I am an EU student studying for my MBA in Germany. I have been a top student throughout the year. However, my thesis (24% supposedly plagiarized text) and the last two assignments (55% and 56%) have resulted in plagiarism. The plagiarism has happened mainly because of self-plagiarism in my thesis, not citing common knowledge while being identically used, not citing page numbers, and not properly paraphrasing.
I have cited everything, but the writing and paraphrasing have not been efficient, especially with the last two minor assignments. I did not do it on purpose, and it was all an unintentional mistake because of my own lack of knowledge of academic writing and lack of guidance from my professors.
However, the university has given me two weeks to write an official statement, and a committee will decide on my temporary or permanent exclusion from the program. The permanent exclusion seems disproportionate punishment, and I want to get my statement right and avoid being excluded.
Can anyone help me with tips on how I can approach my statement to improve my chances? I appreciate any opinions or previous experiences.
- I had financial pressure, so I started working full time while taking classes, finishing my thesis, and delivering three last assignments. I was under a lot of mental pressure, working day and night from April till the end of June. My goal became to deliver something that can be good enough to pass.
- The percentages refer to identical matches (or very little paraphrasing) in two main categories of self-plagiarism (my own prevision publication) and common knowledge, which I did not cite or paraphrase. Again, I cited everything, but I did too little paraphrasing and was not acceptable by the examiner.