For my dissertation, I have decided to create a program which involves multiple mini games such as a snake game, tic tac toe, maze game and a puzzle game.

Although, I liked programming, I struggled when I started developing my game project. For this reason, I decided to use Youtube and follow tutorials on how to do the games I wanted. I followed the tutorials line by line and made some adjustments to fit my requirements.

Afterwards, I then put a comment stating the codes aren't mine and online guidance was used to successfully make the function/code.

I must admit, the modifications I've made are very minimal. For example, changing the images, the music, the colour and the background. The reason is because the codes are well written and made sense, I couldn't think of any other way of writing it.

To be honest, Its very wrong of me to just copy the guides online line-by-line. However, the tutorials did help me understand how the codes/functions work and why they must be written like that.

I think I screwed up here. I talked to one of my dissertation's markers and she was pleased because of my honesty because others would just straight on claim the code is theirs.

Later on we will have a chance to present our work in front of our markers. I am unsure how I can defend myself if they bring how I made the codes (which they will).


If you make it clear to readers what your original contribution is and what you got from other sources (and name those sources), it's not plagiarism. Complete, accurate attribution is the key to avoiding plagiarism. (It's not clear from your description whether you did that - "I used guidance from these sources" is not enough to make it clear that you used their code with only minimal changes!)

Even if it's not plagiarism, it is still possible that you have not done enough original work to satisfy those grading your work. That's not a plagiarism issue, but a matter of what expectations are for this kind of work at your institution, and whether you have satisfied them.


Instead of saying the materials you cite 'assisted' you or gave you 'guidance', it seems more accurate to say explicitly: "I adapted the software described in X by doing A, B and C." This will tell the reader exactly what you did do and for everything else, they can look at the referenced work.


One test you can apply: Suppose someone read your dissertation, and subsequently found out all the details, including what exactly you copied, what you changed, and what you wrote from scratch.

Would they be surprised, or would the full details be exactly what they would have expected from how the material was presented in your dissertation? Your objective should be to give a reader of your dissertation an accurate impression.

There is a secondary problem you may have of insufficient original material, which could reduce your grade, but would not involve any academic misconduct.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.