Have I been plagiarizing without realising it? Watch

Geo74848
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#1
Hi,

I just had a mini panic because I realised that I may have been plagiarizing my essays this whole time.
I've been at uni for 2 years and their plagiarism checker has never pulled up anything but I fear I might have been writing essays wrong this whole time.

As an example, if a writer states 'the cat is blue' in their work, I would write something like: it is clear that the cat is the colour 'blue', only referencing the word 'blue'. This is really haunting me because I realise now that it seems like I'm claiming the opening statement as my own arguement.

I'm unsure as to what to do because if I'm right surely it means I've been unintentionally plagiarizing this whole time.

Any advice or insight is really appreciated, I'm thinking of seeing a lecturer about it asap.

Thank you
0
reply
DarkChaoz95
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#2
Report 1 month ago
#2
I think its fine especiallyif you did this before and didnt get in trouble, but if your really concerned its definitely worth seeing your lecturer to be safe.
0
reply
Erik28
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#3
Report 1 month ago
#3
This is something that I still struggle with! The best advice I received from my tutor was 'You've only plagiarised if you know you have'

If you have purposefully or intentionally take a quote or idea and taken credit for it, then that's plagiarism. Whereas sometimes you genuinely may not know that you have done it. I think the key word is intent
0
reply
PhoenixFortune
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#4
Report 1 month ago
#4
How are you only referencing 'blue'? Because you put them in quotation marks? Maybe you need to read up on your university's referencing/style guidelines.
0
reply
DarkChaoz95
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#5
Report 1 month ago
#5
(Original post by Erik28)
This is something that I still struggle with! The best advice I received from my tutor was 'You've only plagiarised if you know you have'

If you have purposefully or intentionally take a quote or idea and taken credit for it, then that's plagiarism. Whereas sometimes you genuinely may not know that you have done it. I think the key word is intent
At my uni, unintentional plagiarism counts.. so even if it was by accident. People still could get in trouble. It would be best for him to talk with his tutor and consult the assessment guidelines as plagiarism policy may be slightly different per uni.
0
reply
Geo74848
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#6
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#6
thank you for all the replies!

I'm still uncertain as to what to do, because although I had no intent of cheating the system of anything like that, i understand plagiarism can be unintentional.

Some of the time I have quoted other writers and then gone on to write about a point they have made and i wondered if this counts as plagiarism too?

Completely lost as I fear all my marks are unfair and that my place at university could be at stake?
0
reply
Erik28
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#7
Report 1 month ago
#7
(Original post by DarkChaoz95)
At my uni, unintentional plagiarism counts.. so even if it was by accident. People still could get in trouble. It would be best for him to talk with his tutor and consult the assessment guidelines as plagiarism policy may be slightly different per uni.
Of course, same with ours. Sorry, should have made it clearer. Both count, I think they're looked at in different ways
0
reply
PhoenixFortune
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#8
Report 1 month ago
#8
(Original post by Geo74848)
thank you for all the replies!

I'm still uncertain as to what to do, because although I had no intent of cheating the system of anything like that, i understand plagiarism can be unintentional.

Some of the time I have quoted other writers and then gone on to write about a point they have made and i wondered if this counts as plagiarism too?

Completely lost as I fear all my marks are unfair and that my place at university could be at stake?
I really think you should make an appointment with your student study skills advisers at your university to get a bottom of what plagiarism actually is. Then you'll know for certain what you are allowed and not allowed to do when citing someone else's work.

Why do you feel your marks are unfair? If you were truly a repeat offender regarding plagiarism, you wouldn't be losing marks at this point. You would be getting zero and facing a academic malpractice committee.
0
reply
DarkChaoz95
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#9
Report 1 month ago
#9
(Original post by Geo74848)
thank you for all the replies!

I'm still uncertain as to what to do, because although I had no intent of cheating the system of anything like that, i understand plagiarism can be unintentional.

Some of the time I have quoted other writers and then gone on to write about a point they have made and i wondered if this counts as plagiarism too?

Completely lost as I fear all my marks are unfair and that my place at university could be at stake?
Perhaps, speak to your lecturer for advice and explain your situation and that your panicing over it. Im sure they will help you out.
0
reply
Geo74848
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#10
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#10
(Original post by PhoenixFortune)
I really think you should make an appointment with your student study skills advisers at your university to get a bottom of what plagiarism actually is. Then you'll know for certain what you are allowed and not allowed to do when citing someone else's work.

Why do you feel your marks are unfair? If you were truly a repeat offender regarding plagiarism, you wouldn't be losing marks at this point. You would be getting zero and facing a academic malpractice committee.
The thought struck me randomly at one point that because I haven't been referencing properly, the lecturers may have been assuming other people's ideas are my own and therefore being marked based on that.

I've never been called out for copyright issues but surely, if I'm only copying ideas (if that at all), the copyright checker wouldn't be able to pick up on it?

I'll probably speak to a lecturer when the new term starts up though, thank you for your help.
0
reply
Geo74848
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#11
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#11
(Original post by DarkChaoz95)
Perhaps, speak to your lecturer for advice and explain your situation and that your panicing over it. Im sure they will help you out.
That's what I've been thinking of doing but I don't want to cause a whole scene. I guess all I can do is ask.
0
reply
DarkChaoz95
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#12
Report 1 month ago
#12
(Original post by Geo74848)
That's what I've been thinking of doing but I don't want to cause a whole scene. I guess all I can do is ask.
Im sure it would be fine, thats what lecturers are therefore, to help students out
0
reply
Horsedobbin
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#13
Report 1 month ago
#13
Instead of saying the cat is blue, give the cat's name and address in case it goes astray. Or if you find a stray cat take it to a Cat Shelter, and do some good in this world.
0
reply
PhoenixFortune
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#14
Report 1 month ago
#14
(Original post by Geo74848)
The thought struck me randomly at one point that because I haven't been referencing properly, the lecturers may have been assuming other people's ideas are my own and therefore being marked based on that.

I've never been called out for copyright issues but surely, if I'm only copying ideas (if that at all), the copyright checker wouldn't be able to pick up on it?

I'll probably speak to a lecturer when the new term starts up though, thank you for your help.
So you don't think you earned your grades? It's kind of impossible to know based only on what you've told us (as we can't read a sample of work to see if it sounds odd). If you really are concerned, see the lecturers concerned and ask them what they think.

I'm not really sure what you mean by 'copying ideas'. Maybe if you told us what your process is when you are writing assignments, aka. how you use the literature, it might be easier for us to understand.
0
reply
Geo74848
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#15
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#15
(Original post by PhoenixFortune)
So you don't think you earned your grades? It's kind of impossible to know based only on what you've told us (as we can't read a sample of work to see if it sounds odd). If you really are concerned, see the lecturers concerned and ask them what they think.

I'm not really sure what you mean by 'copying ideas'. Maybe if you told us what your process is when you are writing assignments, aka. how you use the literature, it might be easier for us to understand.
I normally have a rough idea when writing an essay about the topic I want to discuss and I find direct quotations to back up what I'm saying. But what I'm realising now is sometimes I see a point I'd like to incorporate and take a direct quote from the passage but then continue to talk about the idea without quotes.

It's difficult to describe but that's kind of what I mean. I plan to sit down and go through old essays before I speak to a lecturer anyhow
0
reply
PhoenixFortune
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#16
Report 1 month ago
#16
(Original post by Geo74848)
I normally have a rough idea when writing an essay about the topic I want to discuss and I find direct quotations to back up what I'm saying. But what I'm realising now is sometimes I see a point I'd like to incorporate and take a direct quote from the passage but then continue to talk about the idea without quotes.

It's difficult to describe but that's kind of what I mean. I plan to sit down and go through old essays before I speak to a lecturer anyhow
Good practice is not to rely on direct quotes too much (unless the wording is so perfect that paraphrasing it wouldn't do the idea justice). Paraphrasing with a citation (Smith, 1990), then saying something like "this finding/idea/theory seems to suggest that... or provides evidence for... or leads the reader to believe..." is fine. If you say something like "the theory of X is defined as..." with no citations, that is plagiarism, as that definition is being read from somewhere and it is not your own idea. In basic terms, if you did not think of the information/idea you are describing, you need to cite your source. If the ideas are purely your own, or made your own connections between sources, or thought of your own explanation without help from sources, that is fine.
0
reply
ecofriendlyduck
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#17
Report 1 month ago
#17
(Original post by Geo74848)
Hi,

I just had a mini panic because I realised that I may have been plagiarizing my essays this whole time.
I've been at uni for 2 years and their plagiarism checker has never pulled up anything but I fear I might have been writing essays wrong this whole time.

As an example, if a writer states 'the cat is blue' in their work, I would write something like: it is clear that the cat is the colour 'blue', only referencing the word 'blue'. This is really haunting me because I realise now that it seems like I'm claiming the opening statement as my own arguement.

I'm unsure as to what to do because if I'm right surely it means I've been unintentionally plagiarizing this whole time.

Any advice or insight is really appreciated, I'm thinking of seeing a lecturer about it asap.

Thank you
i'm think that quoting does not count as plagiarism as long as you reference your sources.
0
reply
MissScarlet24
Badges: 10
Rep:
?
#18
Report 1 week ago
#18
To be honest, the academic will probably recognise that those opinions aren't yours. Are you doing any referencing? Poor referencing means you're just throwing away marks.
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

University open days

  • Solent University
    Postgraduate and Professional Open Evenings Postgraduate
    Mon, 25 Feb '19
  • University of the Arts London
    MA Material Futures Open Day Postgraduate
    Mon, 25 Feb '19
  • University of Brighton
    Health and clinical practice + health professions + hospitality, tourism and events + journalism + sport and exercise Postgraduate
    Tue, 26 Feb '19

Do you have a food intolerance or allergy?

Yes - a food intolerance (88)
14.52%
Yes - a food allergy (63)
10.4%
Yes - an autoimmune disorder (i.e coeliac, colitis) (15)
2.48%
Yes - I have an intolerance and allergy (16)
2.64%
No (424)
69.97%

Watched Threads

View All
Latest
My Feed