Good Academic Practice Tips

Good academic practice helps you develop your writing style and avoid any accidental plagiarism of sources.


Always try to:

  • Explain concepts and ideas in your own words – it gets easier with practice!

  • Avoid copying text word for word – better to avoid quotations where possible.

  • Use academic and trustworthy resources.

  • Fully reference the source of the ideas and quotations you use.

Have a look at ‘In your own words’, a website offering extra advice on good academic practice


Academic Support at QMU

The Effective Learning Service, based in the LRC, offers workshops and advice to help you improve your academic writing and study skills. Drop in or email to book an appointment.

The Library Services can also help you with referencing and sourcing trustworthy academic sources for your writing.   Ask to speak to your Liaison Librarian at the LRC desk.


Have you received a letter saying your work is suspected of plagiarism?

Queen Margaret University regulations define plagiarism as "The presentation by an individual of another person's ideas or work (in any medium, published or unpublished) as though they were his or her own."

Plagiarism is considered as a serious academic offence although it is acknowledged that it can be accidental.


Plagiarism can consist of

  • Poor academic referencing.

  • Copying the work, or just changing a few words, of another student’s work or academic resources

  • Submitting a similar piece of work, or part of the same, for two different assessments

  • Unauthorised collaboration with another student.


Need help?

If you received an e-mail or a letter from your programme leader informing you of alleged plagiarism contact the Help Zone on and we’ll help you through the process


Help Zone

The Help Zone is based in the QMUSU office based above Maggie’s Bar. We are here to listen to you and help you solve issues. If we can’t help you we will signpost you to the relevant services within Queen Margaret University and outcome campus. 




Registered address: The Students' Union, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, EH21 6UU              

Telephone: 0131 474 0000