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Accused Of Plagiarism After Getting Help From The University Writing Lab? Tips From A Lawyer for College Students

| Mar 8, 2018

Did you seek help at the writing lab or writing center for a paper or research project? Are you now being accused of plagiarism? How can a professor accuse you of plagiarism after using the resources available through the university? If you are in this situation, you are not alone. It happens but can be successfully defended. Read on to find out how.

What is the purpose of the university writing lab?

Colleges provide the writing lab as a resource to help students successfully complete an assignment. Tutors are available and help students through every step of the process, from picking a topic, to citations, and editing.

If I used the writing lab, how can I be accused of plagiarism?

Even if a writing center tutor proofreads your work, it does not mean it is without error. Students often rely on the writing lab tutors as teachers. This leads to careless errors. The writing lab is a resource but not the only tool a student in need should utilize. Students must ask these tutors specific questions about citations, paraphrasing, and even the use of topics.

I used a few sources without citing properly but since the writing lab didn’t say anything, I left them.

Students, who are under a tremendous amount of pressure, make mistakes. Writing a paper is a time-consuming process. A single missed citation can cause an academic integrity accusation of plagiarism. It is not the writing lab’s job to catch everything, so blaming them will not get you out of a plagiarism charge.

How do I defend an academic integrity charge of plagiarism?

Even though a student decides to pass off the work of another, does not have to face the most severe punishment. There are ways to negotiate a lesser punishment, even if a student did plagiarize. Here are some tips:

  1. Just because you are facing an academic charge of plagiarism doesn’t mean you did it. False and accidental plagiarism happens a lot. You have the right to defend your record against these allegations. Each situation is unique which makes the defense strategy different for every case.
  2. A “deal” from the professor is not the best choice Students can be offered a deal in exchange for a letter of apology, a reduced grade, or an F in the course. I have seen these deals turn into nightmares for students. Before accepting such a “deal” find out from the professor if he or she is the final decision-maker on the issue. If not, you can create an even bigger issue for yourself.
  3. Know the university policy and your rights if you are accused of plagiarism. Think about your options and take your time to build your defense. Hire an experienced college student defense lawyer to craft your defense.

You get only one chance at success. Make it the best you can.

Richard Asselta is an award-winning education lawyer who offers student defense services to students throughout the United States. He is experienced in defending all types of student disciplinary issues including academic integrity charges of plagiarism. Call The Education Lawyers today for a free consultation and protect your future. (855) 338-5299 Click here to read what clients are saying about Richard Asselta on AVVO, a lawyer review website.