If you have been accused of plagiarism, there are supports and resources available to help.
- Speak with your college registrar. They will help explain your options and assist you with navigating through the process.
- Respond quickly to meeting requests and invitations. Responding quickly demonstrates that you take your schooling seriously and that resolving this issue is important to you.
- Be honest with yourself and those you’re meeting with. Consider whether you committed the offence. Perhaps you haven’t done anything wrong, or you did, but it was completely unintentional. Take responsibility for your actions. It can have a positive impact on the outcome.
- Come prepared. If you are meeting with your professor or chair’s designate, bring all necessary documentation to the meeting.
Keep in mind that your instructor cannot impose a penalty – they are required to forward a matter to the department chair and you will be asked to meet with the appropriate person to mediate the issue.
How to avoid plagiarism
By knowing what constitutes plagiarism, you can avoid committing an academic offence.
- Take note of the citation style that your prof has requested. Is it MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.? Each citation style has different requirements and nuances. Familiarize yourself with the style that’s been selected.
- Understand what constitutes as plagiarism. Ensure you know how to paraphrase appropriately when summarizing an idea. Check out these tips on how not to plagiarize.
- Develop strategies to ensure you are crediting or citing your sources properly. Start in the note-taking or time management phases. When documenting an idea or quote, make sure to include your thoughts about the idea or quote. Your prof will want to know the latter!
- Use Refworks to help you organize your research and build a bibliography in a variety of styles and formats.
- Make an appointment with the Writing Centre. If you have questions regarding citing, crediting and creating your bibliography (or end notes/footnotes), they can help.
- When in doubt, ask your professor or your TA.