In collaboration with the University, Guild Advice have created a universal resource that all Students can use to understand how to cite and reference correctly. Our aim is for Students to refer to the flow diagram when completing any piece of work. On the reverse we have also pulled together all of the University’s support guides around this subject area so you have everything in one place.

Plagiarism is taken very seriously at the University of Birmingham; so it’s important that you know what it is, how to avoid it and the support available to you if you are accused of plagiarism.

What is Plagiarism

Plagiarism is when work is submitted by a student that is not their own, but has been taken from another source. The source of the original material is then unknown to the marker, either by not referencing it properly, by paraphrasing it incorrectly or by not mentioning the original source at all.


Guild Advice Plagarism Campaign- Should I cite it side 1

Plagiarism can be…


  • Purchasing assignments or paying others to write your assignments
  • Re-using all or part of a previous assignment (also known as auto-plagiarism)
  • Copying the work of another student (past or present)
  • Cutting/copying/pasting material from the internet, text books or other sources

**The examples used in the lists above are not exhaustive**


  • Citing incorrectly or not knowing how to cite
  • Confusing notes for original ideas and not recording where the information originated from
  • Not understanding the use of “common knowledge”
  • Paraphrasing or summarising incorrectly

International Students

As an International Student you may be at a higher risk of plagiarising. This is often due to language barriers, unfamiliarity of referencing styles in the UK and different teaching and assessment methods to what you may be used to in your home country.

Read our ‘how to avoid plagiarism section’ for help and guidance.

How to avoid Plagiarism

By following a few easy guidelines when studying and completing assignments, you can be sure that your work and citations will be accurate.

  • TIME - Dedicate time to understand the referencing style and requirements of your course, completing your work and checking your work before you submit it. If you fall behind on your work contact your tutor and try to get an extension (apply through the extenuating circumstances procedure if required) 
  • SUPPORT – Utilise the academic support available to you and ask for help if you need it! 
  • TAKE NOTE - When researching or writing up notes, clearly distinguish references from your own words. Or if you are working in a group you may be able to share certain tasks such as researching information, but make sure that your work is your own.
  • REFERENCE CORRECTLYKnow your referencing style! Clearly indicate references and provide the sources - do this as you write your work; do not rely on adding them in at the end in case you miss some.
  • ASK YOURSELF – Is it worth the risk? If copying other’s work, online information, texts or other sources crosses your mind, consider the potential consequences of your actions.

Support & Resources

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How we support you

Guild Advice is a free, impartial and confidential advice service. If you have been accused of plagiarism we can support you through the process. We can provide advice and guidance to help you prepare for academic meetings and provide appropriate representation as and when required.

You can contact us by emailing or drop in and speak to an Advisor week days between 12pm & 2pm.  

The icite guide gives lots of examples of how to cite and reference using different referencing styles.

Subject Support gives access to information on specialist subject databases, referencing software and advice about searching for information and how to contact your Subject Advisor to book an individual appointment.

Cite Them Right Online provides lots of help on citing and referencing, you can also search for topics such as secondary referencing.

Academic Skills Gateway has a wide range of help on academic writing, citing and referencing, note taking, etc. Gives access to self-spaced online courses, which allows you to dip in and out of courses/information as and when required.

Academic Skills Centre gives practical help on academic writing, referencing, note taking, exam techniques etc. You can book onto workshops or book an individual appointment.

The BIA In sessional Programme provides Synthesise for Success, 1-1 English and AskEnglish! to help international students avoid plagiarism.

UoB Guidance on Plagiarism defines plagiarism, avoiding plagiarism and practical information on plagiarism with UoB.


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