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Comparative Constitutional Law

Academic Integrity

Law School Plagiarism Regulations

"Dalhousie University defines plagiarism as the presentation of the work of another author in such a way as to give one's reader reason to think it to be one's own. Plagiarism is a form of academic fraud."

Plagiarism is considered a serious academic offence which may lead to loss of credit, suspension or expulsion from the University, or even the revocation of a degree. In its grossest form plagiarism includes the use of a paper purchased from a commercial research corporation, or prepared by any person other than the individual claiming to be the author. Self‑plagiarism is the submission of work by a person which is the same or substantially the same as work for which he or she has already received academic credit." (Dal Academic Integrity Website)

Quoting, Paraphrasing, or Summarizing? What's the difference?

Quotations must be identical to the original, using a narrow segment of the source. They must match the source document word for word and must be attributed to the original author.

"Access to courts of justice is a fundamental right in western societies. The ability to stand before your accusers and offer evidence in your defense is essential to our right to security of the person. However important this right is, there exist in Canada gate-keeping mechanisms that historically and contemporarily limit a person’s access to this venue. One of these is the requirement of oaths in court."

Michels and Blaikie, L’État et la diversité culturelle et religieuse 1800-1914, (Quebec: Presses de l'Université du Québec, 2009) at 14.

Paraphrasing involves putting a passage from source material into your own words. A paraphrase must also be attributed to the original source. Paraphrased material is usually shorter than the original passage, taking a somewhat broader segment of the source, and condensing it slightly.

It is a fundamental right in the West to be able to personally defend yourself in courts of law. Michels and Blaikie identified court oaths in as gatekeeper mechanisms that have limited access throughout Canadian history.

Michels and Blaikie, L’État et la diversité culturelle et religieuse 1800-1914, (Quebec: Presses de l'Université du Québec, 2009).

Summarizing involves putting the main idea(s) into your own words, including only the main point(s). Once again, it is necessary to attribute summarized ideas to the original source. Summaries are significantly shorter than the original and take a broad overview of the source material.

Michels and Blaikie argue that oaths act as gate keeping mechanisms for the courts.

Michels and Blaikie, L’État et la diversité culturelle et religieuse 1800-1914, (Quebec: Presses de l'Université du Québec, 2009).

Adapted from Purdue Writing Lab: Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing.

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

The use of another's intellectual property such words, phrases, ideas, or thoughts, as well recorded or published works, without attributing the other's contribution is an ethical offense that can have professional as well as academic consequences. Taking credit for work completed by another or resubmitting your own work without acknowledging the previous use are also examples of plagiarism.

Dalhousie University Academic Integrity

Dalhousie provides a number of student and faculty resources on avoiding, preventing, and detecting plagiarism.

Where you publish and in what discipline will determine what citation style you use. Always refer to the publisher's information for prospective authors.

Common Citation Styles in Law

New Zealand Law Style Guide
2nd ed.
Web resource

Australian Guide to Legal Citation [PDF-3.7 MB]
3rd ed.
Web resource

Other Common Citation Styles

Academic Integrity : Online Module

Unsure about what requires attribution? Confused as to what constitutes plagiarism? The Writing Centre provides access to an online,scenario-based module designed to introduce students to Dalhousie's expectations of academic integrity.