You submitted a paper to your professor and receive an email accusing you of plagiarism. Your professor refers to a similarity report that indicates you failed to cite your sources and plagiarized. What can you do? How do you defend an academic plagiarism charge? Read on for advice from an attorney for students.
What is a similarity report?
Many colleges use websites like Turnitin.com to check for plagiarism. These websites scan the internet and its own database of previous work to check for similarities between your submission and others. The similarity report will highlight information in your paper and give the teacher links to similar strings of text it finds. If you professor finds too many of these similarities or uncited information, you may be accused of plagiarism.
I used an online plagiarism checker and no similarities came up.
The free online websites that scan your papers for plagiarism are not the best resource. The databases universities purchase are much more thorough and accurate.
Can a similarity report be wrong?
The only time I have seen a similarity report be deemed incorrect is if a student submitted the same paper twice to the same professor. If a draft was submitted and then a finalized version, it could be flagged for similarities. If you submitted the same paper to another class, that would fall under self-plagiarism.
How can I defend against a plagiarism accusation?
- Meet with your professor – Go through your submission and compare the similarity report with them. If they still believe you plagiarized, you get another chance at defending yourself in the academic integrity process.
- Don’t write emails to the professor or other college staff before you have all the information. If you put arguments in writing without the similarity report, you may be stuck with a defense that wont work.
- Request an academic hearing – The college will gather a panel of other staff and students to review the situation and be a fair third-party to determine if plagiarism actually occurred.
Can you help me fight a similarity report and plagiarism charge?
Yes. I routinely help students all over the country defend accusations of plagiarism. The faster an attorney is involved, the better a student’s chances at avoiding an F in the class, suspension, or even worse, expulsion.
An experienced attorney for student will help you create a defense that may win at an academic hearing. An attorney can also make sure the school follows their own policy and procedure which will give students the best chance at a successful outcome.
If you are found guilty of plagiarism, it will be noted on your transcripts and impact your future.
Make your academic integrity defense the best it can be.
Richard Asselta is an award-winning attorney who offers student defense adviser services throughout the United States. He is experienced in defending all types of college issues including plagiarism. Call Asselta Law today for a free consultation and protect your future. (855) 338-5299
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