plagiarism. please help me Watch

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lawgirl226
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hi i need advice, today i found out that i am being investigated for plagiarism in my dissertation piece. i really need some info on this as i truly did not intend for this to happen. i believe this may have occurred as i used a dissertation that was in the university library in order to write my dissertation. by this i mean i took notes from the dissertation and then re wrote some sections into my own work - i didnt however, cite this. can anyone help me and tell me what will happen to me? i have been in tears all day and i am well aware of what i have done and i am really really sorry. i am in my final year. i have never done anything like this before. thank you
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Prokaryotic_crap
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(Original post by lawgirl226)
hi i need advice, today i found out that i am being investigated for plagiarism in my dissertation piece. I really need some info on this as i truly did not intend for this to happen. I believe this may have occurred as i used a dissertation that was in the university library in order to write my dissertation. By this i mean i took notes from the dissertation and then re wrote some sections into my own work - i didnt however, cite this. Can anyone help me and tell me what will happen to me? I have been in tears all day and i am well aware of what i have done and i am really really sorry. I am in my final year. I have never done anything like this before. Thank you
you're ****ed!
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popple7
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(Original post by lawgirl226)
hi i need advice, today i found out that i am being investigated for plagiarism in my dissertation piece. i really need some info on this as i truly did not intend for this to happen. i believe this may have occurred as i used a dissertation that was in the university library in order to write my dissertation. by this i mean i took notes from the dissertation and then re wrote some sections into my own work - i didnt however, cite this. can anyone help me and tell me what will happen to me? i have been in tears all day and i am well aware of what i have done and i am really really sorry. i am in my final year. i have never done anything like this before. thank you
even if you cited... that's plagarism, copying chunks of someone elses dissertation you should only cite journals and published studies or texts... not another student's work. unless it was in some way relevant or ground-breaking in that field. you simply copied their work.

there's not really any advice or help anyone here can give. i am sorry that you're in this situation and upset, but surely you knew you were doing wrong by copying that dissertation? you're just gonna have to wait and hope they let you graduate.

edit: although i knew a girl who got caught plagiarizing, this was a month before submission so they let her start a new topic from scratch. but yours has occurred later, so you're probably gonna get 0 for the dissertation module. worst-case scenario, they wont let you graduate. talk to someone in the department about it, e.g. undergrad admin office? they will be able to tell you specifically what will happen.
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lawgirl226
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yea i understand both of your points. i feel terrible, but i am aware it is all my own fault and i am not looking for sympathy. i didnt intend to copy their work, i was wanting to use it as a template and re word parts as well as including my own thoughts/research. i just dont want to be thrown off the course completely. i will accept having to redo the year again as i am truly sorry for my actions.
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Cybele
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(Original post by lawgirl226)
i will accept having to redo the year again as i am truly sorry for my actions.
Tell them that. That's all you can do.
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popple7
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(Original post by lawgirl226)
yea i understand both of your points. i feel terrible, but i am aware it is all my own fault and i am not looking for sympathy. i didnt intend to copy their work, i was wanting to use it as a template and re word parts as well as including my own thoughts/research. i just dont want to be thrown off the course completely. i will accept having to redo the year again as i am truly sorry for my actions.
using it as a template and rewording is STILL plagiarism! for future reference, you shouldnt do this with ANY piece of work. you need to formulate your own structure and argument, and present it in your own way. take inspiration from others, but dont structure based on other work, not wholly anyway.

i do hope things work out though, i cant imagine how worrying this must be. i think the best way to deal with this is to explain how sorry you are, that you didnt realise it was plagiarism. have they called you in for a meeting yet? or will they just tell you the outcome of the investigation?

edit: i doubt they will let you redo the year, btw. i reckon they will just fail your diss module. and hopefully graduate (if your other marks can balance out the fail).
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lawgirl226
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(Original post by Cybele)
Tell them that. That's all you can do.
i will. i didnt think that re wording sections would constitute plagiarism, especially law paragraphs such as about the HRA etc.

i have never done anything like this before and i had no intention of cheating.

does anyone know what will happen from experience? thank you all for posting back.
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QuantumOverlord
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(Original post by lawgirl226)
hi i need advice, today i found out that i am being investigated for plagiarism in my dissertation piece. i really need some info on this as i truly did not intend for this to happen. i believe this may have occurred as i used a dissertation that was in the university library in order to write my dissertation. by this i mean i took notes from the dissertation and then re wrote some sections into my own work - i didnt however, cite this. can anyone help me and tell me what will happen to me? i have been in tears all day and i am well aware of what i have done and i am really really sorry. i am in my final year. i have never done anything like this before. thank you
I can tell you what I think will happen because my parent works on a plagerism tribunal. Basically there are 3 kinds of Plagerism: Minor, Moderate and Severe.

When they check for plagerism it is run through computer software that checks the proportion of text that exists in other papers, you are allowed I think up to 10% (down to chance/referances and quotations).

Now since you obviously have >10% the severity depends on the actual % and also whether you quoted e.t.c if you copied out whole paragraphs this would be moderate or severe whereas the odd unquoted sentance is more likely to be minor. If it is clear that the paper is someone elses with the grammer/sentance structure changed slightly to make it look as if its your own work this is also likely to be moderate/severe.

A first offence like you said is much more likely to be minor/moderate than moderate/severe. The normal practise for minor plagarism is to award the disertation a low mark (or 0 in some cases) and you will be able to resit. For moderate plagerism you can't resit, and severe you usually get kicked out completely.


Based on what you said and that its your first offence, I think its probably minor so you will probably get lucky, but next time make sure the work is your own.

Hope some of this helps.

EDIT: they may also ask you to attend a tribunal for you to give evidence e.t.c so its possible you could get away with a warning.
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lawgirl226
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(Original post by popple7)
using it as a template and rewording is STILL plagiarism! for future reference, you shouldnt do this with ANY piece of work. you need to formulate your own structure and argument, and present it in your own way. take inspiration from others, but dont structure based on other work, not wholly anyway.

i do hope things work out though, i cant imagine how worrying this must be. i think the best way to deal with this is to explain how sorry you are, that you didnt realise it was plagiarism. have they called you in for a meeting yet? or will they just tell you the outcome of the investigation?
i have not received a day for a meeting yet, however my tutor did say that they will be in touch shortly. there are two stages to the process, and i believe i will be in the more serious second stage with it involving another students work. i am mortified but do understand its all my own doing.

i now know that what i have done is plagiarism and i am very sorry - i know i keep saying it but thats all i can do. i feel useless and very very scared
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lawgirl226
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(Original post by QuantumOverlord)
I can tell you what I think will happen because my parent works on a plagerism tribunal. Basically there are 3 kinds of Plagerism: Minor, Moderate and Severe.

When they check for plagerism it is run through computer software that checks the proportion of text that exists in other papers, you are allowed I think up to 10% (down to chance/referances and quotations).

Now since you obviously have >10% the severity depends on the actual % and also whether you quoted e.t.c if you copied out whole paragraphs this would be moderate or severe whereas the odd unquoted sentance is more likely to be minor. If it is clear that the paper is someone elses with the grammer/sentance structure changed slightly to make it look as if its your own work this is also likely to be moderate/severe.

A first offence like you said is much more likely to be minor/moderate than moderate/severe. The normal practise for minor plagarism is to award the disertation a low mark (or 0 in some cases) and you will be able to resit. For moderate plagerism you can't resit, and severe you usually get kicked out completely.


Based on what you said and that its your first offence, I think its probably minor so you will probably get lucky, but next time make sure the work is your own.

Hope some of this helps.

EDIT: they may also ask you to attend a tribunal for you to give evidence e.t.c so its possible you could get away with a warning.
i believe i will be in moderate or severe although i am not sure as i have not received any information, only that the university will be in contact with me over the issue. i really do not want to be kicked out in my final year so close to the end.

i am so stupid for doing it this way, i shouldnt have used the dissertation as a basis to my own but i thought that aslong as it wasnt copied and pasted and i had included my own thoughts that is was ok - stupid i know.
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M1F2R3
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I created a thread a few weeks ago which concerned a piece of first year coursework (I was accused of plagiarism too) along with another student. I admitted that the work looked very similar (we did work as a group) but we certainly did not copy or plagiarise. My advice to you is deny everything, don't admit anything you haven't done. Most likely you'll be investigated by a panel, like I was, who ask questions which will deliberately try to throw you and catch you off guard into admitting the offence. In a court of law you can't accuse somebody for an offence without hard evidence, if your work is similar just deny everything. The brutal truth is that if you've actually copied word for word then you're going to have a hard time denying the offence.

Don't get too upset about this, you need to think clearly. I was quite angry rather than upset when my work was accused, I hope everything goes well for you.
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Cybele
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(Original post by lawgirl226)
i will. i didnt think that re wording sections would constitute plagiarism, especially law paragraphs such as about the HRA etc.

i have never done anything like this before and i had no intention of cheating.

does anyone know what will happen from experience? thank you all for posting back.
Of course re-wording is plagiarism. If I re-worded someone else's dissertation - am I not in the wrong?
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popple7
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(Original post by lawgirl226)
i have not received a day for a meeting yet, however my tutor did say that they will be in touch shortly. there are two stages to the process, and i believe i will be in the more serious second stage with it involving another students work. i am mortified but do understand its all my own doing.

i now know that what i have done is plagiarism and i am very sorry - i know i keep saying it but thats all i can do. i feel useless and very very scared
i do feel genuinely sorry for you.. i dont think you meant to plagiarize or even realised that you were doing it. people think plagiarism is just copying work verbatim, but it's a lot more complicated than that, as you've found out!

QuantumOverlord gave some great advice, hopefully you are "minor" and you can resubmit.

in the meantime... try not to stress too much, what's done is done. all you can do is wait to find out what will happen. do things to take your mind off it until they next get in touch. no point making yourself ill with worry. i hope things work out and you graduate!
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M1F2R3
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I forgot to add, which University do you attend? My advice to you is to contact the Student's Union and get representation (this person will advise you on the situation and will come along to any necessary meetings).
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popple7
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(Original post by M1F2R3)
I created a thread a few weeks ago which concerned a piece of first year coursework (I was accused of plagiarism too) along with another student. I admitted that the work looked very similar (we did work as a group) but we certainly did not copy or plagiarise. My advice to you is deny everything, don't admit anything you haven't done. Most likely you'll be investigated by a panel, like I was, who ask questions which will deliberately try to throw you and catch you off guard into admitting the offence. In a court of law you can't accuse somebody for an offence without hard evidence, if your work is similar just deny everything. The brutal truth is that if you've actually copied word for word then you're going to have a hard time denying the offence.

Don't get too upset about this, you need to think clearly. I was quite angry rather than upset when my work was accused, I hope everything goes well for you.
im not sure this would work though, because she based her structure/content on someone elses work... so even though the words are different, the two dissertations will look VERY similar. im not sure they are likely to believe it was mere coincidence.

take this advice with caution OP, cuz further lying might do more harm than good. im more inclined to think that being honest about it all, explaining you didnt realise that you were plagiarizing, is the best way to deal with the situation.

edit: dissertations are much more different to essays, because essays have the same titles/questions between students... dissertations are individual. so the coincidence argument wont be convincing.
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QuantumOverlord
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(Original post by lawgirl226)
i believe i will be in moderate or severe although i am not sure as i have not received any information, only that the university will be in contact with me over the issue. i really do not want to be kicked out in my final year so close to the end.

i am so stupid for doing it this way, i shouldnt have used the dissertation as a basis to my own but i thought that aslong as it wasnt copied and pasted and i had included my own thoughts that is was ok - stupid i know.
I dont think it will be severe as its a 1st offense, moderate at worst I would say.
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lawgirl226
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(Original post by M1F2R3)
I forgot to add, which University do you attend? My advice to you is to contact the Student's Union and get representation (this person will advise you on the situation and will come along to any necessary meetings).
as soon as i got the email today i went straight to the union to get advice. she told me not to worry to much and that i will receive a letter stating a date to attend and what stage i am going to be questioned at.

she told me to be honest and not to deny anything as this can work against me, i intend to be honest as i dont want to make anything worse as my sanction will probably become greater.

even scoring a 0 for my dissertation i would still receive a 2:2 which is why i am so upset, i dont want to be removed from my course when i am so close to graduating.

no one is in the wrong for telling me that what i did is plagiarism - the fact is i was just an idiot in believing that re wording was still plagiarism.

also the union rep told me that i should have referenced the use of the dissertation - i didnt tink i ad to - only for journals, text books etc - in my mind i thought it only had to be published works.
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hajer_09
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Oh no I feel so sorry for you.

I know I'm only a GCSE student, but they caught me with plagurism too, even though I didn't mean it. I wrote literally everything by myself but, as it was a controlled assessment, they said even my notes was called 'plagurism'.

...because of this, I'm going to make sure nothing like this happens to me ever again.

Hopefully everything works out for you.

I know I'm not being that helpful, but I want to let you know that you're not the only one who feels this way.
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lawgirl226
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(Original post by QuantumOverlord)
I dont think it will be severe as its a 1st offense, moderate at worst I would say.
i really hope so. i have never done anything like this before. also i have been working for the university for the past two years as a residential support crew, living in student halls and helping and student with issues. - i am only stating this to show that i am a good character and have never done something so serious.

i am totally frightened that i have messed things up. for those who think i should be punished i totally agree - i just dont want to be removed completely.

i have also been accepted on an LPC which i was due t start in september, however i doubt i will be able to do this now as the SRA will not accept me due to my character being in question over the plagiarism.
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lawgirl226
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(Original post by M1F2R3)
I forgot to add, which University do you attend? My advice to you is to contact the Student's Union and get representation (this person will advise you on the situation and will come along to any necessary meetings).
sheffield hallam
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