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How can I be accused of plagiarizing myself in school? Answer from a lawyer for students

You are given a writing assignment by your teacher and it’s a topic you have written a paper on before. You take your previous original work and submit it. Now, your professor is accusing you of plagiarism. How could you be accused of plagiarizing yourself?

Self-Plagiarism

Yes, you can be accused of plagiarizing yourself. It’s a term called self-plagiarism and you can be suspended or expelled from school if found responsible.

What is Self-Plagiarism?

This is when you use a portion of or an entire previous work, without citing it. Yes, you read correctly. You must cite your previous work and the citation must be in the same format as every other source used – both inline citation and on the works cited page.

This seems crazy, why would you have to cite yourself?

While many students feel self-plagiarism is ridiculous, colleges and schools believe that your work should mostly be original with any sources including ideas of others cited. This includes you. If you have previously used the work, you must cite your previous work.

Check Assignment Instructions or Class Syllabus

Your class syllabus or rubric for specific assignments may specifically state that you cannot submit previous assignments that you have submitted in other classes. If so, then don’t take the risk of submitting old work. Create new and original content.

What can I do now that my professor has filed charges of academic dishonesty for plagiarism?

Colleges and schools have a disciplinary process. This involves a hearing before a panel and an appeal if you are found responsible in the hearing.

Can I fight the accusation?

Yes. In fact, I strongly suggest that depending on the circumstances, every student should fight the plagiarism charge. If found responsible for plagiarism, you could not only fail the class, but have a designation, often an XF on your transcript. Other schools know that this designation means academic dishonesty. Additionally, if you apply to other schools or apply for a professional license in the future, you may have to disclose the situation. 

Can you help me?

Yes. I help students all over the country fight accusations of plagiarism and cheating. By working together to craft the best defense possible, you will be given the greatest chance at success. I also attend hearings with students to support them during this very stressful event. Typically, a panel of students and staff will question the student. The presence of a lawyer for college students will help the student keep calm and refute accusations while keeping the hearing fair and honest.

Give me a call today. I offer free consultations and fair prices to help students keep their record clean and stop a suspension or expulsion from school. (855) 388-5299

Richard Asselta is an award-winning education lawyer offering student advising services nationally. Call today for a free consultation and see how The Education Lawyers will fight for you.

Click here to read what clients are saying about Richard Asselta on AVVO, a lawyer review website.

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