How to write academic text and avoid cheating and plagiarism

Cheating and plagiarism can have serious consequences for you as a student. That's why it's so important that you know the permitted aids for your exam and how to write and cite correctly.

Avoid cheating and plagiarism

Examination spring 2020

Digital home exam might be a new and different way of doing your exam. Unlike in a school exam, you will be in a situation where there is no control of aids intended to be unavailable. Please note that the same rules as always apply to plagiarism and cheating and the consequences of such actions, and we would like to encourage fairness in a situation where we all have to cooperate and do our best to ensure a fair examination and assessment. This requires that we all follow an ethic in which the community is of a greater importance than the individual performance.


  • It is important that you familiarize yourself with what aids that are permitted for your exams and to make sure that you don't use any other aids. and
  • It is also important that you learn how to write and cite correctly.
  • We encourage you to read the information on this page about cheating and plagiarism. You can also find links to useful tools and digital resources.
  • Cooperating with anyone is only allowed if this is specifically stated as permitted for your exam. You will find information about permitted aids in the course room in Canvas, the aids should also be stated on your exam questions.
  • NMBU defines cheating as “any act aimed at giving the student an unwarranted study result or an unjustified advantage in evaluating the student achievement.” Any form of plagiarism is considered cheating under NMBU’s examination guidelines.
  • Plagiarism can be directly copying or partially reproducing another person’s work or ideas and presenting these works or ideas as your own original work. The most common form of plagiarism occurs when you use another person's work or ideas without indicating the original source where you acquired this information from. When using information another person’s work (written or otherwise), it is important that you include both an in-text citation and a bibliographic reference to the original information source. The NMBU library provides manuals on correct citation and referencing styles and their standards where you can learn how to properly cite and reference.
  • Reusing your own writing from earlier assignments and/or examinations also qualifies as plagiarism. This reuse of your own work is considered self-plagiarism, however you can avoid self-plagiarism by using new information sources to reformulate your written ideas. If you reuse any parts of your own text you must remember to cite your own work correctly.

How to write academic text

Learn more about how to cite and wright correctly . Please also use the e-learning tool Write and cite.

What is cheating and plagiarism?

Cheating is any act aimed at giving the student an unwarranted study result or an unjustified advantage in evaluating the student achievement.

Examples of cheating are listed in this section. The list is not exhaustive.

  • Breach of the exam regulations at NMBU may be cheating.
  • Cheating may consist in acquiring knowledge of the exam questions prior to the start of the exam with the intention of taking advantage of the knowledge during the exam.
  • Actions that on a false basis aim at giving a student benefits during the exam in the form of extended time or additional aids may be cheating.
  • Cheating may be to manipulate the submitted exam answers for the purpose of obtaining a better mark.
  • Cheating may consist in obtaining access to aids that are not permitted by NMBU's provided aid codes for the relevant written exam. This applies irrespective of whether the illegal aid consists of paper, mobile phone or other equipment, and regardless of whether the aid is in the exam room or other places where the candidate can obtain access to the aid during the exam.
  • Cheating may consist in the fact that a submitted assignment has been prepared by another person than the one listed as the examinee.
  • Plagiarism is cheating. Examples of plagiarism: Reproduction or quotes from books, articles, websites, own or others' assignments, use of images, graphs and the like without source reference, quotation mark or other acknowledgment in the text / picture / drawing showing where the material is taken from.
  • Cheating may consist in the fact that a written answer has been used by the examinee himself for a previous examination, unless such use is agreed upon with the course responsible.

More examples of cheating and plagiarism

  • Use of mobile phones or other electronic devices during your exam
  • Answers/hand-ins copied from the Internet and completely or partially submitted as one's own work
  • Answers/hand-ins that have completely or partially been used by another person at an earlier examination submitted as one's own work
  • Answers/hand-ins that have completely or partially been prepared by another person submitted as one's own work
  • Answers/hand-ins that have completely or partially been used by the student at an earlier examination without proper acknowledging the source
  • Submitted practical or artistic work that has been produced by someone else than the student submitted as one's own work
  • Reproduction/quotations from textbooks, other scientific books, other's exams/papers, texts published on the Internet, etc. that are presented without any source reference and without clearly indicating that the text in question is a reproduction/quotation.
  • Non-permitted examination support materials used during an examination or test


As a student, you are responsible for becoming thoroughly acquainted with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. The same applies to the use of examination support materials. If you are unsure about which rules apply, we encourage you to contact the course responsible or student advisor at your department.

The NMBUs appeals committee decides on the sanctions to be imposed for cheating. The Norwegian Act Relating to Universities and University Colleges of 1 April 2005, section 4-7 and relevant subsections under section 4-8 has provisions stating that cheating can lead to the annulment of examinations and the exclusion of the student.


Published 27. October 2014 - 10:22 - Updated 18. May 2020 - 13:09