Accused of plagiarism after graduating? Watch

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sooashley
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Ok, so I've just finished my degree and graduating officially in March but I recently got an email from my professor saying I've plagriarized my term papers and he has evidence on Turnitin. I admit I may have copy pasted quite a bit in my haste to submit the essay. Does turnitin detect if the thing has been directly copy pasted in Word/Google Docs or does it just show links to the original article? I did cite references, but to be honest, they were sloppy and I just rewrote and paraphrased most of the ideas.

I'm due to graduate soon and I really don't want this mistake I did in haste to **** up my degree and graduation. What am I to do and what would be my best defence? I've already got job interviews lined up and the last thing I need is this issue to destroy everything, although yes, I am to blame for my carelessness and lack of proper discipline.

I'm supposed to attend a hearing to defend myself but I'm an international student who has gone back to my country. Please help

Distraught
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Klix88
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(Original post by sooashley)
I admit I may have copy pasted quite a bit
I'm very sorry, but that's pretty much the definition of plagiarism. I'm not sure what defence you could give.

Turnitin matches content. It highlights work which has been copied word-for-word and wouldn't flag text which has been effectively paraphrased. Once the flag has been reported to academic staff, they are responsible for checking the standard and accuracy of referencing. It's possible that areas of copy/pasted text have initiated an investigation which raised additional concerns about the form and referencing of paraphrased sections.

I'm not sure how you would defend against it, as you do seem to have done it knowingly. Being in a hurry isn't a defence. Being in too much of a rush to reference properly isn't a defence. You knew what you were doing and handed your coursework in anyway.

Sorry, but it doesn't sound hopeful to me. You could try contacting the Student Union at your old uni and asking whether they can guide you through the process. They will have people who understand uni regulations and how they work.
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TheElvenQueen
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(Original post by sooashley)
Ok, so I've just finished my degree and graduating officially in March but I recently got an email from my professor saying I've plagriarized my term papers and he has evidence on Turnitin. I admit I may have copy pasted quite a bit in my haste to submit the essay. Does turnitin detect if the thing has been directly copy pasted in Word/Google Docs or does it just show links to the original article? I did cite references, but to be honest, they were sloppy and I just rewrote and paraphrased most of the ideas.

I'm due to graduate soon and I really don't want this mistake I did in haste to **** up my degree and graduation. What am I to do and what would be my best defence? I've already got job interviews lined up and the last thing I need is this issue to destroy everything, although yes, I am to blame for my carelessness and lack of proper discipline.

I'm supposed to attend a hearing to defend myself but I'm an international student who has gone back to my country. Please help

Distraught
If u live abroad not like they will bother hunting u down over one essay
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jonathanemptage
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I'm sorry to say it really sounds like your have plagiarised my university had zero tolerance on both plagiarism and collusion any occurrence of either of these (if proved guilty) would see you kicked off the course if found guilty after graduating you would be stripped of your award best case is you may just get zero for the unit if you have enough points in other units you might still graduate though but most likely your screwed and won't get your degree , sorry but it's your own fault if you had referenced properly you wouldn't have this problem.
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Joshalos
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(Original post by TheElvenQueen)
If u live abroad not like they will bother hunting u down over one essay
No, but they could still stop them graduating, at least until an investigation has been held.
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Klix88
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(Original post by TheElvenQueen)
If u live abroad not like they will bother hunting u down over one essay
There's a real possibility that the OP's degree will be withheld and they will have no qualification from their course. They haven't graduated yet.
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sooashley
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(Original post by Klix88)
I'm very sorry, but that's pretty much the definition of plagiarism. I'm not sure what defence you could give.

Turnitin matches content. It highlights work which has been copied word-for-word and wouldn't flag text which has been effectively paraphrased. Once the flag has been reported to academic staff, they are responsible for checking the standard and accuracy of referencing. It's possible that areas of copy/pasted text have initiated an investigation which raised additional concerns about the form and referencing of paraphrased sections.

I'm not sure how you would defend against it, as you do seem to have done it knowingly. Being in a hurry isn't a defence. Being in too much of a rush to reference properly isn't a defence. You knew what you were doing and handed your coursework in anyway.

Sorry, but it doesn't sound hopeful to me. You could try contacting the Student Union at your old uni and asking whether they can guide you through the process. They will have people who understand uni regulations and how they work.
I did copy paste but I cited the whole paragraph and at the time genuinely thought citing it correctly would help it go undetected and didn't view that as plagiarism. But now I know (yes, a little too late) that copy pasting a paragraph and paraphrasing counts as plagiarism. Arrghh
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sooashley
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(Original post by jonathanemptage)
I'm sorry to say it really sounds like your have plagiarised my university had zero tolerance on both plagiarism and collusion any occurrence of either of these (if proved guilty) would see you kicked off the course if found guilty after graduating you would be stripped of your award best case is you may just get zero for the unit if you have enough points in other units you might still graduate though but most likely your screwed and won't get your degree , sorry but it's your own fault if you had referenced properly you wouldn't have this problem.
OH GOD. Is there no recourse? Should I admit or deny? I didn't intentionally plagiarize as I did cite the websites I got it from but I guess they just recognize when you copy paste paragraphs. How will I ever tell my parents.
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catsis
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Just going to have to deal with the consequences, OP. I'm really sorry. Just own up to it and wish for the best.
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jonathanemptage
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(Original post by sooashley)
OH GOD. Is there no recourse? Should I admit or deny? I didn't intentionally plagiarize as I did cite the websites I got it from but I guess they just recognize when you copy paste paragraphs. How will I ever tell my parents.
If you put it in quotes and mentioned as a footnote where you got it from

like "text"1

1 Accessed on date ,by your name,Website name

You should be ok if you haven't used speech marks and footnotes or a bibliography reference it is plagiarism and you can wave your degree good bye.
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Klix88
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(Original post by sooashley)
I did copy paste but I cited the whole paragraph and at the time genuinely thought citing it correctly would help it go undetected and didn't view that as plagiarism. But now I know (yes, a little too late) that copy pasting a paragraph and paraphrasing counts as plagiarism. Arrghh
Neither copy/pasting nor paraphrasing are plagiarism, *if* you treat them correctly. Even when correctly formatted/cited, an essay containing large blocks of copy/pasted text would probably be failed anyway, as lacking sufficient original content.

To be picked up as plagiarism, you can't have formatted/cited the text correctly. And you wouldn't be summoned to attend an academic hearing over some minor incorrect formatting or citation issues. To be in your current situation, you must have copied a substantial amount of text and not formatted/cited it as such. That is plagiarism.

I wouldn't try claiming in your hearing, that you managed to get through three years of a dgree without understanding what constitutes "plagiarism". My undergrad and Masters unis hammered it home throughout my courses, both in formal academic writing lectures, written guidelines and individual assignment briefs. You would have had to be sleepwalking to not be aware of plagiarism, what it is and how to avoid it.
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SlowlorisIncognito
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(Original post by sooashley)
OH GOD. Is there no recourse? Should I admit or deny? I didn't intentionally plagiarize as I did cite the websites I got it from but I guess they just recognize when you copy paste paragraphs. How will I ever tell my parents.
The best people to contact are your SU. They will have been through this before with other students and know how the system works at your uni, and may be able to offer solutions to salvage your degree. If it's just one essay and a first offense, then there may be other options open to you.

At this stage, I don't think denying it is a good idea. Essentially, they have proof of what you have done, and you have intended to pass of quotes of other people's work as your own, which would be seen as intentional plagiarism, even if you don't understand it fully.
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Vikki1805
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Own up.

You can't deny it, they have proof.

Face the consequences of your mistake, trying to argue a point you can't backup would be silly.
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SophiaLDN
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Do not admit to anything. Play dumb & don't say it was intentional whatever you do otherwise you can definitely kiss your degree goodbye. This site has some very useful info on what to do in this situation. plagiarism-defence.tripod.com
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Calum.McManus
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First thing to realise is that what you have is a criminal offence in the UK but the law is relaxed around students meaning you won't be arrested but you could have your degree either stripped or downgraded (if you are lucky).
This is different for international students though as once you are out the country then you are no longer under the control of UK law, but, this isn't a way out anymore as it is part of the agreement you signed when you started uni.

Best steps for this is to contact your professor and state that you Deny all charges against you and also say that you are not in any position to travel back to the UK (think of a good reason like money issues ect). Then, if he comes back saying they can 100% prove it you will have to claim ignorance, you tactic next depends on how your essay was laid out as you could say something as simple as "I forgot to put quote marks in" if it fits the situation. The UK government will not ask to have you sent back over as it is not a massive crime so you could play it safe and simply not return to the UK.

Just remember once you start denying it you can't go back on your word because things will get a whole lot worse for you.
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Klix88
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(Original post by Calum.McManus)
Deny all charges against you
As the OP has copy/pasted a sizable chunk of text, this would not appear to be an option. It would be pretty much impossible to have accidentally written a large amount of text with exactly the same wording found in someone else's work.

Then, if he comes back saying they can 100% prove it you will have to claim ignorance, you tactic next depends on how your essay was laid out as you could say something as simple as "I forgot to put quote marks in" if it fits the situation.
If it was a formatting or citation issue, then the OP would not be called in front of an academic hearing. In order for an offence to be taken that seriously, the level of plagiarism must have been substantial. Accidental mistakes in formatting or referencing would have resulted in a deduction of marks or possibly a fail.

To be treated as plagiarism, there is much more going on. Taking this type of disciplinary action causes the uni a real headache in terms of time and money. They wouldn't be doing it if there was any way of avoiding it.

The UK government will not ask to have you sent back over as it is not a massive crime so you could play it safe and simply not return to the UK.
It's an academic offence, not a crime. UK government/crime agencies won't get involved. There is absolutely no risk whatsoever of legal proceedings. If the OP dosn't attend the hearing, then they will automatically be stripped of their degree. That's the very worst which could happen. But clearly that's something the OP doesn't want to happen.
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A5ko
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You should find a suitable, remorseful response made by a famous person, then copy and paste that to your tutor.
Zangoose
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(Original post by sooashley)
Ok, so I've just finished my degree and graduating officially in March but I recently got an email from my professor saying I've plagriarized my term papers and he has evidence on Turnitin. I admit I may have copy pasted quite a bit in my haste to submit the essay. Does turnitin detect if the thing has been directly copy pasted in Word/Google Docs or does it just show links to the original article? I did cite references, but to be honest, they were sloppy and I just rewrote and paraphrased most of the ideas.

I'm due to graduate soon and I really don't want this mistake I did in haste to **** up my degree and graduation. What am I to do and what would be my best defence? I've already got job interviews lined up and the last thing I need is this issue to destroy everything, although yes, I am to blame for my carelessness and lack of proper discipline.

I'm supposed to attend a hearing to defend myself but I'm an international student who has gone back to my country. Please help

Distraught
It probably depends on how much of it is plagiarised. If it's not so much, you'll be alright... Maybe they'll take off a few marks. However if it's a lot then you're ****ed man
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DailyMailIsALiar
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(Original post by sooashley)
Ok, so I've just finished my degree and graduating officially in March but I recently got an email from my professor saying I've plagriarized my term papers and he has evidence on Turnitin. I admit I may have copy pasted quite a bit in my haste to submit the essay. Does turnitin detect if the thing has been directly copy pasted in Word/Google Docs or does it just show links to the original article? I did cite references, but to be honest, they were sloppy and I just rewrote and paraphrased most of the ideas.

I'm due to graduate soon and I really don't want this mistake I did in haste to **** up my degree and graduation. What am I to do and what would be my best defence? I've already got job interviews lined up and the last thing I need is this issue to destroy everything, although yes, I am to blame for my carelessness and lack of proper discipline.

I'm supposed to attend a hearing to defend myself but I'm an international student who has gone back to my country. Please help

Distraught
I doubt they'd stop you graduating given the amount of money you must have paid as an international student, unless you have been found to have plagiarised many times. They'll probably take some marks off of you, nothing more. If they do stop you graduating, demand a refund of your fees and living expenses. If they refuse, take them to court. You pay for a degree, not for some idiot academics to teach you and tell you you can't graduate? Which university are we talking about here if you don't mind sharing?
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Das Auto
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When you submitted it via TurnItIn it gives you a percentage amount telling you how much is matched. How much did it say was matched? I've seen people with up to 30% matched but with decent citations throughout and they've been fine. For you to get called up on this I can only assume you've plagiarised a significant amount of you've been sloppy with citations. If you had just been sloppy with citations the likelihood of it being brought up as plagiarism is lower and a departmental meeting would be more likely.
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