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Accused of plagiarism on a programming assignment? Advice from a defense attorney for students.

On Behalf of | Jul 27, 2018

Most of the computer science students I represent call me confused about how they are even being accused of plagiarizing code. Universities are being unclear on the boundaries and expectations of students in programming courses. This leaves computer science students in a bad position. What should a programming student do if they are accused of plagiarizing code? Read on for advice from an attorney for students.

What is plagiarism in programming?

There have been several high-profile lawsuits surrounding large companies accused of plagiarizing code. When it comes to computer science programming courses, it is both the professors and student’s responsibility to understand what is expected.The main issues I have seen with programming assignments involve the following:

  • Using common code language without citation
  • Using outside code without citing
  • Unauthorized collaboration or multiple students with the same code

My professor wants to meet with me, what should I do?

That depends on your situation and how you want to proceed with it. Either way, you should meet with the professor to at least hear what they have to say. You should be prepared with an explanation if you know that one of the above issues are present in your work. This explanation should be well thought out and strong enough to be supported if you must defend yourself in an academic integrity committee hearing.

My professor used Jplag or MOSS

If your professor has a similarity report from either Jplag or MOSS, then your defense will be more complex. What you can say to defend against an academic integrity violation depends on your student handbook. Check to see what your university says when they define plagiarism. The definition is often what I use to assist students in a winning plagiarism defense.

Can you help me fight a plagiarism charge in my computer science programming class?

Yes. I help students all over the country defend against accusations of plagiarism. Creating a defense for plagiarism can be tricky for students. I work with students using my nearly twenty years as an attorney combined with a specialized knowledge of the student disciplinary process to help student achieve positive results.

I tried to defend the programming plagiarism charge myself and was found responsible. What can I do?

Appeal the decision. Check your student handbook for the time frames that you have to submit a written appeal. Additionally, most universities limit the appeal categories, so think carefully if you choose to write the appeal by yourself. If you want help, I write student appeals. My experience as an appeal attorney gives students a better chance of success.

Call now for a free consultation and start building your programming plagiarism defense. (855) 338-5299

Richard Asselta is an award-winning attorney who defends students facing Honor Code, academic integrity, and code of conduct violations. Call today to avoid suspension or expulsion from your university. Click here to read what clients are saying about Richard on AVVO, an attorney review website.