Current Students


Plagiarism in Assessments


Plagiarism is defined as “direct copying of textual material or wilful use of other people’s data and ideas, and presenting them as one’s own without acknowledgement, whether or not such materials, data and ideas have been published” (See Regulation 6 of the Regulations Governing Students' Academic Conduct Concerning Assessment). Furthermore, in November 2018, the University approved an amendment modifying the definition of plagiarism to include self-plagiarism, which is “the reuse of one’s own work without acknowledging that such work has been submitted elsewhere” (Section 2 of “Policy on Student Plagiarism in Undergraduate and Taught Postgraduate Curricula”). All references to plagiarism herein should be understood to include self-plagiarism.

Plagiarism is a very serious offense. Coursework or dissertations submitted for assessment and examination purposes must be the student’s own work and properly acknowledge all sources. Any passages quoted must be clearly marked as quotations and properly attributed to the authors concerned (according to established academic conventions). Paraphrases or summaries of other people’s work or ideas must also be properly acknowledged and documented.

Students are responsible for keeping themselves informed of the Faculty's policy and protocol, and to ensure that any work submitted for grading is free of plagiarism.

Good Citation Practice

Student submissions should properly acknowledge all sources referenced within through citation. The main function of citation is to inform the reader that quotes and ideas found in a piece of submitted work originated from another source. Failure to properly credit a source constitutes plagiarism.

There are several widely-used formats for citation. When unsure, students should confirm with their teachers which style is the most appropriate for their purpose.

Bibliographical Information

It is common practice to provide a full list of works cited at the end of any submitted work. Below are examples of entries in a Works Cited section, in accordance with the guidelines established in the eighth edition of the Modern Language Association (MLA) citation style.

  • For a printed work with a single author

Bogg, Daisy. Report Writing for Social Workers. 2nd ed., Open University Press, McGraw-Hill Education, 2016.

  • For a printed work with more than one author

Cummins, Chris, and Napoleon Katsos. The Oxford Handbook of Experimental Semantics and Pragmatics. First ed., Oxford University Press, 2019.

  • For an online article on a web page

Strochlic, Nina. “The Race to Save the World’s Disappearing Languages.” National Geographic. 16 Apr. 2018. Accessed 10 Oct. 2018.

For more information, students may refer to this guide to the MLA citation style.

In-text Citation

Aside from the bibliographical information, it is also necessary to indicate referenced sources in the body of the text, whether quoting directly or paraphrasing. The reader should be able to discern whether this idea is an original thought, or the work of someone else. In-text citation should be used in conjunction with a bibliography.

In-text citation can be achieved in several ways:

  • With direct quotations, it is necessary to provide both the last name and the page number in the sentence.

According to Smith, “X comprises Y and Z” (201).


X must be greater than Y or Z since “X comprises Y and Z” (Smith 201).

  • It is also necessary to cite the source when paraphrasing or summarizing someone else’s ideas:

This can be due to the fact that Y is a part of X (Smith 201).

By providing both the name and the page number in the body of the text, the reader is able to locate the origin of the idea.

Bear in mind that this is simply a brief list of examples. There are many ways for a student to cite a source in the body of the text. For discipline-specific practices, your teachers will be able to provide you with more guidance. Always consult a teacher or tutor when in doubt.

Other Resources

School of Chinese

School of English

Department of Fine Arts​

HKU Libraries

HKU Teaching & Learning

Citation practices may vary from discipline to discipline. Students with questions concerning Programme-specific citation style should consult the course teacher(s) involved.