Plagiarism Guidance

As you are are putting your assignments together, it is important you understand our rules on plagiarism. To put it simply, we DO NOT allow learners to submit plagiarised content within their assignments.

We use a piece of software called TURNITIN to scan submissions.

If plagiarised content is discovered, we will refuse the submission and ask you to rewrite it. We will provide you with a report that highlights this content and tells you where else the software has found it.

To avoid issues with plagiarism, the easiest method is to not ‘copy and paste‘ other peoples content into your own work.

If you need to include something from your research sources, then this should be appropriately used and properly referenced using HARVARD STYLE referencing.

NOTE: Quoted or Referenced material, should never equate to more than 10% of your submission.

Take a look at the information below for more details on referencing and the correct use of your research materials.



As defined by Oxford University (HERE)

‘Plagiarism’ is defined as the copying or paraphrasing of other people’s work or ideas into your own work without full acknowledgment. All published and unpublished material, whether in manuscript, printed or electronic form, is covered by this definition. ‘Collusion’ is another form of plagiarism involving the unauthorised collaboration of students or other individuals in a piece of work.

Verbatim quotation without clear acknowledgement

Quotations must always be identified as such by the use of either quotation marks or indentation, with adequate citation. It must always be apparent to the reader which parts are your own, independent work and where you have drawn on someone else’s ideas and language.


Paraphrasing the work of others by altering a few words and changing their order or by closely following the structure of their argument, is plagiarism because you are deriving your words and ideas from their work without giving due acknowledgement.

Even if you include a reference to the original author in your own text you are still creating a misleading impression that the paraphrased wording is entirely your own. It is better to write a brief summary of the author’s overall argument in your own words than to paraphrase particular sections of his or her writing.

This will ensure you have a genuine grasp of the argument and will avoid the difficulty of paraphrasing without plagiarising.

Cutting and pasting from online sources

Information derived from the internet must be adequately referenced and included in the bibliography. It is important to carefully evaluate all material found on the internet, as it is less likely to have been through the same process of scholarly peer review as published sources.


This can involve unauthorised collaboration between students, failure to attribute assistance received, or failure to follow precisely regulations on group work projects. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are entirely clear about the extent of collaboration permitted, and which parts of the work must be your own.


This information was published by Oxford University



To help build your references and bibliography, you might find the web tools below useful (and easier).


It is essential to give references whenever you use ideas, images or information that come from someone else.

References go in two places:

  • At the point in your essay where you use the material (give key information).
  • In the bibliography or list of references at the end (give full details).

Failure to do this can be considered plagiarism.


When quoting from a source, you use the author’s exact words. You should put these words inside quotation marks and include the key information:

  • the author’s last name (not initials or title)
  • the year of publication
  • the number of the page that the quote comes from

If the author’s name is part of your sentence, it does not go inside the brackets. For example:

  • Crane (2015, p. 23) claims that ’the majority of single pets live in very privileged circumstances’.

If the author’s name is not part of your sentence, it goes inside the brackets. For example:

  • It has been suggested that ’the majority of single pets live in very privileged circumstances’ (Crane, 2015, p. 23).

Quotations of more than three lines should be written as separate paragraphs and indented. This paragraph should be single spaced. You do not need quotation marks but you should still give the author’s last name, the year and the page number, all in brackets at the end.


If you summarise or paraphrase (put into your own words) what the author says, you do not need to use quotation marks but you must include the key information (the author’s last name and the year of publication). For example:

  • Doyle (2014) argues that despite technological advances, radio production is less sophisticated than in the past


  • There is evidence to suggest that despite technological advances, radio production is less sophisticated than in the past (Doyle, 2014).

If there are two authors, you should list both in your text and reference list.

Similarly, if there are three authors, all three should be listed in the text and reference list.

If there are four or more authors, use only the first surname followed by et al. in your text. For example:

  • Howard et al. (2015) account for the increase in cat ownership by referring to recent changes in family life.


  • Recent changes in family life have led to an increase in cat ownership (Howard et al., 2015).

NB You must include all the names on your list of references. For example:

  • Howard, C., Smith, T., Jones, L. and Brown, N. (2015) Enemies and Friends. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

If you include more than one reference for the same point, list them all in brackets, earliest first, and separate by semicolons. For example:

  • Various studies (Smith, 2011; Brown, 2012; Green, 2013) have shown that cats prefer to avoid dogs in the multi-pet household.

Check with your tutor which name you should use and whether you should include only sources you have actually mentioned in your assignment, or all the sources that you have read.

Items in the bibliography are put in alphabetical order of the first author’s/editor’s surname. You must include all the authors/editors. You should not separate different types of items (e.g. books, journal articles, websites). If there is no author, consult Cite Them Right for what to do in each individual case.


Author’s last name, Initial. or Name of organization (year published/last updated) Title of site. Available at: URL (Accessed: date). For example:

  • Health and Safety Executive (2014) Workers: Health and Safety. Available at: 23 October 2016).

For web pages where there is no author or organization, use the title of the site and put it in italics, as in the following – imaginary – example:

  • Make learning fun! (2019) Available at: (Accessed: 10 January 2019).

Author/editor’s surname, Initial. (year of publication) Title. Place of publication: Name of Publisher. For example:

  • Doyle, R. (2014) The Art of Radio Production. Boston: Boston Press.
  • Mason, P. (ed.) (2017) Marketing. London: Business Press.

If the book is not the first edition, add this information between the title and the place of publication:

  • Doyle, R. (2018) The Art of Radio Production. 3rd edn. Boston: Boston Press.

Author’s surname, Initial. (year of publication) ‘Title of chapter’, in surname/s and initial of editor/s. (ed.) Title of book. Place of publication: Publisher, page numbers of chapter. For example:

  • Grub, H. (2015) ‘The Amazing Ant’, in Phelps, E. and Leyton, M. (eds.) Insect Lifecycles. Hollywood: California Press, pp. 56-79.

Author’s surname, Initial. (year of publication) ‘Title of article’ Title of Journal, volume number (part number/ month/season) page numbers. For example:

  • Baldock, F. (2015) ‘Interpretations of Reality’, Psychology Today, 21 (3), pp.19-26.

Some journal articles may have a doi identification number. For example:

  • Shane, T. (2016) ’Teaching in higher education’, Journal of Higher Education, 56 (10), pp. 421–429. doi: 10.4080/02614561007702156.

Author’s surname, Initial. (year) ‘Title of article’, Name of Newspaper (regional edn. – if applicable), day and month, page number. For example:

  • Grundy, E. (2020) ‘As easy as ABC?’, The Guardian, 9 May, p. 24.

Title of Newspaper (capital letters for each word except ‘and’ ‘of’ and so on) (year) ‘Title of article’, day and month, page number. For example:

  • The Herald (2015) ‘Business ethics going bust?’, 3 May, p.14.
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