Our Library and Learning Support team have put together this useful information to help you avoid some of the common pitfalls students often make when writing assignments.
Here’s a quick run-down of the most common academic offences students make and how to avoid them:
Plagiarism: Often students plagiarise by accident because they don't understand how to reference properly. Don’t make this mistake - read this guide to avoiding plagiarism instead.
Self-Plagiarism or Duplication: Each assignment should be researched and written in its own right, so no cutting and pasting – and definitely no to submitting the same piece of work, or substantially similar piece of work, for different assignments.
Collusion: Avoid turning a group study session into an academic offence and complete our activity: avoiding plagiarism while working with other students.
Commissioning: This one is simple. You are not allowed to ask anyone else to do your work for you.
Commissioning essay writing services
If you ask someone else - either paid or unpaid - to produce academic work on your behalf, this is known as contract cheating. Contract cheating includes things like lab work or computer-related modules, but the most common form of contract cheating involves purchasing work from essay writing service companies.
These unethical essay writing services are normally accessed online and are sometimes promoted when deadlines are looming by face-to-face by touts, who position themselves in places where students congregate e.g. bus stops, uni building entrances. If you use these services, you will be committing an academic offence.
Academic offences and how you could be affected
All work submitted for an assignment must be your own, original, work - and therefore any outsourced work is considered contract cheating. If you outsource your work, you will not only fail that assessment, but may be expelled from university, so this is potentially very serious and may affect your future employment prospects.
Support with your academic assignments
If you need help with how to structure an essay, are you confused about plagiarism or are you panicking about giving a presentation, the team are there to help! As well as the guidance you’ll get from your faculty academics the team have added loads of wide range of study skills resources to the Study Skills tab on myBU, all designed to help you develop your self-managed learning skills, including:
- Academic writing
- Critical analysis
- Exam and revision techniques
- Avoiding plagiarism.
You can also book an appointment with your faculty library team using the contact details and availability information in the Library Tab on myBU, or have a chat with any of our staff next time you’re in either of our libraries.
You’ll find plenty of guidance on how to avoid the most common academic offences on our library pages as well as access the BU regulations on academic offences in the important information section of our website - alternatively download a copy.
Read other useful ‘how to’ guides in our library pages for advice of referencing and accessing e-resources.