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Graduate students, Department of Engineering


Writing skills and support

The department and University offer a range of support and training for students who wish to improve their writing technique or style (including for those for whom English is not a first language) - information can be found on the Researcher Development and Skills pages.

Self-help resources can also be found in the Engineering Department Library, whose staff are also available to provide advice on referencing, copyright and publishing.

Avoiding poor scholarship and academic misconduct

Plagiarism is passing off someone else's work as if it were your own without appropriate acknowledgement. The University-wide Statement on Plagiarism defines the different types of plagiarism and the possible outcomes for students who have not complied with the expected standards of scholarship, which include having marks adjusted for poor scholarship, and being subject to the University's disciplinary procedures.


Students who have completed and been examined for an MPhil or MRes before starting a PhD in the same subject often have concerns about self-plagiarism when it comes to writing their first year probationary report, if the PhD project is a continuation of the MPhil/MRes work.

If previously examined MPhil/MRes research forms part of the background work for the PhD project, the student should state in the report Introduction the extent to which (s)he has drawn on that work. It is recognised that the phrasing and content of the Introduction of the report is likely to be very similar to the MPhil/MRes introduction and this is acceptable. However, it must be entirely updated for submission as part of the first year report. The 'Results and Discussion' section should only include original work which has been conducted in the probationary year. Where it is absolutely essential to include parts (e.g. tables, diagrams etc.) of the work previously examined, these must be clearly identified in the text. The assessors should be in no doubt as to what work the student has completed in their probationary year towards their PhD research and it is this that will be assessed.


Proofreading represents the final stage of producing a piece of academic writing. The University believes that students should be encouraged to proofread their own work, since this is an essential skill in the academic writing process. However, it is recognised that in some instances it is appropriate for some students to seek the help of a third party for proofreading. Such third parties can be professional proofreaders, fellow students, friends or family members. The University's policy on proofreading sets out best practice, as well as what is and is not permitted.

Publishing and commercialising your research

Whether you're publishing your first paper or hosting a conference and publishing the proceedings, the Engineering Library team can help you with the publication process. The Office for Scholarly Communication also have guidance on their website on sharing research and managing your online presence, as well as Open Access.

Cambridge Enterprise, a wholly owned subsidiary of the University of Cambridge, can assist students with commercialising their research, including advising on intellectual property rights.