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Many Universities have strict codes of conduct for dealing with cases of Academic Plagiarism.  In the National University of Ireland Galway as with many other colleges, there is a set procedure that is followed when dealing with cases of plagiarism.  (NUI Galway, 2003)

If it is a minor offence the lecturer will have an interview with the offender.  If after investigation, the lecturer is satisfied that a major offence has occurred, the advisor is to choose between three courses of action, depending on the severity of the offence.

  1. An opportunity to repeat and resubmit the work, but where the maximum mark that can be awarded is the pass mark appropriate to the module; 
  2. The immediate imposition of an academic penalty, which would normally be the award of zero marks to the plagiarised work, with no option to resubmit the work;
  3. The submission of the case for consideration by the University’s Discipline Committee.

There are different software’s that are used to detect Plagiarism.

Turnitin is a program that some of our lecturers require us to use.  They are one of the top global academic plagiarism prevention solution and originality tools. According to  Turnitin also has a version of software called WriteCheck which for students where as there is also a specific Turnitin for Admissions.  iThenticate is a professional plagiarism checker which is aimed more towards publishers and researchers.

Every individual who chooses to go down the road of plagiarising has their own individual reason to do so. Some of which are mentioned below.

The pressures put on students to get top grades, be it their parents, college or they themselves can be immense. The fear of not getting a job, and therefore having no money is a big worry. They don’t care about what they learn as long as they get the grade.

Some people may not have the necessary researching and writing skills. They may not know how to search through library catalogues or reference where they got their information.  They could be taking direct quotes from a lecturer to use in their work, not knowing that this is not allowed.

Many people may be under the perception that everything posted online is public knowledge. A lot of people have the idea that everything that’s posted online is public knowledge and use this in their work. They do not realise that they have to reference this work.

Some people just do it because they can. If the resources are there for a student to get the maximum grade for the least amount of effort then why not. If students spends a lot of time playing sports or doing loads of other extracurricular activities for the college then they may feel they don’t have the time or energy to put in the extra effort of doing the work themselves.

(University of Alberta, 2011)

Plagiarism is defined as:

‘ the unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one’s own original work, as by not crediting the author’: (

 to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one’s own : use (another’s production) without crediting the source’: (The Merriam Webster Dictionary)

Plagiarism is the act of copying, including or directly quoting from, the work of another without adequate acknowledgement. The submission of plagiarised materials for assessment purposes or for publication or for public presentation is fraudulent and all suspected cases will be investigated and dealt with appropriately by the University following the procedures outlined here and with reference to the Disciplinary Code.”  ( NUI Galway,  September 2003)