Two days back, I got a favorable reply from a professor who is happy to be my supervisor for a PhD program. The university is one of the famous universities in Australia. Unfortunately, the deadline for submitting the application is today. Even though I had only two days to prepare all the documents, I sorted out all of them except the project proposal. Currently I am almost done with the project proposal too, but I did not check it for plagiarism since I have copied some parts from the internet.

If I submit the proposal with the application as it is (with the parts I have copied from the internet), and if I am rejected, will it affect me when I apply for the same program next year? Will they keep that record and draw it back when they evaluate my application for the second time?

  • 47
    If you have copied some parts from the internet, you don't need to check for plagiarism to know that it's plagiarized, do you? And, believe me, those parts have a high probability of getting noticed. Commented Jul 31, 2017 at 7:01
  • Yes you are right. To be honest it is something I had to do intentionally because of lack of time. I changed the question a bit since I think now it make more sense. Thanks for your comment Commented Jul 31, 2017 at 7:07
  • 2
    Regarding your second application we can't give you information, that depends on the university, on the program, etc. It is possible that the same people will be responsible next year and they might remember the guy who tried to get in with a Wikipedia article (or wherever you copied...). Why not just state the sources and make it clear that this paragraph was taken from ...?
    – Dirk
    Commented Jul 31, 2017 at 9:23
  • If I find someone plagiarizes a research proposal, I will not look at their application again. How do I know they won't do it in research papers? When you have a conference deadline, you do not have the time (and should not have to) put a paper through turnitin. Don't copy/paste from the internet. Period. Write your own language, even if it has bad grammar, as long as it is yours. Commented Mar 17, 2021 at 13:19

4 Answers 4


Without any indication of university, I have to assume that yes, they will keep records of all the things you do. Furthermore, you can assume that your next application will go through the same persons, as they are probably the only ones working on your particular type of application, so even if they don't have records, they will likely remember it.

Plagiarism is extremely reprehensible in the research/academic world, hence you should never ever do it if you want to be considered worth doing research. Here (France), students can be banned up to 5 years from taking any examinations for these kind of faults.

If this is only a problem of time, have you considered asking for an extension for the submission? If you weren't aware of what had to be done for the submission, you might be able to get away with it by proving you only got the request 2 days ago. Otherwise, they might deny it because you could have prepared it without knowing the answer.

It's august, so university will probably be on holidays now they probably won't mind the delay. Bottom word: I can not answer for your university, but doing wrong things will impact your career, so you'd better refrain from doing it.

  • 4
    Sadly, Australian universities are very much not on holidays in August - it is the beginning of the second semester at most.
    – Aant
    Commented Jul 31, 2017 at 15:51

and if I am rejected will it affect for me when I apply for the same program next year?

Yes, this is possible. The following might also be possible outcomes of a decision to plaigiarize:

  • The university accepts your application, but then later discovers that your project proposal was plagiarized. They then rescind your acceptance after you have made your travel plans.

  • The university accepts your application, and you start the program and begin working with your supervisor. Soon after, your supervisor looks at your application and discovers the plagiarism. S/he then drops you as a student without warning.

It can't be said that any of these outcomes would necessarily occur; possibly nothing would happen except that you get a reprimand. Nevertheless, plagiarism is considered a serious offense in academia, and could have serious repercussions on your career. It seems that you are unfortunately in a difficult situation -- but in my opinion it would be a serious mistake to submit the application as is.


"I have copied some parts from the internet" - It's unclear what you have copied.

There are two issues here. The first, if you mean you have copied some text from online sources well those are references, there is nothing wrong with that. If you know you have done this then that's the first step - just make sure you follow through by marking up quotes, adding a bibliography and using the correct reference styles required e.g. Harvard, Chicago etc.

The second issue, if you have copied a concept and that is the basis of your proposal then without reference that is plagiarism. However if you have referenced the sources correctly then there is potentially an additional issue - you may not have a PhD proposal. A requirement of the PhD is that you make a contribution to knowledge. If you are reiterating what has been said elsewhere then it's likely your proposal will be refused.


Do not copy parts from the internet. You can always paraphrase and there is always a paraphrasis that suits your context better.

It is odd that you should talk about not being able to "check for plagiarism" when you know that you copied. I get the impression that you are perhaps trying to hide behind not having had enough time. I am not trying to be mean here!

Yes, there is an outside chance that it may blow up in your face, and then you will have to take your lumps because you know you did (did not) do what you should (not) have done. However, I think this unlikely.

  • 1
    I'm glad you want to help by answering questions here - but this question is four years old and already has answers that cover most of what you have said. When you touch an old question like this it comes to the top of the "recently active" list, so people like me look at it, which wastes our time. Answering new questions might be a better use of your time and mine. Commented Mar 16, 2021 at 15:13

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .