Avoiding Academic Misconduct

Since the exams moved online a few years ago we have seen an increase in academic misconduct, find out how you can avoid academic misconduct.

Since the exams moved online a few years ago we have seen an increase in academic misconduct, much of which can be incidental due to the confusion over plagiarism when doing work online. With the majority of exams continuing online, this winter exam period, I wanted to outline why and how to avoid academic misconduct.

Some common cases of academic misconduct are plagiarism, collusion and using ghostwriters (read more here). If you are accused of doing one of these there will be an investigation, which can be a lengthy process. Waiting for the investigation results can cause issues for progressing to the next year of your course or starting internships that rely on your grades, there can be visa implications or delay your graduation – all in all situations you would rather avoid.

The important thing is to avoid academic misconduct in the first place. Below we have listed some ways to protect yourself and be prepared!

  • Be careful when using your own notes to answer questions, if you have copied sentences directly from your lecture notes or a textbook when making the notes then you will be at risk of plagiarising, make sure to follow the rules on quotes and citations from your module or course handbook.
  • If you and your coursemates have created notes together and then all copy sentences directly into your exam, it can appear as collusion (even though you haven’t discussed the exam and didn’t mean to!)
  • Self-plagiarism is when you copy work from a previous assignment (including work submitted at previous universities) and counts as plagiarism.
  • If you share your work with another student and they copy parts of it then you can be penalised for collusion even if you never see or copy their work.
  • Ghostwriters use the exam pressure students feel to make money but using one of these writers is not allowed and is easily detectible as they don’t use original content. Check out our article on Essay Mills for more information.
  • Don’t pay money for essay mills to read over your work or even write some, if you feel like you need help in reading or writing the university speak to the Academic Skills team or use the Smarthinking Tutoring!

The main point to take away is that any work you submit should be your own, in your own words, and reference where necessary. This article is just an overview of academic misconduct but to see the full picture there is an Academic Integrity module on QMPlus, which you can self-enrol on, click here.

If you’re worried about exams and want to find ways to improve your exam and academic skills then you can get support from the library or Smarthinking.




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