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Plagiarism, Citing and Referencing at UWI St. Augustine: Plagiarism

Plagiarism, referencing and copyright issues at UWI

This page - contents

  • What is plagiarism?
  • How do you plagiarise?
  • How do you avoid plagiarism?
  • Plagiarism - UWI guidelines
  • Additional considerations - expectations and consequences
  • Academic honesty
  • UWI plagiarism resources
  • Useful links
  • Related UWI Guides

How do you avoid plagiarism?

  • Use many sources (know how to search effectively and efficiently)
  • Have good sources to work from (know how to evaluate sources effectively)
  • When taking notes, write down the source info
  • When your do online research, go to the source of the info
  • Learn how to cite/reference properly
  • Write from your notes preferably
  • Write in your own words
  • Give yourself enough time
  • If unsure, cite

Additional considerations

Expectations – since plagiarism is seen as a serious violation of academic ethics, as serious as cheating on tests
  • Students are expected to know and follow academic standards for citing sources
  • Citing/referencing are academic competencies which a qualified, professional and graduate should possess

Consequences, in general, could be:

  • failure of the course
  • revision of the assignment
  • deferred suspension
  • suspension
  • expulsion
  • apology letter
  • public embarrassment
  • damage to your career/your reputation
  • damage to the institution’s reputation

How do you plagiarise?


  • word for word borrowing without acknowledging the source, whether intentional or not
  • building on someone's ideas without citing their  spoken or written work


  • using the words of a source too closely when paraphrasing (where quotation marks should have been used) and not citing the source
  • reusing a mix of words, phrases or ideas without indicating what has been borrowed and/or without properly citing the source

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a commitment to, and the demonstration of,  acting with the values of honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility and courage in scholarship, teaching, and research.

These standards of behaviour include purposeful avoidance of plagiarism, cheating, misrepresentation, and any efforts at facilitating any academic deception. It involves respect for intellectual property and ethical behaviour. It involves students' and faculty's personal and academic growth.

Academic Honesty

Academic & Intellectual Honesty = Honour Code

  • As a scholar, develop the ability to learn, to gain knowledge and skills of academia, including writing, presenting and citing


  • As an academic, show honesty in using other persons work
  • Allow verification of the work on which you have built your knowledge, be ethical in your choices, be professionally courteous
  • In the world of work, you are expected to have a sound knowledge base and able to apply concepts as well as keep up-to date

Plagiarism - University of the West Indies Guidelines (UWI)

In UWI guidelines:
Plagiarism – the unacknowledged and unjustified use of the words, ideas or creations of another, including unjustified unacknowledged quotation and unjustified unattributed borrowing
Level 1 – plagiarism which does not meet the definition of Level 2
Level 2 – plagiarism undertaken with the intention of passing off as original work by the plagiariser, work done by another person or persons

Undergraduate guidelines

Plagiarism Policy

Undergraduate Plagiarism Regulations in the Undergraduate Handbook - pp. 56-57

Postgraduate guidelines

Plagiarism Policy 

Postgraduate Regulations

Plagiarism @UWI - Tamara Brathwaite

What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism is the practice of taking someone else’s language, ideas, or other original material and passing it off as one’s own.

Examples of plagiarism:

  • Paraphrasing/summarising – without citing the source
  • Quoting a source without using quotation marks – even if you cite it
  • Downloading a paper from a free site - submitting it as your own.
  • Copying or using work – by another student
  • Changing words but copying the sentence structure – without giving credit
  • Copying so many words or ideas from a source that it makes up the majority of your work, whether you give credit or not

Breach of academic honesty but viewed by some as plagiarism

  • Errors in citations and references make the reference 'unfindable'
  • Referencing the wrong source
  • Inconsistent referencing
  • Citing sources you did not use
  • Giving incorrect information about the source of a quotation

Useful links

Related UWI Guides

Why students plagiarise:

  • Ignorance of academic integrity or digital ethics
  • Emphasis on grades vs. learning
  • Poor time management and research skills
  • Personal values and attitudes
  • Peer pressure
  • Temptation and opportunity
  • Negative attitudes towards assignments, research, lecturers, supervisors...