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  • View Poll Results: Should I make an appeal?
    Should I move on and lick my wounds?
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    (Original post by Michelle-Annie)
    I haven't been completely honest with my first post. I felt ashamed :ashamed2:
    I did my first GCSE English Language's Controlled Assessment, and it was marked by my college. However, AQA sent a report for plagiarism back to my college, and I lost all my marks. :cry2:

    I had never heard of plagiarism until last Monday. I had never written an essay about a book before. I assumed that retrieving information from books, websites and others published works was acceptable as long as I did not provide an essay of 1200 words that entirely belong to one author. Therefore, I did hours, weeks of research. I selected what I wanted from a dozen of sources and amalgamated it together. I reworked my essay seven times and learned 1200 words by heart. :cry:
    I was marked 23/30. Unsatisfied, I asked to have my essay moderated. I was shocked at not getting more marks after all the hours of research and hard work putting everything together and learning my lines. After moderation, I was allocated one more mark. No question was ever asked.

    I left school at 13. I never sat a GCSE final exam! I self-taught myself grammar, punctuation and vocabulary. I am an addict of crosswords. I did my ESOL Basic to Higher Intermediate in 1992-1993. No essay writing was involved. I am working to achieve an overall A. I did get an A for all my other Controlled Assessment (17/20, 17/20, 18/20, and 43/45). All were entirely my work.

    We never signed a declaration of authenticity before, during, or after sitting our current assessments. We only signed our student notes. Four weeks ago, we signed much paperwork, and I remember signing a form for all our Controlled Assessments. I didn't see anything about adding my sources, etc. I assumed it was all right, because if asked, I had by folder with all my research. Then, a few days later AQA called a few of our class' Controlled Assessments, mine included. I was excited about it: 'maybe my marks would increase for my OMAM Controlled Assessment'.

    I don't understand why Plagiarism was not discussed in class, Why we were not asked to sign a statement per each controlled assessments. After all, we are given a letter of regulation before our final exam. My college says that they can not support me:

    [i][I]'With regard to the plagiarism in your GCSE English Language controlled assessment, it was AQA that raised this matter with the College. As requested a copy of the report from AQA is available for you to collect at College reception. We wish to support you through the rest of your studies, however, there is very little we can do with regards to a matter of plagiarism. The Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) regulations clearly stipulate that the following are not grounds for appeal :

    • the individual did not intend to cheat;
    • the individual has an unblemished academic record;
    • the individual could lose a university place;
    • the individual regrets his/her actions.

    From the information I have received your justification falls within these criteria and therefore there are no grounds for appeal. AQA only accept appeals direct from the Head of Centre therefore contacting them directly will not assist you. The cover sheet which all students are asked to sign clearly asks candidates to ‘list any books, leaflets or other materials used to complete the work not acknowledged in the work itself. Presenting materials copied from other sources without acknowledgement is regarded as deliberate deception.’

    I believe, they are washing their hands of their responsibility for failing to inform me about plagiarism. I did not know I was cheating, and not, 'I did not intent to cheat'.

    I have asked other students if they recall signing a cover sheet where sources, etc. could be noted. None remembers.

    I don't know where to turn. I am sick to my gut. I left the college never to return last Tuesday. I was going to drop out. My fellow students asked me not to give up. I sat the first part of my GCSE Higher Maths final exam, last Thursday, on the brink of tears. I have been unable to sleep for nine days. I feel betrayed. I had a look at the college student handbook, and there seem to be no Students Union.

    The only person I could contact was the Quality Manager, who wrote the letter I copied above and concluded it with this:'I understand from the curriculum team that you are still able to succeed on the course and can assure you that there will be no record of the plagiarism on your student record with AQA, therefore would urge you to continue with your studies and move on from this matter.'

    Any advice, please, anyone. Please do not judge me. I worked hard on my own to be where I am.

    Michelle-Annie
    Oh dear, this is indeed terrible. Ashamedly I'm not sure whether there's much you can do HOWEVER Coursework is only 40% of your overall grade and you could pull this back! I can imagine how you must feel, but I must recommend perhaps putting other subjects as priority then. At the end of the day, trust me GCSEs are literally just to get you into college and after that they're completely disregarded so don't worry yourself over it. As long as you have your other subjects, it should be fine.
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    (Original post by Elivercury)
    Perhaps I've gotten the wrong end of the stick here, but from your initial post this doesn't sound like the issue was that you weren't given an opportunity to properly quote your sources, it sounds like you've amalgamated several pieces of work not belonging to you, to look like a unique piece of work. These are two very different things.

    The first is someone inserting something that is clearly a quote from elsewhere, to support their own work, but have either forgotten to or not been able to properly reference it and therefore been penalised as a result. This is harsh, but happens and is a valuable lesson.

    The latter is someone cobbling together multiple other people's work and passing it off on their own, which is pretty much the entire definition of plagiarism. This it totally deserved and it should be common sense that this isn't acceptable. This would be immediately picked up by the exam board's anti-plagiarism software (if not by the teachers reading it).

    As I say, if it's the former then possibly the teachers have something to answer for, by not informing you how to reference properly. If it's the latter then it is obvious why this has happened - it isn't your work, regardless of how much effort putting together the different sources was. I have sympathy for you, but really I think you should count yourself as having gotten off fairly lucky given it will not appear on any record and you can still pass without this assessment.
    Hi, I stipulate clearly that 'I had never heard of plagiarism until last Monday. I had never written an essay about a book before. I assumed that retrieving information from books, websites and others published works was acceptable as long as I did not provide an essay of 1200 words that entirely belong to one author. Therefore, I did hours, weeks of research. I selected what I wanted from a dozen of sources and amalgamated it together. I reworked my essay seven times and learned 1200 words by heart.'
    I have never denied using others materials.

    The Cover Letter was brought it by the College's Administrator reply to my complaint, not me.
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    (Original post by Michelle-Annie)
    Hi, I stipulate clearly that 'I had never heard of plagiarism until last Monday. I had never written an essay about a book before. I assumed that retrieving information from books, websites and others published works was acceptable as long as I did not provide an essay of 1200 words that entirely belong to one author. Therefore, I did hours, weeks of research. I selected what I wanted from a dozen of sources and amalgamated it together. I reworked my essay seven times and learned 1200 words by heart.'
    I have never denied using others materials.

    The Cover Letter was brought it by the College's Administrator reply to my complaint, not me.
    Yes, I was responding to this. I understand that you have not heard of plagiarism before and from the fact you have repeatedly said it would have been fine had you been able to quote your references, you appear to still not understand what it is.

    Using someone else's work as part of your own work as anything other than a quote/table, which is clearly referenced, counts as plagiarism.

    Even had you clearly stated every single source you used on the AQA form for sources, you still would have been disqualified for plagiarism.

    Making a Frankenstein essay with other people's work is not your work, you need to write the whole thing yourself and make reference to other peoples work, not copy other people's work. If you try this again in the future, you will be disqualified again in the future, and you may not be lucky enough to have nothing put on your record next time.

    While you should also clearly read forms you have to sign in the future, this is a side-issue here and even had you filled it out and understood it perfectly, you would still be in this situation.
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    (Original post by TheNerdxP)
    Oh dear, this is indeed terrible. Ashamedly I'm not sure whether there's much you can do HOWEVER Coursework is only 40% of your overall grade and you could pull this back! I can imagine how you must feel, but I must recommend perhaps putting other subjects as priority then. At the end of the day, trust me GCSEs are literally just to get you into college and after that they're completely disregarded so don't worry yourself over it. As long as you have your other subjects, it should be fine.
    Just felt the need to point out, this isn't 100% correct. Despite having not used my GCSEs in over a decade (having gotten A levels, a masters degree then worked in industry), I have just applied for teacher training as a career change and have had to dig out my old English GCSE to prove I have a basic level of English. GCSE maths was also required (both at C+), but given the masters in engineering I have more up to date qualifications for that.

    But yeah, you're correct in 99% of cases. Took hours to find the damn thing.
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    (Original post by Carnationlilyrose)
    I'm afraid that you won't be allowed to plead that as an excuse. The college will have been given a deadline by the AQA to submit the coursework. The paperwork will have been sent by the board to the college with the required folders marked out, and the college will have had to submit them by that time. I'm afraid the responsibility rests with you to read what you are signing and to fill it in in accordance with the rules, as it does with all legally binding documents in all areas of life. The declaration is easy to understand. If you had cited your sources, then you would not have been committing plagiarism and the problem would not have arisen. I'm sorry if I sound unsympathetic, but as a teacher who has been responsible for getting hundreds of students, of all levels of ability, to fill in this form, I don't really think you can blame others for not your reading it properly. There will be no appeal possible for this. As I am sure you will understand, anyone could plead that they didn't understand or were in too much of a rush to read it properly, and that would make it impossible to prevent plagiarism.
    I understand your point. However, I am not the only student who did not notice what we were signing. In addition, as previously mentioned my issue is not about this form since I have admitted amalgamated sources and published works to write my 1200 words essay. Not all my essay was copied. 70% was mine. The declaration form was brought in by the college administrator as a reply to my complaint.

    My issue is that I had never heard of plagiarism until last Monday. If you read my original post, I clearly say that my essay was marked once, then moderated, then sent to AQA. Not once before the report was I briefed about plagiarism. I did tell my teacher upon my first draft that I was using matetial from the internet, but not only copying it but also doing some vocabulary and spelling search. I was never told it would constitute plagiarism.
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    (Original post by Elivercury)
    Just felt the need to point out, this isn't 100% correct. Despite having not used my GCSEs in over a decade (having gotten A levels, a masters degree then worked in industry), I have just applied for teacher training as a career change and have had to dig out my old English GCSE to prove I have a basic level of English. GCSE maths was also required (both at C+), but given the masters in engineering I have more up to date qualifications for that.

    But yeah, you're correct in 99% of cases. Took hours to find the damn thing.
    Dude, I think this is the wrong time and place. Besides it was already said that she would achieve a C without that piece of coursework so she will be perfectly fine.
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    (Original post by TheNerdxP)
    Dude, I think this is the wrong time and place. Besides it was already said that she would achieve a C without that piece of coursework so she will be perfectly fine.
    Well short of stalking you to other threads (which I'm not about to do) there would not be another time or place.

    As you say, she'll get a C, so there is no issue for her, but it might be useful knowledge for you.
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    (Original post by Elivercury)
    Well short of stalking you to other threads (which I'm not about to do) there would not be another time or place.

    As you say, she'll get a C, so there is no issue for her, but it might be useful knowledge for you.
    Oh I see, thank you very much. Apologies for the misunderstanding.
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    (Original post by Elivercury)
    Yes, I was responding to this. I understand that you have not heard of plagiarism before and from the fact you have repeatedly said it would have been fine had you been able to quote your references, you appear to still not understand what it is.

    Using someone else's work as part of your own work as anything other than a quote/table, which is clearly referenced, counts as plagiarism.

    Even had you clearly stated every single source you used on the AQA form for sources, you still would have been disqualified for plagiarism.

    Making a Frankenstein essay with other people's work is not your work, you need to write the whole thing yourself and make reference to other peoples work, not copy other people's work. If you try this again in the future, you will be disqualified again in the future, and you may not be lucky enough to have nothing put on your record next time.

    While you should also clearly read forms you have to sign in the future, this is a side-issue here and even had you filled it out and understood it perfectly, you would still be in this situation.
    Thank you. I agree I will have to work on my non-fiction essay writing. Believe me I have no intention to make a repeat of this incident. I self taught myself writing through trial and error using the internet and using websites tools. I believe what was once my assistant now has become my nemesis. I have taken on some bad habit. Thank you for your advice. Talking about my situation and admitting my mistakes is helping me to set up plans to help me in the future. You are totally right I should read what I am signing. But as you pointed out it would not have changed the outcome. I copied someelse work and I shouldn't have because it wasn't mine to use. 😳
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    (Original post by Michelle-Annie)
    I understand your point. However, I am not the only student who did not notice what we were signing. In addition, as previously mentioned my issue is not about this form since I have admitted amalgamated sources and published works to write my 1200 words essay. Not all my essay was copied. 70% was mine. The declaration form was brought in by the college administrator as a reply to my complaint.

    My issue is that I had never heard of plagiarism until last Monday. If you read my original post, I clearly say that my essay was marked once, then moderated, then sent to AQA. Not once before the report was I briefed about plagiarism. I did tell my teacher upon my first draft that I was using matetial from the internet, but not only copying it but also doing some vocabulary and spelling search. I was never told it would constitute plagiarism.
    That is not a matter for AQA, I'm afraid, who have behaved in the only way they can on this. It can only be an issue for the college, and you have already said that you have brought a complaint against them which has been denied. I very much doubt that you will have any success whatsoever in pursuing this further, however much you feel aggrieved. I can imagine you do feel let down by the teacher, but your recourse as I have said can only be to the college and they have not supported your claim. I imagine they find it hard to credit that a) someone would not understand the concept of plagiarism in principle, even if they only learned the word last Monday, and b) that one of their staff was unable to spot/assess/explain copying to a student, and when faced with a choice of where to apportion blame in an embarrassing situation for all concerned, they have sided with their staff.
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    (Original post by Michelle-Annie)
    Thank you. I agree I will have to work on my non-fiction essay writing. Believe me I have no intention to make a repeat of this incident. I self taught myself writing through trial and error using the internet and using websites tools. I believe what was once my assistant now has become my nemesis. I have taken on some bad habit. Thank you for your advice. Talking about my situation and admitting my mistakes is helping me to set up plans to help me in the future. You are totally right I should read what I am signing. But as you pointed out it would not have changed the outcome. I copied someelse work and I shouldn't have because it wasn't mine to use. 😳
    Glad you understand. I'm aware it's incredibly frustrating, especially when you've gone to the huge effort of studying as an adult. But everyone inevitably does something wrong/silly on their course - for example I turned up to an exam thinking it was three hours long. 90 minutes into the exam they announced we had 30 minutes left and I had only answered about 40-50% of the paper. I was furious with myself over that, but it somehow worked out alright and I managed to scrape ~65%

    It doesn't sound like this will seriously hold you back - you might drop from a B to a C, or A to B, but you'll still get a solid GCSE which will allow you to continue. Likewise you've nothing about plagiarism on your record.

    Chalk it down as an experience and move on is all I can suggest. Best of luck with your future studies!
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    Than you 😓
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    Even if you'd never heard the word 'plagiarism' before surely you know that 'copying' is wrong? From information you gave in the OP you seem to be a parent in your thirties. You must know that copying is wrong. I'm struggling to see how you've got any grounds for appeal.

    You can still go on and complete the course. Don't waste your time, energy or stress dwelling on this. Learn the lessons and move on. Good luck.
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    (Original post by Carnationlilyrose)
    That is not a matter for AQA, I'm afraid, who have behaved in the only way they can on this. It can only be an issue for the college, and you have already said that you have brought a complaint against them which has been denied. I very much doubt that you will have any success whatsoever in pursuing this further, however much you feel aggrieved. I can imagine you do feel let down by the teacher, but your recourse as I have said can only be to the college and they have not supported your claim. I imagine they find it hard to credit that a) someone would not understand the concept of plagiarism in principle, even if they only learned the word last Monday, and b) that one of their staff was unable to spot/assess/explain copying to a student, and when faced with a choice of where to apportion blame in an embarrassing situation for all concerned, they have sided with their staff.
    Thank you. Actually, the college wrote back to me earlier and they have admitted to another misinformation, I added to my complaint, related to my access to higher education assessment, as a result I am resetting my assessment. I know the matter has nothing to do with AQA but my college. I forwarded them a reply to their answer to my complaint, today. I am collecting my plagiarism report tomorrow. I'll use it as a remainder when writing further non-fiction essays.

    [..........] I have discussed with other students and third parties the issues of Plagiarism:

    First of all, it seems that my case doesn't fall into The Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) regulations stipulating that the following is not grounds for appeal:

    • the individual did not intend to cheat. The fact is that I didn't know I was cheating since I wasn't aware of plagiarism.

    Furthermore, I have spoken to other students in my class, and none of them recall signing a form where our sources, etc. could have been quoted. We signed a student's notes form before each controlled assessment, not a declaration that the work provided was entirely ours. We indeed signed a form about our academic year work, alongside other paperwork before Easter Monday, but once again, everyone I have spoken to do not recall this form was to quote our sources. We were being rushed to sign all our documents that day because [..........] wanted all the GCSE English paperwork forwarded to AQA as soon as possible. Even, our teacher was surprised about the rush since everything was to be received by 31st May 2016.

    I believe [........] College should have, and should in the future, put greater emphasis on the declaration form and provide more advice about plagiarism. I am a capable student. However, I was penalised because I was unaware of plagiarism. [.....] College should accept some responsibilities for the sanction I received. My English teacher is an amazing teacher. I appreciated her support throughout this academic year. I have no doubt that I can be a difficult student. Without her patience, her advice and her help, I believe I would not have achieved as much as did within eight months. Our English class was one of the best classes I have attended over the years. Her teaching approach and compassion had a lot to do with this. I have no complaint nor issue to raise about my teacher. Warning students about plagiarism should have been [.......] College's responsibility.

    I am extremely concerned about [......] College administration since I was faced with many issues during this academic year, such as:
    • sitting the Access To Higher Education assessment without being notified it would contain a Maths Assessment and will last 1 hour 30 minutes instead of 45 minutes.
    • attending a pre-arranged 1 to 1 meeting with a teacher concerning our English Language mock exam, which turns out to be held with another student, without me being properly notified. I booked this meeting to discuss a specified issue. I brought documents with me. However, my concern could not be discussed. I raised the issue with [...........], and she ignored my concern.
    • not being briefed about plagiarism while attending GCSE English Language classes, despite AQA is recommending incorporating an awareness-raising session on academic honesty in the induction process for new students. www.jcq.org.uk/Download/exams-office/malpractice/plagiarism-in-examinations
      Section 13.
    I am relieved that plagiarism will not feature into my study report and that no further sanction is taken against me. However, I feel betrayed by [.......] College.

    I had a look at [..........] College's students handbook and noticed there is no Student Union. I am sitting my final exams next week. I, therefore, will look further into the issue after that.

    Kind regards,[/QUOTE]
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    (Original post by Elivercury)
    Glad you understand. I'm aware it's incredibly frustrating, especially when you've gone to the huge effort of studying as an adult. But everyone inevitably does something wrong/silly on their course - for example I turned up to an exam thinking it was three hours long. 90 minutes into the exam they announced we had 30 minutes left and I had only answered about 40-50% of the paper. I was furious with myself over that, but it somehow worked out alright and I managed to scrape ~65%

    It doesn't sound like this will seriously hold you back - you might drop from a B to a C, or A to B, but you'll still get a solid GCSE which will allow you to continue. Likewise you've nothing about plagiarism on your record.

    Chalk it down as an experience and move on is all I can suggest. Best of luck with your future studies!
    Thank you x
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    (Original post by Duncan2012)
    Even if you'd never heard the word 'plagiarism' before surely you know that 'copying' is wrong? From information you gave in the OP you seem to be a parent in your thirties. You must know that copying is wrong. I'm struggling to see how you've got any grounds for appeal.

    You can still go on and complete the course. Don't waste your time, energy or stress dwelling on this. Learn the lessons and move on. Good luck.
    From the information I gave, you got your analysis wrong. I am 45 years old and left school 32 years ago. As you can see, you can not assume without the facts.
    May I clarify that I am not making an appeal. I am asking for my college to take some responsibility for my sanction and to not repeat the same mistake. They assumed that I knew about plagiarism because I did remarkably well despite leaving school at thirteen, in spite of my age, and being a foreigner. Never judge the book by its cover. Just as I should never have assumed my non-fiction controlled assessment consisted of doing some researches, and then amalgamated them into my essay! ;-)

    Finally, standing for my rights in my book is not a waste of time and energy. Since I want to do a Degree In Law, every complaint I have to deal with is a learning tool. ;-)
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    (Original post by TheNerdxP)
    Oh dear, this is indeed terrible. Ashamedly I'm not sure whether there's much you can do HOWEVER Coursework is only 40% of your overall grade and you could pull this back! I can imagine how you must feel, but I must recommend perhaps putting other subjects as priority then. At the end of the day, trust me GCSEs are literally just to get you into college and after that they're completely disregarded so don't worry yourself over it. As long as you have your other subjects, it should be fine.
    Thank you
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    I'm sorry, but how do you make it aged 45 in life without having any sense that copying other people's work is wrong? And not knowing what plagiarism meant till last Monday? You really have no case to make I'm afraid; if 15 and 16 year old children all across the country are aware of plagiarism, why shouldn't a person three decades older be aware? I'd say just work on your upcoming exam, and forget the idea that your college can be held accountable for your mistake.


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    (Original post by Michelle-Annie)
    From the information I gave, you got your analysis wrong. I am 45 years old and left school 32 years ago. As you can see, you can not assume without the facts.
    May I clarify that I am not making an appeal. I am asking for my college to take some responsibility for my sanction and to not repeat the same mistake. They assumed that I knew about plagiarism because I did remarkably well despite leaving school at thirteen, in spite of my age, and being a foreigner. Never judge the book by its cover. Just as I should never have assumed my non-fiction controlled assessment consisted of doing some researches, and then amalgamated them into my essay! ;-)

    Finally, standing for my rights in my book is not a waste of time and energy. Since I want to do a Degree In Law, every complaint I have to deal with is a learning tool. ;-)
    Your age (now and when you left school) and nationality are irrelevant, although I would have thought you'd understand by now that copying is wrong. Apparently not.

    Your college isn't responsible for your situation, you are. The unnecessarily over-dramatic thread title and the content of your posts show you have completely failed to grasp the situation. You have set yourself an ambitious target - do you aspire to become a lawyer?
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    (Original post by Roquebrune2014)
    I'm sorry, but how do you make it aged 45 in life without having any sense that copying other people's work is wrong? And not knowing what plagiarism meant till last Monday? You really have no case to make I'm afraid; if 15 and 16 year old children all across the country are aware of plagiarism, why shouldn't a person three decades older be aware? I'd say just work on your upcoming exam, and forget the idea that your college can be held accountable for your mistake.


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    Where is the dislike bottom?
    Read my thread right from the beginning before making your unfounded comment. I am sure you learned in class to get all your fact right and to think twice before speaking!
    I rest my case!
 
 
 
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