I wrote my bachelor thesis but now I saw that from one source I mixed up a term, instead of term that was used I accidentally used a different one. this happened because I translated that from a language. And I saw that I put my quotation marks at the wrong place, I quoted only the last half of a sentence but I accidentally put my quotation marks more at the beginning of my sentence, even tho the beginning was not a direct quote from the source. Can they now accuse me of plagiarism?????

  • Why don't you talk to them and see if you can revise it?
    – John
    Commented Mar 3, 2016 at 12:28
  • can I withdraw it after handing it in?
    – Laura
    Commented Mar 3, 2016 at 12:29
  • Usually not. But you have an advisor right? Talk to him/her and see what you can do. This really depends on how your college/university handles such things.
    – John
    Commented Mar 3, 2016 at 12:33
  • but would my mistakes be plagiarism? or a reason to not let me pass?
    – Laura
    Commented Mar 3, 2016 at 12:35
  • You could try and publish a corrigendum. Coming out and saying I made a mistake is very different from having the mistake found by someone else.
    – StrongBad
    Commented Mar 3, 2016 at 13:57

2 Answers 2


Screwing up a single small quotation in the manner that you describe could not reasonably be considered plagiarism.

While yes, it is true that you did not correctly attribute some words, from your description is appears that the attribution is not so much missing as misplaced. Moreover, while I cannot entirely judge without reading the actual text, it seems likely that any reasonable reader would likely be able to tell from the context that you are not attempting to claim the quoted text as your own.

It's still good practice to go back and correct, if your institution allows it, but don't worry about being accused of plagiarism over a single typo-level error.


Technically someone could accuse you of plagiarism, but I don't think that it is likely

It seems you currently submitted your thesis and spotted the mistake. You (only) misplaced your quote in the text and did not do it intentionally. Perhaps you can still change it. Talk to your advisor and see what you can do.

Judging from the situation I think that it would not make you fail or get you in big trouble. After all you are trying to fix a mistake not covering it up. This of course assumes you are on a friendly footing with your advisor.

For future scientific publication I suggest checking every source and quote before submitting.

  • I accidentally used the federal states instead of member states and therefore it is a different context... But the beginning of the sentence somehow shows that I mixed it up because I talked about Europe... but Im just scared that they think I did that on purpose. And with the quotation marks I said that "Germany.... efficient...." but only from the "efficient..." to the end was the direct quote...
    – Laura
    Commented Mar 3, 2016 at 12:55

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