Current students

Advice to students on plagiarism

What is Plagiarism?

UWL defines plagiarism as the practice of taking someone else’s work and passing it off as their own.  It is presenting someone else’s work as one’s own irrespective of intention. This includes:

  • close paraphrasing
  • copying from the work of another person, including another student
  • using the ideas of another person without proper acknowledgement
  • repeating work that you have previously submitted – at the University of West London or at another institution - without properly referencing yourself (known as ‘self-plagiarism’)

There are a number of online companies offering essay writing services. These companies pretend or will try to persuade students that this is an entirely normal and acceptable practice and that many students take advantage of it. They also claim that they offer a secure, confidential and undetectable service for which they charge a great deal of money. Using such a service is an acute form of plagiarism that is likely to result in students failing to obtain a qualification and potentially debarring them from a significant range of professional careers.

Students should familiarise themselves with the University Assessment Offences Regulations.

Informal student discussion of assignments especially those requiring a group response is normal in an academic community. The offence of plagiarism takes place when, having had the opportunity of advice and guidance, a student submits for marking work which s/he knows contains matter taken from other sources and for which no attribution is given according to the conventions normally adopted in academic writing.

Advice on academic writing and avoiding plagiarism

Students can ask their lecturers or personal tutors for advice on academic writing.

Further advice about plagiarism and referencing can be found on the Study Support guide.