Turnitin - 45% & Reported by the tutor. What next?

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Anonymous #1
#1
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#1
The long story short is that I had to submit an abstract (200 words) for one study, with the title, references, and header 261 words.

And although I used quetext for plagiarism check, Turnitin marked the name of the study (I used it as a title, in a header and references) as plagiarism. 65 words out of 261 counted as plagiarism is already 25%.

I wasn't trying to cheat, but I accidentally submitted a version where I left half of a sentence I used as a talking point during the presentation without rewording it and that added another 8% to my score.

Other than that Turnitin marked words like "the" or "sensory and motory" as plagiarism.

but when I got my assignment back, the tutor wrote there "given the high level of similarity I will need to pass this to the unfair academic practice committee."

Any advice on what to do or expect next?

Thx.
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Cranfield University
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#2
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#2
(Original post by Anonymous)
The long story short is that I had to submit an abstract (200 words) for one study, with the title, references, and header 261 words.

And although I used quetext for plagiarism check, Turnitin marked the name of the study (I used it as a title, in a header and references) as plagiarism. 65 words out of 261 counted as plagiarism is already 25%.

I wasn't trying to cheat, but I accidentally submitted a version where I left half of a sentence I used as a talking point during the presentation without rewording it and that added another 8% to my score.

Other than that Turnitin marked words like "the" or "sensory and motory" as plagiarism.

but when I got my assignment back, the tutor wrote there "given the high level of similarity I will need to pass this to the unfair academic practice committee."

Any advice on what to do or expect next?

Thx.
Hi there!

That sounds like a really tough situation. Have you contacted your personal tutor and explained what you said here? It is usually their job to advocate on your behalf in this type of situation.

You should also have a look at your student handbook. They will always cover the rules and regulations, and the processes to be followed, in the case of (suspected) plagiarism.
In many cases, those marking exams/assignments are required to report plagiarism if it is over a certain percentage, or flagged in a certain way, so that the procedure may be appropriately followed.
The handbook will usually lay out:
1) What is and is not considered plagiarism
2) What the process is if a student is suspected of plagiarism including
a. How the assessment is investigated
b. Who will be doing the investigation
c. Who will be advocating/supporting the student during this process (i.e. the person you should be contacting now)
d. Any appeals process
3) What the possible outcomes are of the above process.
It would be worth reading all the sections, and discussing them with your personal tutor, or a student academic support staff member.

I’ll also leave a reminder not to panic before necessary. You noticed yourself how many of the tings flagged by TurnItIn are nonsense (I remember I had my name and student number flagged as plagiarism once…) so one humans get involved in the process it’s much easier to defend. Just follow the process, get the help that you can from a tutor or support staff, and good luck!

Ciara
2nd year Agrifood PhD student
Cranfield Student Ambassador
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Anonymous #1
#3
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#3
Hi Ciara,

I appreciate your effort to help me out. Well, it was marked by my personal tutor and that's all he said about it. I emailed him today if he could tell me more information about it, and if references, title and header are (also) the reason why my score is so high. Not sure if he will answer me though, he doesn't like me very much.

This assignment was worth only 10% of my final mark and I would easily pass even if I wouldn't submit this assignment, but I thought better something than nothing, which is kind of ironic because in this case would be better nothing than something.

I briefly went through the academic regulations guide and what I understood is that if I will admit the guilt and regret it, then the penalty will be less severe and they can give me 0% for this assignment (and may allow me to resubmit it), but they will also put a mark on my records...

I guess I will have to wait and see.

Thanks again!
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Cranfield University
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#4
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#4
(Original post by Anonymous)
Hi Ciara,

I appreciate your effort to help me out. Well, it was marked by my personal tutor and that's all he said about it. I emailed him today if he could tell me more information about it, and if references, title and header are (also) the reason why my score is so high. Not sure if he will answer me though, he doesn't like me very much.

This assignment was worth only 10% of my final mark and I would easily pass even if I wouldn't submit this assignment, but I thought better something than nothing, which is kind of ironic because in this case would be better nothing than something.

I briefly went through the academic regulations guide and what I understood is that if I will admit the guilt and regret it, then the penalty will be less severe and they can give me 0% for this assignment (and may allow me to resubmit it), but they will also put a mark on my records...

I guess I will have to wait and see.

Thanks again!
I'm glad I could help a bit!
Hopefully your tutor does get back to you with more details or drops the matter entirely.
If it comes to it, and you don't want your tutor to represent you in the proceedings (either because of previous differences between you two or because they were the one marking the assignment), you could contact your course director, a student support staff member (who might be accessed through registry, but different universities have different structures).

Good luck again!
Ciara
2nd year Agrifood PhD student
Cranfield Student Ambassador
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gjd800
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#5
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#5
The above advice is not great. Your tutor won't 'represent you' in any proceedings anyway; they won't usually even be there, especially if it was them who referred it on. It is hard to envision a more obvious conflict of interest. The tutor cannot decide to 'drop the matter' once it has been referred.

It is unlikely they will get back to you with any serious further info because this could prejudice the integrity of the academic malpractice process. It has to run its course, free of meddling.

You admit some plagiarism, though accidental. They will probably have already noticed this.

You will be called to a meeting, usually with 2 academics, where you can plead your case.

I always tell my students to be honest, contrite, and direct. There is a chance that no further action comes from this, but on the info given, I think it is more likely that you get a 0. If a penalty must apply, that is the best that you can hope for.

I have had a bunch of students go through the same process this year. It's usually not the end of the world.
Last edited by gjd800; 1 month ago
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Anonymous #1
#6
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#6
(Original post by gjd800)
The above advice is not great. Your tutor won't 'represent you' in any proceedings anyway; they won't usually even be there, especially if it was them who referred it on. It is hard to envision a more obvious conflict of interest. The tutor cannot decide to 'drop the matter' once it has been referred.

It is unlikely they will get back to you with any serious further info because this could prejudice the integrity of the academic malpractice process. It has to run its course, free of meddling.

You admit some plagiarism, though accidental. They will probably have already noticed this.

You will be called to a meeting, usually with 2 academics, where you can plead your case.

I always tell my students to be honest, contrite, and direct. There is a chance that no further action comes from this, but on the info given, I think it is more likely that you get a 0. If a penalty must apply, that is the best that you can hope for.

I have had a bunch of students go through the same process this year. It's usually not the end of the world.
I appreciate your advice. I wouldn't expect that my personal tutor would represent me in this case and to be honest, I would feel better if he wouldn't (he doesn't like me), so I don't think it would be particularly helpful for my case, nor was I expecting he will "drop it."

Would I have to attend the meeting personally or you can submit a written statement? I emailed my tutor, but he didn't answer (as I said, he doesn't like me).

I'm asking because I have no idea when I will hear something from the committee and the semester is almost over and I won't stay here over the summer.

Thank you.
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gjd800
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#7
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#7
(Original post by Anonymous)
I appreciate your advice. I wouldn't expect that my personal tutor would represent me in this case and to be honest, I would feel better if he wouldn't (he doesn't like me), so I don't think it would be particularly helpful for my case, nor was I expecting he will "drop it."

Would I have to attend the meeting personally or you can submit a written statement? I emailed my tutor, but he didn't answer (as I said, he doesn't like me).

I'm asking because I have no idea when I will hear something from the committee and the semester is almost over and I won't stay here over the summer.

Thank you.
It's good that you don't have any false expectations - the poster above is trying to help but I have not seen these things operate like that anywhere I've worked.

Usually it will be in person, but I know a lot of places are doing the via Zoom. As for the delay it can take a frustratingly long time, which I know doesn't help. Where I work, there is one person responsible for organising these for the whole School, which is insane. Lots of institutions are under the same pressures.

In the meantime, you could ask your course administrator about the process and timeframe, and it could be worth speaking to someone at the Union. I know it is a faff, but it could also be worth going to the dept about changing academic advisor - you shouldn't need to put up with a clash of personalities.
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Anonymous #1
#8
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(Original post by gjd800)
It's good that you don't have any false expectations - the poster above is trying to help but I have not seen these things operate like that anywhere I've worked.

Usually it will be in person, but I know a lot of places are doing the via Zoom. As for the delay it can take a frustratingly long time, which I know doesn't help. Where I work, there is one person responsible for organising these for the whole School, which is insane. Lots of institutions are under the same pressures.

In the meantime, you could ask your course administrator about the process and timeframe, and it could be worth speaking to someone at the Union. I know it is a faff, but it could also be worth going to the dept about changing academic advisor - you shouldn't need to put up with a clash of personalities.
No, I wasn't expecting much... I just wrote to him to see if he could tell me what to expect next and if the fact that Turnitin marked the title, header and references was (also) the reason for the high score, that was all. No answer.

If I survive this (and this academic year) I will definitely ask for a new personal tutor. I had a different personal tutor last year and he was great, but I got a different one this year and he won't help with anything, quite the opposite actually.

I had an issue with one exam because the instructions were not clear and I lost 38% for "late" submission. When I emailed him he just said "how could you possibly expect not to be marked late?", but after I emailed the senior tutor, I got my mark back.

Thanks again, I will try to stay calm and if I get something official from the committee I will ask the student union if they could help me.

Thanks.
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gjd800
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#9
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#9
(Original post by Anonymous)
No, I wasn't expecting much... I just wrote to him to see if he could tell me what to expect next and if the fact that Turnitin marked the title, header and references was (also) the reason for the high score, that was all. No answer.

If I survive this (and this academic year) I will definitely ask for a new personal tutor. I had a different personal tutor last year and he was great, but I got a different one this year and he won't help with anything, quite the opposite actually.

I had an issue with one exam because the instructions were not clear and I lost 38% for "late" submission. When I emailed him he just said "how could you possibly expect not to be marked late?", but after I emailed the senior tutor, I got my mark back.

Thanks again, I will try to stay calm and if I get something official from the committee I will ask the student union if they could help me.

Thanks.
Best of luck with it. I hope it works out in your favour.
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Anonymous #2
#10
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#10
Just to add to this thread- I had two paragraphs that were somewhat copied from my previous work as it helped with the argument I was making for a very different paper. My personal tutor contacted the module convenor on my behalf and explained that it was my own work that I had "plagiarised"- I had forgotten to self-reference. No action was taken.
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