Effective May 2005. Last revised March 2024.

Ngee Ann Polytechnic Plagiarism Policy

The Polytechnic regards all forms of academic dishonesty with equal seriousness. Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to:

1. Plagiarism Definition

Plagiarism occurs if you copy any part of a source and then submit it, claiming that it is your own work. Such items could include:

The original sources could include books, journal articles, a classmate’s assignment or project, textbooks, the Internet, CDs, CD-ROMs, DVDs, magazines, newspapers, radio, charts, graphs, lyrics, lines of a poem, illustrations, graphics, collection of audio samples, software, etc.

All work that you submit must be your own. You cannot gain credit from the hard work of others. When you submit any assignment at Ngee Ann Polytechnic, you are claiming that the work is entirely your own (except where you have properly quoted or paraphrased from other sources and given proper recognition to the sources).

2. Acceptable Practice

Of course, we want you to read extensively to learn more about a topic before writing your assignments. You may do the following:

3. Referencing Style

The recommended referencing style to be used across the Polytechnic is APA (American Psychological Association) style. Explanatory examples can be found at APA style.

Some schools in the Polytechnic may require a different referencing style and you will be informed accordingly. For example, in the school of LSCT, the preferred referencing style is Harvard.

Proper citation is important since it:

4. Turnitin

Turnitin is an on-line database that can detect similarities in student submissions. It will help to detect:

4.1 Similarity Reports

Turnitin provides a Similarity Report indicating the proportion of an assignment that has been copied from other sources. It is up to a (human) tutor to determine if plagiarism has actually occurred, by determining if the copied passages were properly referenced in the body of the assignment and in the reference list at the end.

4.2 What Percentage of Copying is Plagiarism?

Many students and staff are concerned that Turnitin will indicate trivial cases (just a few words being identical to another source, which is quite possible by chance) and imply that it is plagiarism. However, experience shows that Turnitin will only flag cases where there is reasonable doubt that a particular passage is authentic.

While it is up to the professional judgement of the tutor to decide if plagiarism has occurred, a general rule of thumb for text-based assignments is that if you copy, without appropriate referencing, one or more complete phrases or sentences from an existing work, plagiarism has occurred.

For specific examples, see: Examples

In the case of media-based assignments, unreferenced copying of any or all of an existing work will be considered as plagiarism.

When you submit your assignment through Turnitin, you will be agreeing that the assignment that you are about to submit will be checked for plagiarism by Turnitin. By submitting, you are claiming that all of the work is your own and that any sources you have used are properly referenced.

In the case of hardcopy or non-text submissions, you will need to sign a plagiarism detection statement for that assignment.

5. Discipline Procedure


If it is determined that plagiarism has occurred, the following penalties will apply.

First Instance of Committing Plagiarism
The tutor will interview the student involved in the instance of plagiarism. If the tutor is not satisfied with the student’s explanation, and determines that plagiarism has occurred, the student will receive zero mark for the assignment. No resubmission of the assignment will be allowed.

Second Instance of Committing Plagiarism
The case will be referred to the School Disciplinary Committee, which will consider the case and may interview the student(s) involved. If it is a proven second case, the student will receive zero marks for that module.

Third Instance of Committing Plagiarism
The case will be referred to the NP Disciplinary Committee for its deliberation. This may result in dismissal from the Polytechnic.


  • Tommy Tan plagiarised in an assignment for Individual and the Community in Level 1.1. As a result, he was given zero mark for that assignment.
  • He again plagiarised in Basic Thermofluids in Level 1.2. He was awarded zero mark for that module and hence failed Basic Thermofluids.
  • He did a group project in Computer Programming in Level 2.1. The portion that he submitted was found to be identical to that of Larry Lim’s in another class.
  • Tommy Tan was referred to the NP Disciplinary Committee as this was his third instance of committing plagiarism.
  • Larry Lim had abetted Tommy by providing his work to be plagiarised. As it was Larry’s first instance of plagiarism, so he scored zero mark for his project in Computer Programming.

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