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Thread: Accidental plagiarism

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    Accidental plagiarism

    I'm in university and I accidentally submitted an assignment that I forgot I didn't finish rewording and it's totally on me.

    I talked to my professor about it and apologized a lot and explained myself and she was kind enough to let it slide with a warning not to do it again (which I will ALWAYS double check my work now) but I feel so bad about it.

    Has this or something like this happened to anyone else? I feel so crappy about it cause I never even meant to and my prof was so kind about it

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    Gold Member SarahLancaster's Avatar
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    I'm not sure how one could 'accidentally' submit an assignment that one plagiarized. You DO know that you have to give credit to the source EVEN if you reword, right?

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    Platinum Member mustlovedogs's Avatar
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    You shouldn’t get in the habit of copying and pasting things into papers unless you’re intending to do it as a quote.

    Most universities can expel you over this.

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    So to clarify, you didn't plan on plagiarizing, but you forgot to "re-word" it (in your own words) so as to avoid it looking as if you plagiarized it?

    I don't know, sounds a bit fishy that you would "forget" something like that.

    That said, imo you shouldn't be using another author's theories/ideas/words anyway, even if you re-word it. It's still considered cheating, no I have never done it, and it was quite kind of your professor to let that pass.

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    SO you copied someone else's work, intended to reword it, vs doing the research and coming to your own conclusions? You need to go back to the drawing board on learning to research and write papers.

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    Platinum Member j.man's Avatar
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    Yeah, you can't avoid citing just by paraphrasing. I get you could get knocked down quite a few points for not demonstrating an understanding enough to put a concept or information into your own words, but so long as you provide proper citations, there's pretty much no way you should be getting dinged for academic dishonesty. That kinda takes an effort to accomplish by accident. Maybe your school and field's a bit more lax, but that'd be an even better reason to stand out above your peers by employing more integrity in your academic writing.

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    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    It happens. The point is you spoke with your professor and you got the affirmation from her that you are receiving a warning and your entire course grade is not jeopardized. Learn from this and let it go. You may feel mortified but the trick is in learning from your mistakes and not making them again. Move forwards.

    One of my undergraduate degrees is in the arts. A degree takes awhile to earn. I've written a few of papers in my time - some clear, some not so clear, some cited well and others not so well. While you're earning that degree, mistakes happen. Keep learning. It will get easier and easier with time. What you're doing during your education is practicing your skills. Keep practicing. One day when you are a professor yourself or an expert in your area or when you are publishing studies of your own, you will be a lesson yourself to your students and have a number of bloopers to share. Take it in stride and keep practicing.

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    Originally Posted by abitbroken
    SO you copied someone else's work, intended to reword it, vs doing the research and coming to your own conclusions? You need to go back to the drawing board on learning to research and write papers.
    The sources were cited at the top since it was a summary assignment. It's just the way I've learned how to summarize: write it down so I understand the info > reword > change to summary. If there's a better way any advice would be appreciated

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    Gold Member SarahLancaster's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by j.man
    Yeah, you can't avoid citing just by paraphrasing. I get you could get knocked down quite a few points for not demonstrating an understanding enough to put a concept or information into your own words, but so long as you provide proper citations, there's pretty much no way you should be getting dinged for academic dishonesty. That kinda takes an effort to accomplish by accident. Maybe your school and field's a bit more lax, but that'd be an even better reason to stand out above your peers by employing more integrity in your academic writing.
    Not exactly true. Even if you paraphrase another person's words, they are still not your own and the words must be cited, according to MLA.

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    Gold Member SarahLancaster's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by egyptianmau
    The sources were cited at the top since it was a summary assignment. It's just the way I've learned how to summarize: write it down so I understand the info > reword > change to summary. If there's a better way any advice would be appreciated
    Get a copy of the MLA handbook and memorize it.

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