Accused of plagiarism Watch

Lee131
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Hi,

I’ve just had my dissertation released by my uni today and it’s being withheld for possible plagiarism. I am scared out of my mind, I’ve been stressing about it since 12pm today and my university have told me very little about the procedure.
As soon my supervisor emailed me and told me. He said it had been referred to a case worker for possible plagiarism. I had received no prior contact up to this point from him. Not even a request to come in for a meeting to find out what has happened. They essentially just reported me straight away and what’s more is they allowed to give a presentation of my work at a conference in front of my classmates knowing full well that my work is facing these allegations.
I have never plagiarised before and have not intended to do so in this instance. They have said that it looks like two paragraphs (one in my literature review and the other in my discussion) have been directly copied from an academic text. Which is not what I know to be the case. I’ve been looking through my work and I think that I may have forgotten to put in quotation marks were I’ve used the exact words from the articles I am referring to. I have however cited them and tried to make some attempt to show that this was not my own work and it’s only in these two small paragraphs out of a near 8000 word assessment.
According to APA VI this does count as plagiarism for using exact words with citation but no quotation marks.
I’m just wondering how my university will see it? Could it mainly be seen as an issue of formatting and I’ll be given a warning and possibly be facing reduced or capped marks.
I can’t imagine that I would be facing exclusion I have no previous record for plagiarism nor have I copied and pasted from a journal article or paid someone to write this assignment for me. Despite these errors this is entirely my own work. I really do not think it’s fair that I could possibly be expelled for something that is merely an uneducated formatting error. I’m curious as to whether Turnitin would have picked it up even if I had used quotation marks as stated in the manual.
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chemboi
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Go in and talk to your supervisor
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Lee131
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(Original post by chemboi)
Go in and talk to your supervisor
They’re not allowed to talk with me about it because of university regulations. I’ve got to wait until my informal hearing with the academic investigation officer. They’ve said I’m allowed to ask my SU for support or consider legal advice if I feel it is necessary.
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chemboi
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(Original post by Lee131)
They’re not allowed to talk with me about it because of university regulations. I’ve got to wait until my informal hearing with the academic investigation officer. They’ve said I’m allowed to ask my SU for support or consider legal advice if I feel it is necessary.
Ask around in your SU, I'm sure there must be some other people who have made simple mistakes and gone through this experience.
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Lala~
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If you know full well that you’ve done nothing wrong then try to stop worrying. Just be honest and everything will work out fine! Do try your best to reason out what you’ve done and why it’s not plagiarism.
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Lee131
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(Original post by chemboi)
Ask around in your SU, I'm sure there must be some other people who have made simple mistakes and gone through this experience.
I have spoken to a SU advisor from my uni. They said I’m allowed to have someone from the SU accompany me at my informal meeting. They’ve said a case officer would be currently reviewing anything I’ve submitted and will attempt to determine the severity of the possible plagiarism and then I’ll be called in for a meeting and should attempt to explain what has occurred. It could possibly go one of three ways either my assignment will be capped at 40%, or it will be capped at 0% and I’ve have to resubmit over the summer, or I could be excluded from the university. I’m really hoping exclusion is the last option if it comes to it.
It says in my university regulations that is what could happen since it’s classed as academic misconduct and not general misconduct. I’m just really frightened if they decide to fine or prosecute against me because I cannot afford for that to happen. It doesn’t say that they can do that in their regulations given what’s occurred. I’ve just been reading a lot of horror stories on the internet right now about students being accused of plagiarism and some of them have received fines as a penalty.
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Lee131
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(Original post by Lala~)
If you know full well that you’ve done nothing wrong then try to stop worrying. Just be honest and everything will work out fine! Do try your best to reason out what you’ve done and why it’s not plagiarism.
I really am trying not to worry but my mind is going into panic mode and assuming the worst will happen no matter what I say. I’ve never plagiarised before in my entire time at university and I did cite in text when I was writing and added any sources I used to my reference list. I’m really trying to be calm however I do suffer from generalised anxiety disorder and today I’ve also had a seizure due to all the stress I’ve been put under. I collapsed this morning and I was taken into hospital and had to have a few blood tests and a CT scan. I’ve been referred to outpatients after today but I’m really upset that all this has happened and don’t know how to cope with it. I’m struggling to eat, sleep and walk around after the seizure. I’m terribly frightened that I’ll be kicked out of uni and that I’ll have no other options to go into in life after this. I’m 25 and I’ve only got two A-levels, 2-4 AS Levels and 11 GCSEs and no proper full time work. I’ve got a job but it’s with a temp agency and it’s only available hours are during term time and it involves providing note taking support to the uni I’m currently studying with. I’m not even sure if I can go back to my job if the worst happens and I get a bad stain on my reputation academically and professionally.
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Shahzeb_Khan
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No offence but thank god I ain’t going to uni, it looks like a real hassle.

Sorry, I know nothing about this, but all I can say is if you didn’t plagiarise, and didn’t have the intention to do so, then don’t worry about it, things will work out in the end,

A wise man once said “Hard times, lead to beautiful destinations”

Take care, Shahzeb.
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Lee131
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(Original post by Shahzeb_Khan)
No offence but thank god I ain’t going to uni, it looks like a real hassle.

Sorry, I know nothing about this, but all I can say is if you didn’t plagiarise, and didn’t have the intention to do so, then don’t worry about it, things will work out in the end,

A wise man once said “Hard times, lead to beautiful destinations”

Take care, Shahzeb.
It’s ok Shahzeb no need to apologise that is your opinion and I don’t feel offended for you saying it. I really am trying not to worry but it’s difficult as this is quite stressful. Especially after I had a seizure yesterday, I’m still feeling quite tired, confused and in a lot of pain after it’s happened. I’m more scared about that happening yesterday now more if anything.
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the_queen
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(Original post by Lee131)
It’s ok Shahzeb no need to apologise that is your opinion and I don’t feel offended for you saying it. I really am trying not to worry but it’s difficult as this is quite stressful. Especially after I had a seizure yesterday, I’m still feeling quite tired, confused and in a lot of pain after it’s happened. I’m more scared about that happening yesterday now more if anything.
Ohh, I really feel for you, just want to say take some antistress tabs to relax your brain a little bit. You really need it, otherwise chances are to colapse mentally.

I don't know the procedure, but there should be a way for students to demonstrate they are not guilty. How come the university put the students on the wall shooting them without any chance for defense???

Keep fingers crossed for you!
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Muserock
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Bringing an SU member to accompany you is an excellent thing to do. They will know the University’s policies and procedures on this. Do you submit to Turnitin at your Uni? Are you able to check the Turnitin report?

It’s easier said than done but try not to worry and make yourself ill. As you say, it is an informal meeting which is good at this stage. Try to think back as to whether you remember copying out of a book or if you can remember anything about the two sections?
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the_queen
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How are you doing? Are you ok?
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bullyhunter71
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caught red handed
rat
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the_queen
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(Original post by bullyhunter71)
caught red handed
rat
Mistakes can always happen.
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chemboi
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(Original post by bullyhunter71)
cheating scummy rat
(Original post by the_queen)
Mistakes can always happen.
yeah they can, just look at "bullyhunter"
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Lee131
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(Original post by bullyhunter71)
cheating scummy rat
It was a mistake you ********. It can happen to anyone including you. P.S. You may want to change your account name to something more appropriate. I don’t see how you can call yourself “bully hunter” when you call someone a “cheating scummy rat” over a situation that has nothing to do with you.
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chemboi
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(Original post by Lee131)
It was a mistake you ********. It can happen to anyone including you. P.S. You may want to change your account name to something more appropriate. I don’t see how you can call yourself “bully hunter” when you call someone a “cheating scummy rat” over a situation that has nothing to do with you.
He's being a 12 year old c*nt with a keyboard I wouldn't take any notice of him
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Lee131
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(Original post by chemboi)
He's being a 12 year old c*nt with a keyboard I wouldn't take any notice of him
Well said cheers mate.
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the_queen
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how are you?
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Lee131
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(Original post by the_queen)
how are you?
I’m feeling better now thank you. I’ve stopped shaking and feeling sore after my seizure. I’m eating and sleeping better as well now. My tongue has also almost healed. Which is great considering how bad it looked after I bite it during the seizure. I’m actually starting to feel really relaxed and positive. You guys are right. I’ve done very little wrong and this is not a criminal act in the UK so I’ve got nothing to fear. It’s not like I’ve done it intentionally or copy and pasted from a journal article or bought an essay online which are serious cases of plagiarism. I’m sure if I explain what happened, how sorry I am and reassure them that under normal circumstances I would never gave made such a mistake. The worst that can happen is that I’ll be removed from my course. It’s not the end of the road for me though if that happens as I’ve come to realise this past week. There are other options for me out there. I was getting sick of uni anyway it’s being make me feel nothing but stressed and miserable lately. Can’t be right that can it?
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