NUS Plagiarism Policy

All students share the responsibility for upholding the academic standards and reputation of the University. Academic honesty is a prerequisite condition in the pursuit and acquisition of knowledge. Academic dishonesty is any misrepresentation with the intent to deceive or failure to acknowledge the source or falsification of information or inaccuracy of statements or cheating at examinations/tests or inappropriate use of resources. There are many forms of academic dishonesty and plagiarism is one of them. Plagiarism is generally defined as ‘the practice of taking someone else’s work or ideas and passing them off as one’s own’ (The New Oxford Dictionary of English). The University does not condone plagiarism.

Students should adopt this rule:

You have the obligation to make clear to the assessor which is your own work, and which is the work of others. Otherwise, your assessor is entitled to assume that everything being presented for assessment is being presented as entirely your own work.

This is a minimum standard. In addition, we hope that the following guidelines will provide you with some assistance.

» When using the ideas, phrases, paragraphs and data of others in work presented for assessment, such materials should be appropriately credited and acknowledged, so that it is clear that the materials being presented is that of another person and not the candidate's own.

The amount of detail required when referencing and acknowledging a source will vary according to the type of work and norms of the discipline.

Supervised exams will require less detail in referencing and acknowledgement.

Papers written other than under exam conditions will require a full citation of the source. While a particular style of citation is not prescribed, the citation should provide enough information for the reader to locate the source.

» Research materials (including texts, graphics and data) obtained from the internet or other electronic resources should be treated in the same way as research materials obtained from traditional sources.

Any student found to have committed or aided and abetted the offence of plagiarism may be subject to disciplinary actions in accordance with Section 3 (l) of Statute 6 (Discipline with Respect to Students) of the National University of Singapore Statutes and Regulations. Statute 6 is available at In addition, the student may receive no mark/grade for the relevant academic assignment, project, or thesis; and he/she may fail or be denied a grade for the relevant subject or module.

A student may not knowingly intend to plagiarise, but that should not be used as an excuse for plagiarism. Students should seek clarifications from their respective tutors, lecturers or supervisors if they are unsure whether or not they are plagiarizing the work of another person. All students are also encouraged to consult the following link on how on how to avoid plagiarism: 


In addition to the University's Plagiarism Warning above, Law students should observe the following guidelines that are specific to the norms of our discipline:

» Common law legal method requires the lawyer to reason and/or argue from authority. Therefore, in many assignments, law students will be encouraged to quote or paraphrase the opinions of judges, leading textbook writers, academics and other sources to support their reasoning. The general principle in legal writing is that the writer need not refrain from citing others' ideas but must use proper quotation and citation format to give credit to the source of the quote, idea or argument.
» When drafting legal documents (e.g., contracts), one important objective may be the desire to achieve stability and predictable outcomes. Therefore, in some assignments, law students may be instructed to base their draft documents on precedents and samples provided or suggested by the teacher. For these kinds of assignments, students need not acknowledge the precedents.
» If students have written a paper for one course, they cannot submit any part of that paper as original work for another course. If students wish to use their own previous work, they must use proper quotation and citation format to identify that previous source.

Law students should also note that teachers may sometimes set specific parameters for assignments that depart from the general rule in order to achieve specific learning outcomes. For example, teachers may assign group-work or teachers may require students to rewrite their assignments and may, in this process, permit students to refer (without attribution) to their own previous work as well as the work of other students.

If in doubt, consult the teacher. For more information on plagiarism, you may seek guidance and clarifications from the Centre for Development of Teaching and Learning (CDTL) -