Important note: This was not the first time I was reported for academic misconduct. The first time was when I cheated on an exam for another class. I disclosed how I cheated and accepted the punishment. This time, I told my professor that I didn't intend to plagiarizing but ended up doing it in the end.

During my meeting with my English professor, I told her that I wasn't feeling well at the moment and when I was completing my final assignment.

(Background) Over the weekend, everyone was able to start on our final assignment - travel piece - that was due Wednesday. On Sunday, I had time to travel. Monday, I hit my head, thought it was nothing, but decided to lie down soon after it happened to forget the pain. Slept all the way up to Tuesday afternoon, went to the very last English class and worked on the final assignment in-between naps to get my mind off of the headache. Vomitted a little in the bathroom, had a hard time concentrating and thinking, maybe I over-ate before I left home. While I was working on my essay, I and other classmates were reviewing each other's works and researching on the travel destination we wrote about. In my notes, I mixed up the info I got from articles with my notes. Didn't properly cite all of the info yet, but wrote down general comments on some of the paragraphs saying which websites they came from. After much editing later, my words and words from the articles were mixed up. Yes, I f'ked up terribly. Went home, slept. Wednesday, I went to the medical center after I felt a head bump while sitting in the passenger seat. The doctor said that I had a minor hematoma, and needed to rest for at least two weeks. E-mailed the professor about that.

(Fast-forward) I admitted to plagiarism, and described what happened and why. The professor didn't take notes of my account when she was going to file a report. On top of that, she just emailed me about something that I already told her right after filing the report. Either she wasn't listening or my story seems really bogus. Right now, I'm scared of what my professor wrote on her report because she might not have mentioned anything about my health, and make it seem like I had plagiarism in mind. I might get expelled over this. I have a printed receipt of my doctor's visit. I don't know if submitting that to the academic misconduct council will help prevent expulsion from happening.

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    We do not know what the council will do. Certainly submitting any mitigating evidence -- such as doctor's notes or a coherent narrative -- might be helpful. You may want to speak with a lawyer or other advocate before you proceed ("anything you say can and will be used against you"). – cag51 Jul 11 '19 at 3:18
  • Hi @cag51, thank you for the reply back. I don't know if there's an "advocate" I can talk to about this. – user110731 Jul 11 '19 at 3:25
  • Depends on your school's procedures...you also didn't say where in the world you are....in the US, you would typically be summoned to a formal hearing which would decide whether to suspend or expel you....your summons would contain information about what to expect and whether lawyers or other advocates are required or allowed. – cag51 Jul 11 '19 at 4:14
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    Generally it's a good idea to bring up extenuating factors like your health when your case has gone up to a higher level. A higher level administrator who wasn't directly involved in catching you at cheating might be more willing to give positive consideration to those mitigating factors. In any case, you need to quickly learn about the process that will be used to determine your guilt and your punishment. – Brian Borchers Jul 11 '19 at 4:19
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    When requesting a doctor's note, ask whether the injury could have affected your judgement during the critical period. If so, that should be stated in the note. – Patricia Shanahan Jul 11 '19 at 8:51

Consider asking to meet with your Professor (e.g. during reception hours). At that meeting, or by email if you can't schedule a meeting, ask her for a copy of the report she submitted. Alternatively, ask the disciplinary body if a procedure has been opened involving you, and if it has, ask for a copy of the complaint through there. If your Professor asks what you need it for (which she shouldn't, it's obvious) - tell her that you're anxious and it's important for you to know how your story was reflected to the higher authorities, given that it involves all sorts of circumstances and details.

This may not solve any of your problems but at least you'll know what you're up against better.

  • Thank you for the comment. I already met with my professor on Monday. The last thing she said during our meeting was "Just wait and see what happens". I also replied to an e-mail she sent me yesterday (Wednesday). She said "I read your essay, and it's plagiarized", to which I replied with "I already told you that I accidentally plagiarized the essay I submitted when we met on Monday. I spoke to the director of the ACC about how I don't know what you said in your report." The professor hasn't replied back. Actually, she didn't really reply to emails when classes were still going on. – user110731 Jul 11 '19 at 18:10
  • I will definitely ask the council what was said on the report. I will even try to ask the professor what she mentioned on her report, but I highly doubt that she'll reply back. It didn't seem like she cared during our meeting, but I could be wrong. – user110731 Jul 11 '19 at 18:12
  • @ttru: Don't ask her for this by email. Try to ask for that face-to-face. She's more likely to oblige you that way, plus, coming to her office hours shows remorse. And you should probably exhibit that remorse when coming on. – einpoklum Jul 11 '19 at 19:47
  • @epinpoklum Ahhh. Summer classes have already finished for me, and she never had office hours when classes were going on. I'd have to wait until the fall semester starts in order to find out when her office hours are. Someone in the comments suggested that I ask the academic council what was in the professor's report. So, I'll ask the council first during the hearing and then ask the professor. Thank you for trying to help me. – user110731 Jul 12 '19 at 23:36