What if… I’m caught with notes in an Exam?

Bringing in notes, cards, stuff scribbled on arms/legs etc., is Cheating!

Cheating is considered ‘academic misconduct’ and is treated very seriously by the DIT. Please do not cheat in your exam, no matter how worried you are or how little study you think you’ve done or how difficult you think the exam is going to be.

If you are caught with notes/cheats etc. you could at worst be expelled from DIT and at the very least you will have to repeat the exam with the possibility that your marks are capped at 40%. The incident may also become part of your academic record in DIT and therefore have serious implications for your future.

If you’re caught cheating you will most likely be bought before a Panel of Enquiry whose job it is to investigate the allegation. In this instance you should contact the Students’ Union for advice. Your Vice-president (education@ditsu.ie) or Mary Scally at academicaffairs@ditsu.ie can advise you in detail and attend the Panel of Enquiry with you, if you wish.

What’s Plagiarism?

Plagiarism is the passing off of another person’s work as your own. It includes copying without acknowledgement from a published source (print or electronic), or from unpublished sources (e.g. another student’s essay or notes). Plagiarism occurs when material is copied word for word, but not only in that circumstance. It also can occurs when the substance or argument of a text is copied even with some changes made, such as paraphrasing or translation, without acknowledgement.

Plagiarism includes unacknowledged use of material from books or periodicals, from the Internet, from grind tutors, or from other students, without full acknowledgement of the sources. Plagiarism is not confined to written assignments, projects or theses; it incorporates all academic work, including practical workshops, demonstrations, three dimensional work and artistic practice.

How do I avoid Plagiarism?


  • Acknowledge all the resources used in your work
  • Reference every source of information or ideas using in your work according to the specific guidelines set down for your programme


  • Pass off someone else’s work as your own
  •  Ask anyone to do work which you claim as your own
  •  Buy or copy work from electronic sources which you claim as your own.
  • Use another’s ideas as your own
What if I do it accidentally?

Plagiarism can be either an intentional act whereby work is deliberately utilised and claimed as one’s own, Or it can occur unintentionally either through bad academic practice or simply not finding out the college regulations. Ignorance is not a defence. At third level it is the students’ responsibility to make sure they comply with the rules and regulations.

Where can I get more information on how to avoid Plagiarism?

The best way to avoid plagiarism is to be informed. All DIT programmes have clear guidelines on Plagiarism so get the information from your lecturer and be sure you are using the correct referencing procedure for your programme. Ask them for guidelines. Look in your Programme document or Student Handbook and be clear about the particular referencing system for your programme.

Above all, clearly acknowledge all sources of information you have accessed during your work.

For more info: The Institutes Library Services have several useful texts on plagiarism and Library staff provide guidance on referencing and plagiarism.

Students may be asked to sign a declaration on all written assignments/theses submitted to verify that the work is not plagiarised. If such a declaration is not signed, however, students will still be subject to the assessment regulations governing plagiarism.

What will happen if I am accused of Plagiarism?

DIT considers plagiarism to be a serious academic offence. Suspected cases of plagiarism are always investigated and dealt with as breaches of the General Assessment Regulations. If an investigation by a Panel of Inquiry finds that you have plagiarised you could be suspended or expelled from DIT and at the very least you will have to redo the assignment at some stage – not necessarily in the next semester or academic year. The consequences can be quite serious so don’t do it!

Further Information

For any more information and advice on what to you if you are accused of plagiarising contact any Student AAdvisor(staff listing here or Mary Scally academicaffairs@ditsu.ie and they’ll be happy to help.