English and Scottish Literature


The following is the College's statement on plagiarism:

Plagiarism is the use of material taken from another writer's work without proper acknowledgement, presenting it as if it were your own. While it is perfectly proper in academic study to make use of another person's ideas, to do so under the pretence that they are your own is deceitful. Plagiarism, whether in coursework or examinations, is always taken extremely seriously within the university as it is a form of cheating. Work found to be plagiarised may be penalised, assessed at zero, or not accepted, and in serious cases may lead to disciplinary action being initiated.

Plagiarism and how to avoid it

Work undertaken for our courses is designed to help you develop your knowledge and understanding, and your own powers of analysis and argument. Essays, exams and exam essays assess these skills.

Plagiarism therefore undermines the whole purpose of the academic study of literature.

For all work for the department’s courses, it is important to be aware of, and to acknowledge the sources of arguments and words. This applies to material drawn from critical books and lectures, but also from the work of other students (including tutorial or seminar discussions) and from the internet and other electronic sources.

Lectures, tutorials and seminars must not be recorded or otherwise transmitted, unless there is special dispensation relating to disability (endorsed by the Disability Office).

Tutors will check web-based material, as well as other sources, where they have reason to suspect that the writing a student submits does not represent their own ideas, words and arguments.

Further guidelines from the College's stance on plagiarism include:

While deliberate plagiarism involves an intention to deceive and is easy to avoid, it is possible to fall unawares into practices which could be mistaken for plagiarism if you are not familiar with the proper means of using and acknowledging material from other writers. Inadequate referencing and inappropriate use of others' material could inadvertently lay you open to charges of plagiarism. Since different subjects involve different uses of material, and may have different conventions about how it should be acknowledged, it is important that in each of their subjects students consult departmental guidelines about the purpose and presentation of written work in that discipline.

Further advice

For more detailed advice on written work in the English Literature Department and examples of what constitutes plagiarism, see the English Literature Writing Guide and the guidance provided by the University.

University guide on plagiarism