When caught on plagiarism, students manage to invent extraordinary excuses, which quite often are both ridiculous and pathetic. A teacher found a student guilty of plagiarism and asked him to explain the meaning of the terms mentioned repeatedly in his paper. The student, as serene as Buddha, answered that he had no idea.
To avoid the same fate, think over what you shouldn’t say to make matters worse. Also you need to learn what to do when accused of plagiarism.
Start plagiarism prevention by avoiding the following excuses:
1. “I didn’t know it was plagiarism.”
Nice try, but it doesn’t work in higher academic institutions. It might have been alright back in middle school, but now, when you’re in college or university, be ready to deal with new rules. The academic honor code prohibits student dishonesty and “takes care of the rule-breakers,” if a text plagiarism checker finds plagiarism.
2. “I did it for the first time.”
One time is enough. Punishment for plagiarism differs from case to case and from university to university – you can receive a formal notice or suspension for some time. If the case is too serious or repeated, you can even be expelled from your educational establishment.
3. “I didn’t know how to do the assignment.”
It’s easy to say that you were unaware of what you had to do. If your task is done incorrectly, you receive a low grade or some kind of punishment. Sometimes students are assigned tasks they haven’t done before, but assignments come with suggested guidelines or patterns to follow. Ignorance is not an excuse to justify fraud or theft..
4. “I have photographic memory.”
Some violators claim to copy unintentionally as they memorize a text immediately after reading it. It’s quite easy to prove if that’s true or false. You be sure if you use this excuse, teachers would love to test your abilities. You know how this will end up – with suspension or exclusion.
5. “I write miserably.”
You may realize that your work is clearly of low quality – you lack experience, adequate writing skills or organization. Don’t worry because every day presents opportunities to gain experience. Ask your teacher for help in improving your writing skills. The teacher doesn’t expect you to receive only “A” grades.
6. “I just helped my friend.”
Sure, you can help your friend by writing his/her paper. Unfortunately, there is bad news for you both: anyone involved in creating a paper can be considered guilty of plagiarism. Please, don’t forget that plagiarism also covers usage of work written by somebody else.
7. “We both referred to the same literature sources.”
Plagiarism is detected with the help of plagiarism software online. The plagiarism check software shows exactly what was plagiarized – similar wording is highlighted so you can easily trace the source. It doesn’t matter what exactly you copied – a source material or somebody else’s work – it’s still plagiarism.
8. “I’m too busy.”
As a student, sometimes the assignments pile up. You hang out at campus trying to get everything done on time. You think that the only way out in finishing your paper is to plagiarize! Regretfully, it’s a lame excuse.
If you experience difficulties with time management, reconsider your schedule and define your priorities. Also, it’s good to make notes so that important things aren’t forgotten. Create a good weekly working plan. Finally, if you don’t have time, you may talk it over with your educator and postpone the deadline.