Plagiarism: a presentation for kls undergraduate Students ‘Your Work Your Voice’

Download 12.39 Kb.
Size12.39 Kb.

Plagiarism: A Presentation for KLS Undergraduate Students ‘Your Work Your Voice’

  • Donald McGillivray, 2 Dec 2011





What You Sign Up To

University rules

  • These are the academic ‘rules of the game’ – they are there to ensure both that previous work is given proper credit, and that what is presented as your work is in fact your work
  • We are a shared knowledge community which functions by respecting and acknowledging others’ work.

What is a Breach of Academic Discipline?

  • Cheating in exams / influencing examiners
    • Plagiarism
      • reproducing in any work submitted for assessment or review (for example, examination answers, essays, project reports, dissertations or theses) any material derived from work authored by another without clearly acknowledging the source
    • Duplication of material
    • reproducing in any submitted work any substantial amount of material used by that student in other work for assessment, either at this University or elsewhere, without acknowledging that such work has been so submitted
  • Conspiring to reproduce the work of others (improper collaboration)
    • KLS Guidance – ‘talk and think together but write separately’
  • Falsification of data / evidence


      • reproducing in any work submitted for assessment or review (for example, examination answers, essays, project reports, dissertations or theses) any material derived from work authored by another without clearly acknowledging the source

The Plagiarism Problem

  • Many students come to University with no prior understanding of correct referencing or acknowledging the work of others, or with varying understandings (from different educational systems) – there is no shared baseline or assumptions that we work from
  • It is important that you develop the skills of proper citation

University Guidance

  • This links to
    • Guidance for students
      • Guidance on what plagiarism etc is
        • and
      • How to Avoid It (Study Tips)
    • Guidance for staff
      • You may find this also helpful because it goes through ‘worked examples’

KLS Guidance

  • Moodle
    • Law Student Guide – Undergraduate
    • Taught LLM Legal Research and Writing Skills Training - Postgraduate taught
  • Note in particular our guidance, there, on working together but writing separately

OSCOLA Tutorial

  • Try this brief worked example
  • Remember that good citation (eg using OSCOLA) and proper referencing are mutually reinforcing

Online tutorials

  • University of Leicester online tutorial – helpful guidance tailored to law students, looking at:-
  • University of Essex online tests
    • ... But please note that the references in this to discipline offences and penalties are not those of Kent.
  • Original text:
  • ‘There is nothing escapist about any of this; indeed, the great Odes of summer 1819 are permeated with an awareness of death. The important point is that, to Keats, the imaginative mind was diametrically opposed to the intellect’. (Wu [2000] p1011)
  • Example of mosaic plagiarism:
  • Keats shows nothing escapist in both his aesthetics and the great Odes of 1819. On the contrary: he faced life with relentless courage even though the Odes are permeated with an awareness of death. The real point is that his creative and imaginative processes were diametrically opposed to rational and cognitive processes.

Avoiding Plagiarism

  • Good note taking
      • Take care to note sources
      • Take care to note if you are paraphrasing someone else’s work – when you write up this may look like your own work but will be identified by Turnitin
  • Good citation of sources
    • Recognising when citation is appropriate and when it isnt: don’t overcite either
  • Not rushing to complete an assignment


  • All work must be submitted via Turnitin
  • Turnitin is just a “detector of unoriginal content”
  • A high Turnitin score will raise concerns
    • But remember that Turnitin will pick up anything duplicated elsewhere eg the title of the essay, material which is within quotation marks, case or legislation extracts etc
  • But so will a very low score

Turnitin (cont)

  • You cannot access your Turnitin score before submitting your work.
  • Turnitin is a tool and not a rule: the issue is whether it is your work written in your voice and properly referenced.
  • For a sample originality report, and analysis of it, take a look at

Informal help, Formal warnings and Penalties

  • Your work might have eg an insignificant amount of plagiarism – we can term this ‘poor academic practice’ and point this out to you in feedback. Or – for first breaches - we might ask the Discipline Committee to issue you with an informal ‘warning as to future conduct’.
  • Formal warnings – where an informal warning would not be appropriate, but for first offences
    • These are not mentioned in references / transcripts (though they may need to be disclosed to the SRA in England and Wales)
  • Minor offences
    • Must lead to a mark reduction. Maximum penalty – mark of 0%
    • Will be mentioned in references.
  • Serious offences
    • Max penalty – termination of registration

Solicitors’ Regulation Authority rules

  • Unless there are exceptional circumstances we will refuse your application if you have committed and/or have been adjudged by an education establishment to have committed a deliberate assessment offence which amounts to plagiarism or cheating to gain an advantage for yourself or others.
  • Guidance note (i) Exceptional circumstances may include where the finding does not amount to cheating or dishonesty, e.g. incorrect referencing, or failure to attribute correctly, in an essay or paper.

SRA and KLS practice

  • We will write to the SRA setting any offence in context, e.g. ‘a single offence in an otherwise unblemished record’
  • We will mention the penalty imposed in the context of the available range of penalties
  • We will mention any mitigating factors that we feel are relevant

Commonly asked questions

  • Does a bibliography cure a lack of referencing in the text?
    • NO – a bibliography is just a list of references you have used, It is not a reference in itself. (Don’t confuse a bibliography with a reference list used in connection with the Harvard method of citation.)
  • Do I have to put quotation marks around everything I cite?
    • Within reason, NO. But even a single word might need to be put in quotation marks if eg it is a term coined by another writer and not doing so would infer the term was yours.
  • Can I copy out something factual? (eg the facts of a case)?
    • No – and ‘facts’ may be contested anyway
  • If in doubt, quote and reference the source. Exercise judgment (as your marker will)

A Note on Essay Writing Services

  • Using an essay writing service will be taken as evidence of intent to deceive
  • We have terminated registrations for their use
  • We will seek to impose the maximum penalties against you if you use them.

Essay Writing Services (cont)

  • If we consider – if necessary after discussing your work in detail with you - that work is not in your voice but we cannot identify the source we may presume that you have obtained the work from another.
  • Purchased essays are not difficult to spot

Any questions?

  • Your module convenor should be able to field general questions
  • For specific queries contact
    • Donald McGillivray ( (autumn term)
    • Iain Ramsay ( (spring term)
  • For procedural matters contact Sam Betts ( x 4886

Download 12.39 Kb.

Share with your friends:

The database is protected by copyright © 2022
send message

    Main page