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Plagiarism

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What is the definition of plagiarism?

Plagiarism is defined by universities as presenting the work of another person as your own work. Plagiarism also includes stealing and passing off the words or ideas of another as your own without properly crediting the source. This can include paraphrasing, quoting, or summarizing another source without proper acknowledgement or citation, misrepresenting or making up fraudulent data, improper citation of sources used, and forgery. Plagiarism, whether intentional or unintentional, violates academic honor codes. 

What is the difference between plagiarism and cheating? What is the difference between plagiarism and falsification or fabrication? 

While cheating (which is also a violation of academic honor codes) may include using your own material in an improper way, plagiarism only encompasses the improper use of another person’s material in your work. 

Fabrication or falsification is essentially making things up but it may coincide with plagiarism if one forges or falsifies information and presents it as their own in an academic setting. 

How do university’s or university staff and teachers find instances of plagiarism?

Because most research is done using internet sources these days, instances of alleged plagiarism where students copy and paste information into a research paper and forget to properly cite the source are becoming more common. It is also easier to catch students who plagiarize in this way because teachers now can utilize website services such as turnitin.com. Websites like this enable instructors and students to upload virtual copies of their papers or assignments and then checks for instances of plagiarism or copied information.  

Why are wrong citations considered plagiarism? 

While incorrect citation formatting is typically not considered plagiarism, once an assignment is turned in, erroneous or incomplete citation of source material can be found as a plagiarism violation. In these instances an If you find yourself charged with a violation of academic dishonesty, it is important to contact an experienced college student defense attorney to ensure that your academic integrity and rights are protected in your university disciplinary hearing. 

What are my university’s consequences for plagiarism? 

Most, if not all universities explicitly prohibit plagiarism in their code of student conduct and consider it a severe violation the academic honor code. Student disciplinary proceedings and student conduct violations involving plagiarism typically arise from an alleged failure to properly attribute quotations, paraphrases, or borrowed information to the proper source. 

What if I am accused of plagiarism, but I thought my work was considered academically honest? 

If you are accused of a university conduct code violation involving plagiarism and you believe your student rights and academic record are in jeopardy, it is important to contact a defense attorney who specializes in working with college students accused of plagiarism to help you navigate your defense in a university disciplinary hearing.

Click here to learn more about what to do if you are accused of plagiarism.