What is plagiarism?

The word “plagiarise” comes from the Latin word plagium which means “the act of kidnapping”. Kidnapping is “snatching” or “taking furtively and illicitly that which is not your own”.

Applied to intellectual property, it is the appropriation of another’s work without proper acknowledgement.

Plagiarism Definition:  is the act of taking words, ideas and thoughts of others and passing them off as your own. It is dishonest and punishable to represent as your own ideas, words and academic work that belong to another person, whether unintentionally or deliberately.

Consequences: serious academic offence that can lead to the rejection of your dissertation or research project.


VUT Plagiarism Policy

  • Students are reminded that they must give credit to the sources they use.  The following are regarded as plagiarism:
  • Copying words or ideas without giving credit.
  • Failing to put a quotation in quotation marks.
  • Giving incorrect information about the source of a quotation.
  • Turning in someone else’s work as your own.
  • It involves stealing someone else’s work and lying about it afterwards.



  • Turnitin is an anti-plagiarism software or originality checking software that assist detect plagiarism before submitting your work. It compares your research work against over 12 billion web pages, and millions of other books, journals, newspapers, and other student papers.
  • Once your work is loaded on Turnitin, results are returned in the form of customized originality reports. Any text matches found in Turnitin database are highlighted and linked to the source. Originality reports allow the supervisor or faculty to determine of whether plagiarism has occurred or not.
  • Students are encouraged to check their work on Turnitin before submitting.
  • Should you need training on using Turnitin, kindly contact your Faculty Information Librarian.

For more information consult VUT Higher Degrees Guide