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Plagiarism and cheating

Dalhousie University defines plagiarism as "the submission or presentation of the work of another as if it were one's own."


Plagiarism is a serious academic offence. A finding of plagiarism may result in a failing grade on an assignment or course or, if very serious, suspension or expulsion from the university.

 In fact, if plagiarism is discovered after a student has completed his or her studies, and the penalty results in that student no longer meeting the requirements of a degree that has been awarded, the university may rescind that degree.

Plagiarism could be unintentional — it’s possible you may have neglected to include quotation marks around someone else’s exact work and failed to cite them correctly. 

Examples of plagiarism

  • Failure to attribute authorship when using sources such as: 
    • Written or oral work
      • Includes books, journal articles, encyclopedias, websites, online term papers, emails.
    •  Computer codes/programs
    •  Artistic or architectural works
    •  Scientific projects
    •  Experiment results
    •  Lecture content
    •  Performances
    •  Web page designs
    •  Graphical representations
    •  Diagrams
    •  Videos
    •  Images
  • Downloading all or part of the work of another from the internet and submitting as one's own.
  • The use of a paper prepared by anyone other than the individual claiming to be the author. This includes papers created using artificial intelligence tools like ChatGPT.


Self-plagiarism is when, without authorization, you submit any of your own previous work that may have been submitted or performed by you in the past for any type of academic credit or as part of any employment within the university, such as research activity. Literally, you are stealing from yourself.

Why is self-plagiarism an issue?

Even if some changes are made to the work that was done in the past, the work that is being submitted for a second time is essentially the same as the work for which credit has already been received. That isn't right or fair. You can build on previous work, but it is dishonest to submit essentially the same work for credit twice. In doing so, you are not adding to your knowledge, and you are not contributing to the academic community of Dalhousie.


Plagiarism is just one type of academic dishonesty. Dalhousie’s Academic Calendar also identifies other types of cheating including:

  • Falsifying data in reports, theses, dissertations, and other presentations.
  • Attempting to complete, by irregular procedures, any requirements for a class (this may include attempts to cheat).
  • Collaborating on an assignment unless specifically allowed by the professor. 
  • Providing or obtaining access, without permission, to tests, assignments, essays, or term papers.
  • Writing an examination or test for someone else.
  • Attempting to obtain or accepting assistance from any other person during an examination or test.
  • Using or having material in an exam that is not specifically approved by the instructor. 
  • Obtaining a copy of an examination or test, topic for an essay or paper, or other work.
  • Submitting any work for academic credit when one is not the sole author or creator.
  • Submitting any work that has been previously accepted for academic credit (self-plagiarism).
  • Aiding in the commission of an academic offence by lending another student an assignment knowing that he or she may copy it for submission or allowing another student to copy answers during an examination. 
  • Providing false or misleading information during an investigation of a suspected academic offence.