support your argument. This is extremely poor scholarship and could constitute academic misconduct.

See example

Over reliance on a source

When a large proportion of your work is based on a single source or author, it may be that you have not read widely enough or considered other viewpoints on the topic. This is poor scholarship.

Ghost writing

By another person

Having someone else knowingly write or produce any work (paid or unpaid) that you submit for your assessment is deliberate cheating and is considered to be academic misconduct.

For another person

Writing or producing any work for another student to submit as their original work is deliberate academic misconduct.

See explanation


Collusion is when more than one student contributes to a piece of individual assessment that is then submitted as the work of an individual or multiple individuals when this is not permitted for the assessment task. Students are encouraged to engage in discussion and debate of subject content, but you must not produce any work that is submitted by another student, or submit any work produced by another student, or together with another student.  Researching, discussing, and sharing ideas is fine, but do not write your assessments with other students. This is different from group assessment work where students are instructed to work together and the work is assessed as a group effort. Collusion in producing individual work for assessment is academic misconduct.

See example

Cheating in exams

Cheating in an exam, either by copying from other students or by using unauthorised notes or aids, or deliberately attempting to subvert the testing procedure in any way is academic misconduct.

Social media

The sharing of information and resources online and via social media platforms is also subject to the regulations regarding plagiarism and collusion. The dissemination of information that is either intended for, or likely to have the effect of, facilitating an unfair advantage for another student is considered academic misconduct. This covers situations where the student hosting the site or providing the resource may not know or even have any contact with the students who are using it. Those types of cases also infringe the rules, as they too are considered academic misconduct. This includes any sharing of information via a website, app, or other electronic platform that is owned, operated, administered, or hosted by the student, or otherwise within the student's control

See example

What are the consequencese of academic misconduct?