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Plagiarism in Assessed Essays

  • In Assessed essays you are expected to quote from relevant secondary material where appropriate. 
  • Particular statements of fact derived from secondary sources, as well as statements of opinion, value judgements, or generalisations which you yourself have not arrived at as a result of reading the original material, should normally be attributed to the source from which they come. 
  • When taking notes from a book or article, you should always write down the relevant bibliographical details of the material you are reading (author, title, place and date of publication, page number). 
  • All quotations from critics or any other authority must be explicitly identified each time they are used either by being placed within quotation marks or by being introduced by a phrase such as: ‘As X says/claims/explains/puts it…’.  In either case, the title of the book or other source from which the quotation is taken, together with the relevant page number, should be given either in brackets immediately after the quotation or in a footnote or endnote.  (It is not enough simply to list in a bibliography at the end of the essay the books or articles on which you have drawn; you must also properly credit each quotation as it occurs in your text.) 
  • If you are unable to quote verbatim from a critic, but wish to paraphrase a critic's argument, you should still acknowledge your source by using a phrase such as ‘As X says/has pointed out…’, together with a page reference.  If in doubt, always give the source of the material on which you are drawing. 
  • You should note that failure to acknowledge passages quoted from other critics or any other source counts as plagiarism, i.e. dishonestly passing off someone else's work or writing as your own. 
  • Under the University's Regulations concerning ‘Cheating in Examinations’, a candidate found guilty of plagiarism in an Assessed Essay is deemed to have cheated, for which the penalty may be a mark of ZERO not only for the essay concerned, but also for the module as a whole.  In some cases this may prevent a student from progressing towards or receiving an Honours degree at all.  Observing the rules given above will ensure you do not run this risk.  Remember, there is no shame involved in acknowledging the source(s) of some of your ideas; on the contrary, it shows you are taking the exercise seriously and researching your essay conscientiously.  Better to acknowledge a source than find yourself being accused of plagiarism!