Plagiarism is defined by the Academic Council of NUI Galway as "the act of copying, including or directly quoting from, the work of another without adequate acknowledgement". To some extent, this has always been an issue in third level education, but the matter is more pressing today because of the ease of access to information on the Internet. Plagiarism is dishonest, unethical and unacceptable. In order to safeguard its long established reputation and the integrity of its programmes, NUI Galway has adopted a proactive approach to the prevention and detection of plagiarism.
Plagiarism may be found to have occurred if it is established that a student has copied material from a book, journal, website, fellow student or any other source, and then includes this material in a submission for an assignment or project of any kind without giving suitable credit to the original creator of the material. Plagiarism, when found to occur, is subject to the University Code of Practice for Dealing with Plagiarism which can be found on the University website at:

The following are some examples of plagiarism:

  • Use of material created or provided by another person or agency, such as an "essay mill";
  • Copying the work of another student or individual, with or without that person's consent;
  • Submission of a student's own work for credit in more that one course;
  • Copying from a website, book, journal or other document, without proper citation;
  • Use of material from a website, book, journal or other document, without an appropriate reference to the exact source;
  • Use of a direct quotation, not included in quotation marks and properly attributed to the original source;
  • Close paraphrasing of the work of another person, such as for example where only superficial changes are made to the original sentence structure.

Some kinds of plagiarism appear to be quite deliberate - for example, the use of "essay mills". However, plagiarism is also committed through misunderstanding. You should note that plagiarism, whether inadvertent or deliberate, is subject to the University Code of Conduct. The penalties for plagiarism vary, but include the possibility of expulsion from the University in extreme cases. Almost all of your study depends in some way on earlier work. It is essential to make use of the work of others in order to make progress. As part of your education, you are expected to develop the skill of finding and using information in the literature (consisting of books, journals, conference proceedings and other publications).
The key to avoiding plagiarism is to always properly acknowledge your source. When you make use of pre-existing material, make it clear who originally wrote/created the material. If in doubt, ask your lecturer or supervisor.

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