Levels of Plagiarism

The second post in the “Plagiarism” series. This post aims to look at the differing severity levels of plagiarism and the possible consequences for these actions.

All of this information is sourced directly from the Open UP Study Skills Book entitled “The Complete Guide to Referencing and Avoiding Plagiarism”, and I am simply adapting this information to produce this series of blog posts. Information from Bangor University’s Code of Practice on Plagiarism is also incorporated into this post. Full references can be found at the end of this post.

There are three main forms of plagiarism, although somewhat simplified, they can generally be described as:

  1. Cheating – copying another person’s work, including the work of another student (with or without their consent), and claiming it to be your own.
  2. Non-attribution – presenting arguments that use a blend of your own and a significant percentage of copied words of the original author without acknowledging the source.
  3. Patchwork writing – paraphrasing another person’s work, but not giving due acknowledgement to the original writer. (An exception to this is the use of common knowledge).

Plagiarism can be described as inadvertent or conversely, advertent. Inadvertent plagiarism is usually a consequence of poor understanding of referencing procedures and “sloppy” writing techniques, whereas advertent plagiarism involves the intentional and inappropriate use of source material with purposeful emittance of acknowledgement.

Detection of plagiarism within work, inadvertent or otherwise, can result in actions being taken by the academic institution. Consequences may include, but are not limited to: achieving 0% for the assignment of which plagiarism was alleged, refusal of work resubmission/examination re-sits and can also result in the overall module mark being capped. Bangor University refers to the Unfair Practice Procedure to outline procedures which will be applied when plagiarism is alleged or detected. The Unfair Practice Procedure can be accessed here: http://www.bangor.ac.uk/regulations/BUProc05-v201502.pdf.

References:

Neville, C. (2010). The Complete Guide to Referencing and Avoiding Plagiarism. Second Edition. Berkshire, England: Open University Press.

Bangor University Code of Practice on Plagiarism can be accessed here: http://www.bangor.ac.uk/regulations/BUCode13-v201101b.pdf.

Bangor University, Code of Practice on Plagiarism, Code 13, 2011 Version 01, Latest version 2011, Effective 01/02/11.

Bangor University Unfair Practice Procedure can be accessed here: http://www.bangor.ac.uk/regulations/BUProc05-v201502.pdf.

Bangor University, Unfair Practice Procedure, Procedure 05, 2015 Version 02, Latest version 2015, Effective 01/03/2015. Applies to all students.

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