Plagiarism Notice

Plagiarism Guidelines (Undergraduate)
NTU College of the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences


Plagiarism (from the Latin word for ‘kidnapper’) is the wrongful presentation of someone else’s ideas or words as your own. Acts of Plagiarism include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • The unacknowledged use of words, images, diagrams, graphs, or ideas derived from any source such as books, journals, magazines, the visual media, and the internet. Note: cutting and pasting words from the internet into your own essay, even if you reword them, is still plagiarism.
  • Buying and/or copying essays, assignments, projects etc from the internet or any other source and claiming them to be your own.

[Note: In addition to the above please remember that copying the work of a fellow student, having another student write one’s assignments, or allowing another student to borrow one’s work, is akin to cheating].

Please bear in mind that your professors and lecturers know the subject and have read widely. They therefore can identify unreferenced quotations, and can generally differentiate between university-level writing and that of published scholars.


Why plagiarism is academically dishonest

  • The unacknowledged borrowing of another’s work is theft.
  • Independent and creative thinking, as well as intellectual responsibility, are fundamental to a humanities, arts and social sciences education, and cannot be developed if one simply borrows the work of another.


How to avoid academic dishonesty:


  • If you use an author’s exact words, you must place them in quotation marks. If you paraphrase another’s ideas, you again must indicate the source to your reader.
  • Facts and statistics that are not “common knowledge” must be referenced.
  • Be sure to use the method of citation recommended by your professor.
  • If in doubt, it is always best to reference your material.
  • Remember that your lecturer wants to see your ideas and interpretations. Avoid excessively quoting secondary sources and show your reader your mode of thinking.
  •  Do not commit idioplagiarism (or self-plagiarism), or submit the same work for different classes/courses.

Collusion and complicity

  • Ask your lecturer if you are allowed to work on assignments in groups.
  • Get the approval of your professor if you want to submit material that you have already submitted for another course. It may or may not be acceptable.
  • Do not allow fellow students to copy your work (including work from previous semesters).
  • Follow the examination rules set out by the university.

If you still have questions, please ask your professors, or consult the website: http://www.plagiarism.org/

Source for this document:
The Little, Brown Essential Handbook. Ed. Jane E. Aaron. New York: Pearson Longman, 2006.

Plagiarism Penalties

The penalties below vary with the severity of the plagiarism (minor plagiarism or major plagiarism), whether it is a first or second offence, and whether the student is in year one of the undergraduate programme, or in years 2-4.

  • Minor Plagiarism: In general, this refers to minimal instances of plagiarism (for example a few sentences, unacknowledged use of a theoretical model, set of principles etc).
  • Major Plagiarism: In general, this refers to significant instances of plagiarism (for example, a paragraph or two, unacknowledged use of central or critically defining theoretical models, set of principles etc.)


Year Offense Severity Penalty


1st Minor Revise & Resubmit (-10%)
Major Revise & Resubmit  (Lowest Mark on the ‘D’ Grade Scale)
2nd and subsequent offense Zero marks for assignment
Year Offense Severity Penalty
2 to 4 All Minor Revise & Resubmit (Lowest Mark on the ‘D’ Grade Scale)
Major Zero marks for assignment
Year Offense Severity Penalty
Final Year Project/Graduation Essay* All All plagiarism in the Final Year Project is deemed major. Zero Marks

*If a student fails the FYP as a result of plagiarism, he/she will be asked to resubmit according to the next submission schedule in the relevant discipline. This will be considered a fresh submission and there will be no further penalties.