Key dates

School of Biological Sciences contacts & information

Collecting your Student Card

Choosing course units

Advice on choosing course units
Changing course units
Online Health & Safety Course Unit
Reading Lists

Elearning (Blackboard)

Laboratory Projects

Work & Attendance


Use of Dictionaries in Examinations
Examination Timetables
Examination Results/Transcripts
University Examinations Policies and Information

Help with English – The University Language Centre

Student Services Centre

Academic malpractice

Learning Resources

Immigration Information

Key Dates

Semester Dates & Holidays

2018/19 academic year
Semester 1 starts 17 September 2018
Christmas break starts 14 December 2018
Christmas break ends 13 January 2019
Semester 1 exams 14–25 January 2019
Semester 1 ends 27 January 2019
Semester 2 starts 28 January 2019
Easter break starts 6 April 2019
Easter break ends 28 April 2019
Semester 2 exams 13 May – 5 June 2019
Semester 2 ends 7 June 2019


2019/20 academic year
Semester 1 starts 16 September 2019
Christmas break starts 13 December 2019
Christmas break ends 19 January 2020
Semester 1 exams 13–24 January 2020
Semester 1 ends 25 January 2020
Semester 2 starts 27 January 2020
Easter break starts 30 March 2020
Easter break ends 17 April 2020
Semester 2 exams 11 May – 5 June 2020
Semester 2 ends 6 June 2020

Deadlines for changing course units:
Level 1 course units: end of the second week of teaching in each semester
Level 2 course units: end of the second week of teaching in each semester
Final level course units: end of the second week of each ‘early’ semester unit; end of the first week of each ‘late’ semester unit

Examination results:
Semester 1 examinations: late February
Semester 2 examinations: early-mid July
Resit examinations: mid-September

Back to top

School of Biological Sciences contacts & information

The Incoming Exchange Coordinator for the School of Biological Sciences is Anne Pinkerton (anne.pinkerton@manchester.ac.uk).

For general information about studying at the University and living in Manchester, please visit the University’s main website at www.manchester.ac.uk/aboutus/

Information of particular interest to international students can be found at www.manchester.ac.uk/international/

Back to top

Collecting your Student Card

Once you have registered fully online, you can collect your student ID card from the Student Services Centre, number 57 on the campus map. WHEN COLLECTING YOUR CARD, PLEASE MAKE SURE THAT YOU HAVE YOUR PASSPORT/ID CARD WITH YOU. If you require a bank letter to open a bank account you can request one when you collect your student ID card.

Further details about collecting student cards can be found here: http://www.manchester.ac.uk/study/international/arrival/

Back to top

Choosing course units

Information on the course units offered by the School of Biological Sciences can be found on our website at https://www.bmh.manchester.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/visiting-students/

Each module guide includes descriptions of the course units, how many credits they carry, assessment details, preliminary reading etc.

Semesters – Course units ending in ‘1’ e.g. BIOL31301 take place in semester 1 only and course units ending in ‘2’ e.g. BIOL21132, take place in semester 2 only. Course units ending in ‘0’ run during both semesters. Please bear this in mind when choosing your course units, especially if you are applying to come to Manchester for one semester only – if your exchange is for a single semester rather than a full year you may only choose course units ending with the relevant semester number. Most of our units are worth 10 UK credits but you should check the individual course unit specifications for their credit ratings.

You should take no more than 120 UK credits (60 ECTS credits) for a full academic year, and no more than 60 UK credits (30 ECTS credits) for a single semester. Most course units are 10 UK credits each, however, some units do carry more credits (e.g. project units, some HSTM units). Please check credit values when you are selecting units to ensure you will have an appropriate workload i.e. 50-60 UK credits per semester.

Students are required to attend lectures, seminars, practicals and tutorials, according to the individual course unit requirements.

Advice on Choosing Course Units

Please ensure that you discuss your choice of course units with the academic adviser at your home University. You must make sure that the units you take at The University of Manchester are approved for credit transfer.

When choosing your units, you should also bear in mind that you may be unable to take certain combinations of units due to ‘clashes’ (units taking place at the same time, on the same day). You may therefore find it helpful to select some additional units in advance as alternatives.

Timetables for the relevant academic year and timetables will be sent to you by email prior to your School registration meeting to assist you in choosing your course units as accurately as possible before you arrive at the University.

Changing Course Units

You can change, add or drop course units after registering on them, but only within the first two weeks of the unit (see ‘Key Dates’ page), and subject to the availability of other course units.

You must seek approval from your home Coordinator if you wish to change any of the course units.

Online Health & Safety Course Unit

As part of your induction to the School of Biological Sciences you are required to complete an online Health & Safety course, BIOL12000. You will be automatically enrolled on this course unit. The course is compulsory and will be accessed via Blackboard (see section below on ‘eLearning’). The course does not carry any credits but will be assessed.

The purpose of the course is to:

  • Provide you with appropriate information on the health & safety policies and procedures in place
  • Encourage good practice and set a high standard of health and safety at all times
  • Ensure you are aware and understand health & safety procedures and information
  • Enable you to take care of your health and safety and that of othes who may be affected by your actions

The course is split into 3 sections (below) followed by an online assessment:



  1. University Standards
  2. On-campus health and safety
  3. Good lab practice do’s and don’ts


All Sections of the course are compulsory and at the end of the course you will find an assessment, which must be fully completed with 100% achieved to pass the course. You can view your scores in the ‘My grades’ tool in the left hand menu.

The Health & Safety Course must be completed by the following deadlines:

Semester 1 and Full year exchange students:                       30 September
Semester 2 exchange students:                                                    31 January


Each course unit you are enrolled on is expected to require 100 hours work, which includes 22 to 25 hours of lectures. For each hour of lectures per week, you are expected to spend a further 3 hours on personal study.

Reading Lists

Lecturers often provide a reading list for specific lectures and you should make every effort to read the articles they mention and use them to answer exam questions. Reading relevant material that you are guided to by your lecturer is an essential part of your studies and will help you to gain improved understanding and knowledge of the subject, as well as providing you with vital preparation for your exams. One lecture unit is expected to represent 100 hours of work by you, of which reading is an integral part. If you are unsure about any aspect of this, you should ask the Unit Coordinator or lecturer concerned.

Back to top

Elearning (Blackboard)

As a student at the University of Manchester, you will find that most of your units contain sections of work that you have to complete online (known as electronic (e)Learning). The University uses a website-like environment for this called Blackboard.

Online eLearning support for your course means that it is easy to fit your learning into your everyday life, as you can complete the work from almost any computer in the world with an internet connection.

Your eLearning work will often have strict deadlines and marks will be awarded for successful completion of assessments. Every Blackboard course is different, so read the rules regarding the course before you start, to ensure that you don’t miss any work.

Technical support from the eLearning team is available between 9am and 5pm on all working days. This is accessible by selecting ‘eLearning Support’ and then ‘eLearning enquiries’ from the menu bar on the left of your online courses; the eLearning team will reply to your University email address.

More information on eLearning will be available on the Blackboard area of individual courses.

Back to top

Laboratory Projects

Laboratory projects can be self-arranged (by you) prior to your arrival in Manchester or allocated to you shortly before you start your time in Manchester. If you wish to self-arrange a project, the best way to find a member of staff who does research of interest to you is to visit our website at:
https://www.bmh.manchester.ac.uk/research/  You should send an email and a one-page CV to a few prospective supervisors, highlighting your technical and lab experience. Be very clear about when you would start the project, when you would finish the project, and whether you are taking teaching units or not. Once an academic has agreed to supervise your project, you must inform Anne Pinkerton (anne.pinkerton@manchester.ac.uk) about who your supervisor will be.  If you would like us to allocate a project to you, you should let Anne know which areas of research you are interested in and we will do our best to find a suitable supervisor for you.

The start time, amount and scheduling of the work will depend on your particular project and supervisor – your start and finish dates will be agreed with your supervisor before your project begins. Please note that all work in University laboratories must be supervised, with the timing agreed by mutual consent with your supervisor.

There are three course units for exchange students who wish to undertake a project:

  1. BIOL40031 (40 UK credits) is taken in semester 1 and represents 2 to 3 days per week during 3 months. Up to 2 lecture units will normally be taken at the same time.
  1. BIOL40032 (40 UK credits) is taken in semester 2 and represents 2 to 3 days per week during 3 months. Up to 2 lecture units will normally be taken at the same time.
  1. BIOL40030 (60 UK credits) is for full-time projects of 6 months (or less) and can be taken by students on a single semester exchange. This course unit is for students who wish to undertake a project only, with no teaching and no course units.

Structure and timing of projects

The start time, amount and scheduling of the work will depend on your particular project and supervisor – your start and finish dates will be agreed with your supervisor before your project begins.

Doing the project

You are advised to discuss the aims and objectives of the project with your supervisor before the start of the project. Agree the days and times of the week you will work on the project. This allotted time should include some time for library work, data analysis and the commencement of writing. You should not feel pressured to work more than the allotted time but may do so if both you and your supervisor consider that the benefits will outweigh the disadvantages (e.g. less time spent on unit work).

Back to top

Work & Attendance

Each student’s attendance is recorded and monitored across their programme of study.

If you have entered the UK on a Tier 4 visa, continued non-attendance will result in you being reported to the UKBA – the UKBA will then cancel your visa and permission to be in the UK will be revoked.

Teaching methods at the University of Manchester
Please see the University website for a description of the different teaching methods which may be used at the University of Manchester: http://www.manchester.ac.uk/undergraduate/studentlife/teachingandlearning/teaching/

Back to top


The majority of first semester course units are examined in January and year-long and second semester units are examined in May/June.

You are not in a position to negotiate the way you are assessed on a course unit. So if assessment is normally an examination, you must sit the examination! Please note that alternative assessment is NOT an option and you must not try to negotiate it.

It is essential that all assessed coursework is submitted on time. If you require an extension to the submission deadline of a piece of coursework, you must seek an extension BEFORE THE DAY. Further information about this can be found in the School of Biological Sciences Student Handbooks.

Hand completing a multiple choice exam.


Use of Dictionaries in Examinations

As an exchange/Jilin Tang Class student, you are permitted to use a language translation dictionary (dictionaries which give equivalent words or phrases in two languages, without further explanatory text or description) in examinations, provided your first language is not English. For further information see the University’s policy on dictionaries in exams at:


Shortly before each exam period the School will provide a letter for you confirming that you are an exchange/Jilin Tang Class student. It is your responsibility to take this letter to all examinations to certify that you may use a translation dictionary. 

Please note: This type of dictionary cannot be borrowed from the University Library – you may therefore wish to purchase your own language translation dictionary in your home country or when you arrive in Manchester.

Examination Timetables
You will be able to access a personalised exam timetable shortly before the examination period. Details of how to do this will be provided at that time.

Examination Results / Transcripts
At the end of your study period in Manchester, we will provide you with a report of the results you have obtained in each course unit you have studied. Any exams that you do not attend will be marked on your report as a ‘FAIL’. Transcripts cannot be sent out until all Examination Boards have taken place and marks confirmed. This is normally the beginning of July.

University Examinations Policies and Information
For information about University policies, please see:

Back to top

Help with English (The University Language Centre)

The University Language Centre provides a range of English language support services for registered students whose first language is not English. These include classes in Academic Writing, Speaking and Listening, which are free of charge.

The Language Centre also provides an English language proficiency testing service for international students, which you must complete and you must take any language courses that are subsequently recommended to you after you have received your test results. Details about the English language proficiency test can also be found at http://www.langcent.manchester.ac.uk/english/academicsupport/testing-service/

If you wish to take any English Language courses with the School of Languages, or to prepare for a Cambridge ESOL qualification, you must take this test, regardless of any other tests you may have taken elsewhere.

Further information about the Language Centre and the support offered can be found at http://www.langcent.manchester.ac.uk/english/academicsupport/

The Language Centre also provides links to online resources that can help you improve your English language ability http://www.langcent.manchester.ac.uk/elplinks/

If you have any queries or are interested in courses with the Language Centre, please use the relevant contact details found at http://www.langcent.manchester.ac.uk/aboutus/contact/

Back to top

Student Services Centre

The University’s Student Services Centre (SSC) is an excellent source of help and information for all students. It is located on Burlington Street (number 57 on the Campus Map) and can be contacted on Tel. +44 (0)161 http://www.campus.manchester.ac.uk/ssc/

The SSC also has an International Team, who can provide help and information on a range of issues that may affect you during your stay in Manchester. Details of their services can be found at http://www.manchester.ac.uk/international/supportservices/adviceRezeption

Back to top

Academic malpractice

The School of Biological Sciences operates an electronic detection system for suspected cases of academic malpractice. Your work may be submitted to this system if an academic feels there is reason to believe you may have committed plagiarism in your work. You may be required to attend a formal meeting, the result of which could mean a mark of zero in the unit concerned.

These topics form an important part of the first stage of the Critical Writing Skills module (BIOL21701) but general guidelines and advice are given hereunder.

Plagiarism is a serious offence – it is treated as seriously as cheating in exams.

  1. As a student, you are expected to cooperate in the learning process throughout your programme of study by completing assignments of various kinds that are the product of your own study or research. Coursework, dissertations and essays submitted for assessment must be your own work, unless in the case of group projects a joint effort is expected and this has been indicated by the Unit Coordinator. For most students this does not present a problem, but occasionally, whether unwittingly or otherwise, a student may commit what is known as plagiarism, or some other form of academic malpractice, when carrying out an assignment. This may come about because students have been used to different conventions in their prior educational experience or through general ignorance of what is expected of them, or of what constitutes plagiarism.
  2. This guidance is designed to help you understand what we regard as academic malpractice and hence to help you to avoid committing it. You should read it carefully, because academic malpractice is regarded as a serious offence and students found to have committed it will be penalized. At the very least a mark of only 30% would be awarded for the piece of work in question, but it could be worse; you could be awarded zero (with or without loss of credits), fail the whole unit, be demoted to a lower class of degree, or be excluded from the programme, depending on the severity of the case.Academic malpractice includes plagiarism, collusion, fabrication or falsification of results and anything else intended by those committing it to achieve credit that they do not properly deserve. Further guidance is available here: http://www.regulations.manchester.ac.uk/guidance-to-students-on-plagiarism-and-other-forms-of-academic-malpractice/ and online exercises are available on the ‘My Essentials’ pages: https://www.escholar.manchester.ac.uk/learning-objects/mle/avoiding-plagiarism/. It is well worth visiting these sites in your spare time to ensure that you fully understand.  All students are required to confirm that they have read and agree to the University’s declaration on Academic Malpractice as part of the online registration process.

The University uses electronic systems for the purposes of detecting plagiarism and other forms of academic malpractice and for marking. Such systems include TurnitinUK, the plagiarism detection service used by the University.

 As part of the formative and/or summative assessment process, you may be asked to submit electronic versions of your work to TurnitinUK and/or other electronic systems used by the University (this requirement may be in addition to a requirement to submit a paper copy of your work). If you are asked to do this, you must do so within the required timescales.

The School also reserves the right to submit work handed in by you for formative or summative assessment to TurnitinUK and/or other electronic systems used by the University.

Please note that when work is submitted to the relevant electronic systems, it may be copied and then stored in a database to allow appropriate checks to be made.

 Different types of academic malpractice are explained over the next few pagespen


Plagiarism is presenting the ideas, work or words of other people without proper, clear and unambiguous acknowledgement. The most obvious examples of plagiarism would be to copy another student’s work, or to copy text from a book or website. Even if you acknowledge the source in a citation, you must put the ideas or concepts into your own words, unless you are using a
direct quote (although over-reliance on quotes is poor practice). It also includes ‘self-plagiarism’ (which occurs where, for example, you submit work that you have presented for assessment on a previous occasion), and the submission of material from ‘essay banks’ (even if the authors of such material appear to be giving you permission to use it in this way). It is as serious to use material from the internet or from a computer based encyclopaedia or literature archive as it is to use material from a printed source.

Paraphrasing, when the original statement is still identifiable and has no acknowledgement, is plagiarism. Taking a piece of text, from whatever source, and substituting words or phrases with other words or phrases is plagiarism. It is not acceptable to put together unacknowledged passages from the same or from different sources linking these together with a few words or sentences of your own and changing a few words from the original text; this is regarded as over-dependence on other sources, which is a form of plagiarism.

It is essential to make clear in your assignments the distinction between the ideas and work of other people that you may have quite legitimately used and developed, and the ideas or material that you have personally contributed.

To assist you, here are a few important do’s and don’ts:

Do get lots of background information on subjects you are writing about to help you form your own view of the subject. The information could be from electronic journals, technical reports, unpublished dissertations, etc. Make a note of the source of every piece of information at the time you record it, even if it is just one sentence. Consider writing skeletal notes of your own rather than storing original text.

Don’t construct a piece of work by cutting and pasting or copying material written by other people, or by you for any other purpose, into something you are submitting as your own work. Sometimes you may need to quote someone else’s exact form of words in order to analyse or criticize them, in which case the quotation must be enclosed in quotation marks to show that it is a direct quote, and it must have the source properly acknowledged at that point. Any omissions from a quotation must be indicated by an ellipsis (…) and any additions for clarity must be enclosed in square brackets, e.g. “[These] results suggest… that the hypothesis is correct.” It may also be appropriate to reproduce a diagram from someone else’s work, but again the source must be explicitly and fully acknowledged there. However, constructing large chunks of documents from a string of quotes, even if they are acknowledged, is another form of plagiarism.

Do attribute all ideas to their original authors. Written ‘ideas’ are the product that authors produce. You would not appreciate it if other people passed off your ideas as their own, and that is what plagiarism rules are intended to prevent. A good rule of thumb is that each idea or statement that you write should be attributed to a source unless it is your personal idea or it is common knowledge. (If you are unsure if something is common knowledge, ask other students: if they don’t know what you are talking about, then it is not common knowledge!)

As you can see, it is most important that you understand what is expected of you when you prepare and produce assignments and that you always observe proper academic conventions for referencing and acknowledgement, whether working by yourself or as part of a team. In practice, there are a number of acceptable styles of referencing depending, for example, on the particular discipline you are studying, so if you are not certain what is appropriate, ask your Advisor or the course Unit Coordinator for advice. This should ensure that you do not lay yourself open to a charge of plagiarism inadvertently, or through ignorance of what is expected. It is also important to remember that you do not absolve yourself from a charge of plagiarism simply by including a reference to a source in a reference list that you have included with your assignment; you should always be scrupulous about indicating precisely where and to what extent you have made use of such a source.

So far, plagiarism has been described as using the words or work of someone else (without proper attribution). However, it could also include a close paraphrase of their words, or a minimally adapted version of a computer program, a diagram, a graph, an illustration, etc., taken from a variety of sources without proper acknowledgement. These could be lectures, printed material, the Internet or other electronic/AV sources.

Remember: no matter what pressure you may be under to complete an assignment, you should never succumb to the temptation to take a ‘short cut’ and use someone else’s material inappropriately. No amount of mitigating circumstances will get you off the hook, and if you persuade other students to let you copy their work, they will be disciplined as well.


Collusion is any agreement to hide someone else’s individual input to collaborative work with the intention of securing a mark higher than either you or another student might deserve. Where proved, it will be subject to penalties similar to those for plagiarism. Similarly, it is also collusion to allow someone to copy your work when you know that they intend to submit it as though it were their own and that will lay both you and the other student open to a charge of academic malpractice.

On the other hand, collaboration is a perfectly legitimate academic activity in which students are required to work in groups as part of their programme of research or in the preparation of projects and similar assignments. If you are asked to carry out such group work and to collaborate in specified activities, it will always be made clear how your individual input to the joint work is to be assessed and graded. Sometimes, for example, all members of a team may receive the same mark for a joint piece of work, whereas on other occasions team members will receive individual marks that reflect their individual input. If it is not clear on what basis your work is to be assessed, to avoid any risk of unwitting collusion you should always ask for clarification before submitting any assignment.

 Fabrication or falsification of results

For many students, a major part of their studies involves laboratory or other forms of practical work, and they often find themselves undertaking such activity without close academic supervision. If you are in this situation, you are expected to behave in a responsible manner, as in other aspects of your academic life, and to show proper integrity in the reporting of results or other data. Hence you should ensure that you always document clearly and fully any research programme or survey that you undertake, whether working by yourself or as part of a group. Results or data that you or your group submit must be capable of verification, so that those assessing the work can follow the processes by which you obtained them. Under no circumstances should you seek to present results or data that were not properly obtained and documented as part of your practical learning experience. Otherwise, you lay yourself open to the charge of fabrication or falsification of results.


If you commit any form of academic malpractice, teaFlag - Targetching staff will not be able to assess your individual abilities objectively or accurately. Any short-term gain you might have hoped to achieve will be cancelled out by the loss of proper feedback you might have received, and in the long run such behaviour is likely to damage your overall intellectual development, to say nothing of your self-esteem. You are the one who loses..


    Within your essays you are being asked to analyse and interpret. Use references to support your argument and don’t just report or copy what you have found.
    This is an important part of what examiners are looking for. You have to use your own words, not those of another author.
    Attending University is not just about gaining the end result of a grade, but about gaining research and writing skills in the process. If you have any problems developing these skills, contact tutors (academic, programme director or unit co-ordinator).
    A footnote is not sufficient to indicate that any direct text you have used is not your own. Either put the sentences in quotation marks, or write them in your own words and include a footnote to the source.
    When making notes from sources put direct quotations in quotation marks and always keep track of sources. This will ensure you do not accidentally plagiarise and also make collating your references easier when you are writing up work.
  1. FACTS:
    Common knowledge does not need to be cited but when in doubt reference your source.
  1. CUT & PASTE:
    Either don’t get into the habit of cutting and pasting from e-resources (the internet, electronic journals etc.) or put them directly into quotation marks and note the source.
    If you are having personal problems that mean you will have difficulty meeting deadlines, go and speak to the relevant person who can help -Dr Patrick Gallois (Erasmus Coordinator), or Dr Nicky High (Senior Advisor).

Back to top

Avoiding Plagiarism

Compliments of the Purdue University Online Writing Lab

Academic writing is filled with rules that writers often don’t know how to follow. A working knowledge of these rules, however, is critically important; inadvertent mistakes can lead to charges of plagiarism, or the unacknowledged use of somebody else’s words or ideas. While other cultures may not insist so heavily on documenting sources, American and European institutions do. A charge of plagiarism can have severe consequences, including expulsion from university. This handout, which does not reflect any official university policy, is designed to help writers to avoid accidental plagiarism.

 The Contradictions of Academic Writing:

Show you have done your research              But-         Write something new and original

Appeal to experts and authorities                 -But­          Improve upon, or disagree with experts and authorities

Improve your English by mimicking             -But-        Use your own words, your own voice what you hear

                                                                                                 and read

Give credit where credit is due                       -But-        Make your own significant contribution

Since teachers and administrators may not distinguish between deliberate and accidental plagiarism, the heart of avoiding plagiarism is to make sure you give credit where it is due. This may be credit for something somebody said, wrote, emailed, drew, or implied.

Actions that might be seen as plagiarism

Choosing When to Give Credit:

Need to Document

  • When using or referring to someone else’s words or ideas from a magazine, book, newspaper, song, TV program, movie, Web page, computer program, letter, advert, or any other medium
  • When you use information gained through interviewing another person
  • When you copy the exact words or a “unique phrase” from somewhere
  • When you reprint any diagrams, illustrations, charts, and pictures
  • When you use ideas that others have given you in conversations or over email

No Need to Document

  • When you are writing your own experiences, your own observations, your own insights, your own thoughts, your own conclusions about a subject
  • When you are using “common knowledge” folklore, common sense observations, shared information within your field or cultural group
  • When you are compiling generally accepted facts
  • When you are writing up your own experimental results

Back to top

Making Sure You Are Safe:

  Action during writing process Appearance on the finished product
When:Researching Note-taking Interviewing Mark everything that is someone else’s words with a big Q (for quote) or with big quotation marksIndicate in your notes which ideas are taken from sources (S) and which are your own insights (ME)Record all the relevant documentation information in your notes  Proofread and check with your notes (or photocopies of sources) to make sure that anything taken from your notes is acknowledged in some combination of the ways listed below:• In-text citation• Footnotes• Bibliography• Quotation marks• Indirect quotations
When: Paraphrasing Summarizing First, write your paraphrase and summary without looking at original text, so you rely only on memory.Next, check your version with the original for content, accuracy, and mistakenly borrowed phrases  Begin your summary with a statement giving credit to the source: According to Jonathan Kozol, Put unique words or phrases you cannot change, or do not want to change, in quotation marks: “savage inequalities” exist throughout our educational system (Kozol)
When: quoting direct Keep the person’s name near the quote in your notes, and in your paper Select direct quotes that make the most impact in your paper -­too many quotes may lessen your credibility and interfere with your style Mention the person’s name either at the beginning of the quote, in the middle, or at the endPut quotation marks around the text that you are quotingIndicate added phrases in brackets [ ] and omitted text with ellipses ( . . . )
When:quoting indirectly Keep the person’s name near the text in your notes, and in your paperRewrite the key ideas using different words and sentence structures than the original text Mention the person’s name either at the beginning of the information, or in the middle, or at that endDouble check to make sure your words and sentence structures are different from the original text

Back to top 

Material is probably common knowledge if . . .

  • You find the same information undocumented in at least five other sources
  • You think it is information that your readers will already know
  • You think a person could easily find the information with general reference sources

Exercises for Practice:

Below are some situations in which writers need to decide whether or not they are running the risk of plagiarizing. In the Y/N column, indicate if you would need to document (Yes), or if it is not necessary to provide quotation marks or a citation (No). If you do need to give the source credit in some way, explain how you would handle it. If not, explain why.

Y/N If yes, what do you do? If no why?
1. You are writing new insights about your own experiences.
2. You are using an editorial from the Exponent with which you disagree.
3. You use some information from a source without ever quoting it directly.
4. You have no other way of expressing the exact meaning of a text without using the original source verbatim.
5. You mention that many people in your discipline belong to a certain organization.
6. You want to begin your paper with a story that one of your classmates told about her experiences in Bosnia.
7. The quote you want to use is too long, so you leave out a couple of phrases.
8. You really like the particular phrase somebody else made up, so you use it.


(Adapted from Aaron)

Aaron, Jane E. The Little, Brown Essential Handbook for Writers. NY: HarperCollins, 1994
Gefvert, Constance J. The Confident Writer, second edition. New York: Norton, 1988
Heffernan, James A.W., and John E. Lincoln. Writing: A College Handbook, third edition.NY Norton, 1990
Howell, J F. and D Memering. Brief Handbook for Writers, third edition. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1993
Leki, Ilona. Understanding ESL Writers: A Guide for Teachers. Portsmouth, NH: Boynton/Cook, 1992. Lester, James D. Writing Research Papers, sixth edition. New York: HarperCollins, 1990. Rodrigues, Dawn, and Myron C. Tuman.
Writing Essentials. New York: Norton, 1996. Swales, J, and C B. Feak. Academic Writing for Grad Students. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 1994. Walker, Melissa. Writing Research Papers, third edition. New York: Norton, 1993.

Back to top

Learning Resources

My Learning Essentials

My Learning Essentials is the Library’s comprehensive programme of online resources, workshops and drop-ins designed to support you in your personal and professional development.

Workshops and drop-ins are held throughout the year and include special sessions during exams and the summer. Our online resources are available at all times, providing flexible support for your development from undergraduate to postgraduate level and beyond.

Full details of workshops and online resources can be viewed on the My Learning Essentials website.

The My Learning Essentials programme is run by The University of Manchester Library in collaboration with other services across campus.‌

Immigration Information

International Student Check-In (does NOT apply to EU nationals)

informationWhen you collect your Student ID card from the Student Services Centre, you will also complete a process called ‘International Student Check In’. Please make sure you take your passport/home country ID card with you when you go to collect your card, otherwise the check-in process cannot be completed. The purpose of International Student Check-In is that The University of Manchester is required by the United Kingdom Border Agency (UKBA) to scan and record passports/home country ID cards of all non-EU nationals.

Tier 4 Visa Holders

Tier 4 Visa Attendance Monitoring Census
The University operates attendance monitoring census points within the academic year in order to confirm the attendance of students holding a Tier 4 Student Visa. This is to ensure the University meets the United Kingdom Border Agency (UKBA) statutory requirements as a sponsor of Tier 4 students and its responsibilities in accordance with its Highly Trusted Sponsor status.

If you are a Tier 4 visa holder, you must attend these attendance monitoring census points.
You will receive an e-mail to confirm when and where you should attend to confirm your attendance. You must check your University e-mail account regularly. Failure to check your e-mail account is not a valid reason to be absent from a census point.

Back to top