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Not sure if this happend to anyone, but it is my first I ever recieved this notice. I have this professor and like to be called Dr., who hasn't been very understanding. I've been turning my work in on time or sometimes a day late due my full time job. I've explained this to her in the past because I previously had this professor in my other class and she gave me a C and said I did plagiarism in the other class. Apparently, in this class, I have done plagiarism on my essays when in my perspective I've been citing every piece of sentence that I know I am paraphrasing and I add my references. How come I never received a first or second notice? Also, I don't understand why she did this when I know I cited every detail. The rest of my professors that I have had in the past has always given me As and Bs on my essays why this teacher is giving me these grades? I have another class with another professor and he is very understanding. I get As with him and he tells me I do a fabulous job. I just don't understand and now I have a conference with the faculty coordinator about how we are going to fix the issue when in my perspective I think I've been following the guidelines of citing my work.

closed as unclear what you're asking by Roland, Buffy, corey979, cag51, J-Kun Apr 10 at 13:07

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    hi! could you please clarify what exactly you need help with? – Oct18 is day of silence on SE Apr 10 at 1:35
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    Have you been warned on plagiarism before? Note that quoting verbatim for extended sections is also considered a form of plagiarism, even if sources are mentioned. It is probably not as grave as not mentioning the sources, but it is still a serious problem, as verbatim quoting means you just copy/paste the thoughts of others and it is not clear to which extent you have understood what they are saying; it puts in doubt how much you actually have intellectually contributed. Generally, it is better to use your own words, even imperfect than copy the words of others. – Captain Emacs Apr 10 at 10:04
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    If your essays read anything like this question I'd expect an automatic F. Plagiarism or not. – user2705196 Apr 10 at 22:10
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Maybe there is a misunderstanding about plagiarism here:

Plagiarism example:

There is considerable controversy about the mechanism of T cell receptor (TCR) triggering, the process by which the TCR tranduces signals across the plasma membrane after binding to its ligand (an agonist peptide complexed with an MHC molecule) [1].

(because you copy&paste the text without quotation marks - the citation does not fix it here)

No Plagiarism:

“There is considerable controversy about the mechanism of T cell receptor (TCR) triggering, the process by which the TCR tranduces signals across the plasma membrane after binding to its ligand (an agonist peptide complexed with an MHC molecule)” [1].

(because you cite and use quotation marks)

... and yes, it needs to be quotation marks. Using italic, indent or similar does not help as recent decisions about plagiarism in PhD theses have shown.

No Plagiarism:

The mechanisms that cause T-cell receptor triggering are still a matter of discussion [1].

(because you cite and rephrase and no quotation marks are needed - this is most common in natural and technical sciences)

[1] Correct citation here with authors, title, year, journal/book, pages etc

What can you do in your situation (i.e. when meeting with the faculty coordinator)?

Maybe your professor did not clearly point the above out (sounds like it from your text)? Then it was a misunderstanding. If you are an undergrad student this will most likely be an "honest mistake" - as a PhD student that line will not help you.

  • Could you please provide a reference for the decisions that "italic, indent, or similar does not help"? I'm interested in where these decisions were made, since they strike me as inordinately strict. I would have expected, before reading your answer, that what is needed is only an absolutely clear indication that the words are taken unchanged from another source. – Andreas Blass Apr 11 at 2:39
  • google Johannes Hahn – lordy Apr 11 at 13:44
  • Thanks for the pointer to Johannes Hahn. If I correctly understand the paragraph about plagiarism on the Wikipedia page, Hahn was "acquitted" in the investigations performed by two universities but "convicted" in an investigation commissioned by a member of an opposing political party. I'm inclined to conjecture that whatever Hahn did would have been OK if he weren't a politician. – Andreas Blass Apr 11 at 13:54
  • Think about it this way: If we had cited correctly then the first long pharagraph of his wiki page would now not be about his PhD thesis but about his work as European Commissioner ... – lordy Apr 11 at 16:28
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I think two things should be pointed out:

  • This professor has already warned you that you are doing "plagiarism in the other class". She's presumably taking that as the first or second notice.
  • Citing something doesn't necessarily mean there's no plagiarism. For example if I construct a paragraph where I quote verbatim from three different sources, even if I cite them all explicitly, that's still plagiarism. There's no hard and fast line, but if your work contains more direct quotations than your own words for example, that could lead your professor to conclude you plagiarized.

If you still think you didn't plagiarize, or if you are still not sure why this professor is accusing you of plagiarism, go to the meeting and explain your point of view. Note you haven't been found guilty and there's a chance the faculty coordinator doesn't know the full details (or wants to know your point of view). You'll be given the chance to defend yourself and it's possible the coordinator will agree with you. Either way, the meeting is an opportunity for everyone involved to solve this conflict like adults.

  • if I construct a paragraph where I quote verbatim from three different sources, even if I cite them all explicitly, that's still plagiarism. No, if you make clear what you're citing, it can't possibly be plagiarism. The problem with having paragraphs entirely made from other sources, if there is one, is that it makes the work too little original. – sgf Apr 10 at 6:31
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    @sgf But the OP did not state that they made it clear they were citing (or paraphrasing), just that they referenced the source. Referencing a source is not itself enough if you are paraphrasing or quoting long sentences. – Tobias Kildetoft Apr 10 at 8:32
  • @TobiasKildetoft But Allure is explicitly saying "if your work contains more direct quotations than your own words [...], that could lead your professor to conclude you plagiarized" This doesn't sound like "if you didn't put quotation marks...", it sounds like "If 90% of your assignment is verbatim quotations, that's plagiarism", which is wrong. – sgf Apr 10 at 9:16

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