Plagiarism: What to Do If Caught

Plagiarism is the act of copying from someone else’s work and presenting it as your own. This is a common practice with some students with college assignments. If an administrator or one of your professors during his check finds plagiarism in your work, you may be accused and put to justice with the college judicial system. So what to do if you are caught.

1. Find out about the process. Does your tutor want to see you? Are you assumed to write an explanatory note telling your side of the incident? Do you have an audition? Try to determine the situation.

2. Realize the charges. One day you may receive a letter with strong wording, charging you with plagiarism, and you may be confused of what exactly you’re being charged with. Try to have a talk with the sender or your professor about the details of your incident. Anyway, make sure you have an alibi for yourself.

3. Understand the consequences. From your point, you were very hurried to complete writing your paper and inattentively copied information from someone’s research and forgot to cite it. However, from the professor’s point of view, you seemingly snubbed the assignment, showed disrespect to the college and your course, and acted in an unacceptable way for a college student. Make sure you understand another point of your sticky situation, before it gets worse.

4. Show respect and have active participation. You may think that plagiarism accusation is a trifling matter and throw away the letter and forget about this accident. Unfortunately, plagiarism is usually strictly charged and may become a serious deal. Remember to show respect to the situation and participate in the process so that you can clearly explain the situation and reach the best possible resolution.

5. Make conclusions from the lessons you’ve learned. Plagiarism consequences in college can be light, like essay rewriting, or severe like expulsion. You should learn from your mistake to prevent repeating the similar situation again.

Tips for Avoiding Plagiarism

1. Find out if your information is common knowledge, as this doesn’t need to be cited.

2. If you are rewriting someone’s exact words, always make citations and quotations. Artworks need a credit.

3. Instead of copy and paste, read the sentence several times and write your own thoughts.

4. Use as many sources as you can. Writing will seem unbalanced if you use only one.

5. Check the text for paraphrasing.

6. Use an online plagiarism checker to be confident that your text has no plagiarism.

Like it, or not, plagiarism has no excuses, and if you are caught with it, prepare for unpleasant consequences.