Academic Ethics | Plagiarism

  • What is plagiarism?
    Plagiarism is when you take somebody else’s work or ideas and present them as your own. If you use somebody else’s ideas in your work, intentionally or otherwise, without fully acknowledging your source, you are committing plagiarism.
  • What forms does plagiarism take?
    Plagiarism can be both intentional or unintentional and can occur to different degrees, from passing off somebody’s entire work as your own or copying long excerpts of text and presenting them as your own words or ideas, to the occasional use of other people’s ideas or words without proper acknowledgement or incorrectly referencing your resources. It is therefore important that you know how to correctly cite your resources (see below). 

    Plagiarism can take many forms, including:

    Direct quotations from another work without acknowledging the author. You may use quotations from the resources you use, but these must be clearly identified as quotations and correctly referenced.
    Copying and pasting from the internet without referencing the source. When using online resources you should also be careful to check the credibility of the source.
    ➢ Paraphrasing or summarising somebody else’s words or ideas and presenting them as though they are your own. Plagiarism does not only mean copying somebody’s words, but it also means using their ideas without acknowledging them. You can paraphrase or summarise an author’s ideas in your work but you still need to reference where those ideas came from.
    ➢ Unacknowledged collaboration is also considered plagiarism. Any help or collaboration on an assignment should be clearly stated.
    ➢ Self-plagiarising work that you have previously produced. Submitting assignments in part or in full that you have previously submitted is also considered plagiarism.
    Using machine translation tools (unedited or post-edited) with no declaration that such tools have been used.
    ➢ Making minor adjustments to a classmate’s translation or any other previous translation(s) and submitting it as your own original work.
    ➢ Translating excerpts from a foreign text and presenting them in your work as your own words/ideas.

    For a clear illustration of different ways in which plagiarism occurs, see the ‘Examples of Plagiarism’ section of the University of Oxford’s guidelines on plagiarism.

    NB: Failure to acknowledge any sources you use constitutes plagiarism. This includes websites, lecture notes, images, song lyrics, unpublished texts, previous translations, etc.

  • How can I avoid plagiarism?
    Always make sure that it is clear to your reader which parts of your writing are your own original ideas and which have been influenced by someone else’s words or ideas. If in doubt, provide references to your sources!

    It is extremely important that you know how to correctly cite the sources you use in your work. Guidance on this will be provided in certain courses during your study programme but many additional guidelines can be found online. In particular Purdue University provides a comprehensive guide on how to correctly cite sources in academic writing via their Online Writing Lab. See also the list of resources given below.

  • What happens in cases of plagiarism?
    Our department and the university takes plagiarism very seriously and we use software to identify potential cases of plagiarism. Instances of plagiarism may not only lead to a failing grade on an assignment and/or course but also be considered a disciplinary offence. 
“The student must be aware that it is unlawful to partially or completely copy or translate another person’s ideas, proposals, and views without attribution, and that such misconduct will result in disciplinary action."
Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities,  Boğaziçi University