Academic Integrity Policy
(Updated September 2018)
The School of English, Drama, Film, and Creative Writing expects students to uphold the highest standards of academic integrity and takes cases of plagiarism very seriously. Plagiarism, which can include the submission of your own work that you have already submitted for another assessment, is academic theft and a breach of UCD college discipline as outlined in Section 6.2 of the Student Code. The penalties for it are severe: marks will be deducted from essay, exam, and other assignment grades for plagiarism; in extreme cases, the penalties may extend to your exclusion from the programme. If you are ever unsure about what plagiarism is, please ask a member of the teaching staff to clarify the issues involved before you submit your work.
Ensuring the academic integrity of your work is a basic skill that all students must master as part of their degree programme. According to Oxford English Dictionary, plagiarism is “The action or practice of taking someone else’s work, idea, etc., and passing it off as one’s own; literary theft.”
- To safeguard the academic integrity of all the work that is submitted to the School of English, Drama, Film, and Creative Writing, you are required to sign a coversheet for your essay or thesis on which you declare that the work is your own or otherwise properly cited (coversheets are available from the School’s office).
- Plagiarism most often refers to the unacknowledged use of someone else’s ideas and words in your work. When you do not acknowledge the source(s) in your in-text citations and in your “Works Cited,” you are passing off someone else’s work as your own. There are no doubts in cases of plagiarism: if you rely on the ideas, words, phrases or longer blocks of text from someone else’s work, you must acknowledge it by providing an accurate and full account of your source(s); otherwise you have plagiarised your source(s). Sources of material include all printed and electronic publications as well as unpublished materials, including theses and essays, written by others. Of course, this also includes essays written by any other student(s) as well as your own work that you have already submitted for another assessment.
- The School may conduct an oral examination with the student to verify the source(s) of written work submitted.
- The School’s Academic Integrity Committee will interview students whose work contains evidence of plagiarism.
For further information, see the section on Requirements for the “Works Cited” Section of Assessments Submitted to English, Drama, Film and Creative Writing.
Here are some examples to guide your work:
In preparing an essay on Irish Drama, a student might make use of the following quotation and publication information:
“Even before the political violence erupted in Northern Ireland in 1969, Friel’s plays centered on an attachment to the local, to the small community, to the marginalised and border regions as opposed to the metropolitan center; it is one of the import ways in which he has come to be recognised as a postcolonial writer. His plays dramatise the poetics of the tribe, and they do so most often through an obsessive focus on its microcosm, the family.” (Anthony Roche, The Cambridge Companion to Brian Friel, Cambridge UP, 2006, p. 2.)
My point is that Friel’s plays centered on an attachment to the local.
Plagiarism is evident here because the source of your statement is not listed. You have directly quoted and relied on ideas from Anthony Roche’s essay, but have not acknowledged it.
It is fair to say that even before the political violence erupted in Northern Ireland, Friel’s plays centred on an attachment to the local and to the marginalised and border regions more than the cities. In many ways Friel is interested in tribes and families.
This is plagiarised as well because even though you have rewritten some of the quotation in your own words, you have not acknowledged the use of Anthony Roche’s words and ideas to make your argument.
According to Anthony Roche, “It is fair to say that even before the political violence erupted in Northern Ireland in 1969, Friel’s plays centered on an attachment to the local” (2). In this context, it is evident that Friel was a writer committed to issues of family and tribe, to the rural more than the urban, to borders more than centres.
In this example, some of the quotation is properly cited. However, ideas in the second sentence are clearly drawn from Roche’s essay, but without listing the source; this is also plagiarised work.
Example 4, Proper Citation:
According to Anthony Roche, “It is fair to say that even before the political violence erupted in Northern Ireland in 1969, Friel’s plays centered on an attachment to the local” (2). This is an important point in reading Friel. His plays consistently address small-town Ireland. Roche extends this reading by emphasising the importance of the “tribe” and the “family” (2). Representations of the family will be the focus of my study.
Anthony Roche’s work is relied on and properly cited in this example because you have given clear evidence of your use of Roche’s essay (the number 2, listed twice, indicates the relevant page from his book). Your work is this case will be complete when you add the publication details in your “Works Cited” section. The example here requires:
Roche, Anthony. “Introduction.” The Cambridge Companion to Brian Friel. Cambridge UP, 2006, pp. 1–17.
Example 5 Proper Citation:
As my essay examines the role of women in Brian Friel’s work, Anthony Roche’s analysis of the plays is important for my argument. In general terms, he emphasises that the local and the family are obsessively featured in Friel’s work (2). I seek to investigate that obsessive interest, but with a focus on the women in the families.
The work in this paragraph is not plagiarised because you have given clear evidence of your use of Roche’s essay, even though you have not used quotation marks, because the number 2 indicates the relevant page from his book. Your work is completed in this case when you add the publication details in your “Works Cited” section. The example here requires:
Roche, Anthony. “Introduction.” The Cambridge Companion to Brian Friel. Cambridge UP, 2006, pp.1–17.
These are some of the possible consequences of not upholding academic integrity:
- The module coordinator will send any essay in which all or some material appears to be plagiarised to the academic integrity committee that oversees such cases.
- The committee will request a meeting with the student.
- The committee will confirm whether or not plagiarism is evident in the essay. Essays in which all or some material has been plagiarised may be given a fail grade.
- The committee will also decide if further action is deemed necessary.
Directive against Self-Plagiarism
(Updated September 2018)
Students should be aware that they must avoid copying substantial elements of their own work by repeating material from one piece of assessment in another. In all major individual pieces of written assessment presented for a module in the School of English, Drama, Film and Creative Writing, students may not repeat material that they have already submitted for assessment as a substantial component of that or any other module. The School defines ‘substantial’ as a single piece of written work that is worth more than 10% of the final module grade; this does not usually include short writing exercises, texts of in-class presentations, etc., which count towards a Continuous Assessment grade. Plagiarising any work that has been submitted for assessment at undergraduate level for the BA or BAH is not permissible.
This directive is against clear duplication of material that has already been presented elsewhere for assessment in individual exam answers, essays or other major pieces of coursework. In other words, you cannot re-present what is effectively the same content, argument or analysis on the same material, such that it is obvious that two sets of marks are being sought for the same substantial piece of work.
As a general principle, students are encouraged to avoid working in the same area twice, as doing so may lead to the type of prohibited repetition. The nature of this problematic repetition needs to be understood: this directive does not preclude you from addressing the same genre, background information, critical perspective or even primary material which you may have treated in a substantial piece of assessment completed earlier for the same or another course. Rather, it indicates that the second time you address it for assessment purposes you should take this material in a clearly different direction. For example, a feminist theoretical perspective, or a certain piece of historical background, or information on genre conventions, may be pertinent to a wide range of potential exam and essay questions: overlap between two of these answers by the same student is perfectly acceptable as long as this overlap relates to how you set up the terms of their answer, or contextualise aspects of it, etc. Overlap is not acceptable, however, where the same argument on the same material is replicated in a substantive section of the answer in both pieces of assessment.
The key advice for students is that it is best if they engage with a fresh topic in each piece of major assessment. However, if you do treat the same material, which you have already handled on a previous occasion, you must take this material in a different direction to the one used in that earlier assessment.