The Oxford Concise Dictionary, 9 ed., (1995: 1043) defines plagiarism as ‘the act or instance of plagiarizing, something plagiarized.’ The dictionary then defines plagiarize as ‘take and use (the thoughts, writings, inventions, and so forth of another person) as one’s own; pass off the thoughts and so forth of (another person) as one’s own.’

Plagiarism can be either intentional or unintentional. (See: for the spectrum of plagiarism practices).

The presentation of work, written or oral, as one’s own can be done from a plurality of sources.

Such sources include, but are not exclusive of, published or unpublished material, the work and ideas of faculty, students, internet sources, print and digital publications, written and oral opinions and/or presentations, artwork software, websites or other electronic resources.

The following list, while not exclusive, is indicative of the practices that qualify as plagiarism (See :

  • Copying verbatim, entire or substantial portions of paragraphs and sentences, written or oral, without the use of quotation marks and indicating the source
  • Paraphrasing entire of substantial portions of paragraphs or sentences of the works of others, without referencing the source of such words/ideas
  • Cutting and pasting paragraphs and/or sentences from various sources and presenting as one’s own work, either in a written or oral format
  • Copying the works of others, using peripheral or minor changes, while at the same time retaining the original idea, without referencing
  • Copying or adapting part, or all, of the work of another student as one’s own, for the purpose of any form of course requirements, including presentations or other scholarly forms of assessment
  • Cooperating or being complicit with other students in the sharing and copying of answers, including during examinations
  • Contract cheating, involving the payment for, or ordering of, essays, software and other material for submission as one’s own work or ideas
  • Self-plagiarism, involving the re-submission of work previously submitted for assessment