Academic Writing and Plagiarism

Academic honesty

Academic honesty means that you as an author are responsible for your work and that you must be able to support the statements you make. Likewise, citation and referencing must be done correctly and it is never allowed to copy, fabricate or manipulate your data. This means that everything you hand in has to be made and written by you and nobody else. If that is not the case you can be accused of plagiarism, a serious offence. The penalties for plagiarism at LU are for example suspension between 2 weeks and 6 months.

Plagiarism – and how to avoid it

If you copy, paraphrase or translate materials from websites, or library or other sources in your written assignments or thesis without giving full and proper credit to the original author(s), you are committing plagiarism. Accusations concerning plagiarism are taken very seriously and the consequences for your academic career and professional future may be disastrous, involving not only the loss of credit for courses in which the offence occurred, but even suspension for a certain time from your degree programme, not to mention having to live with a lingering reputation for dishonesty. Submitting the work of others as if it were your own is unacceptable. Plagiarism must be understood and avoided at all costs.

Students should expect to have their papers checked for plagiarism electronically. Whenever you use the words or ideas of others, fair academic practice requires that you identify your sources fully and accurately. Simply mentioning an author’s work at the beginning of a paper does not mean that you are then free to copy or paraphrase from that work; specific references must be given each time you quote or paraphrase. The fair use of evidence from primary and secondary sources is the basis of academic discourse, and abuse of this fairness undermines the very nature of scholarly research. Although plagiarism is not always illegal (since copyright laws usually presume a financial motive), it is nevertheless a form of intellectual theft and fraud. By committing plagiarism you show disrespect for the fundamental values of the academic community.

If you find yourself in doubt about quotations or your use of sources, it is always a good idea to provide full information.

To learn more about LU policy about Academic honesty visit LUB’s page on Academic conduct: libguides.lub.lu.se/mastersprogrammes/academicwriting