If you are attending community college, or any college or university, you know how serious plagiarism is. Being accused of plagiarizing in college can be incredibly frightening, and it can have some damaging consequences. What happens if you plagiarize in community college?
Plagiarizing in community college can see you being suspended for a short time, and the offense could be placed on your academic record. This record could become a problem if you want to study further. Some colleges expel students on their first offense.
Bottom line: Don’t try it!
Whether you are in community college or university, you need to understand the seriousness of plagiarism, how it affects your student career, and what to do if you get caught plagiarizing.
What Should You Do If You Get Caught Plagiarizing?
Being caught plagiarizing, especially if it is your first offense, can be a harrowing experience. If you do get caught having plagiarized something, you need to put some effort into resolving the issue or at least work to tone down the consequences somehow.
Your first step should be to talk to the professor or the instructor who accused you of plagiarism. This isn’t easy, and really does take some bravery, as professors don’t take lightly to plagiarism, but it is something that needs to be done.
Depending on circumstances, they might be lenient and allow you to redo an assignment. This is possibly the best-case scenario, as the plagiarism should not have long-term consequences.
However, this does not always work, and the professor or instructor may submit the case forward for further disciplinary action. This is definitely more serious, and you will need to read through resources such as your student handbook or speak to your advisor about what your next step is, and what might happen if you are found guilty.
It is important to know your community college’s procedures and policies when it comes to plagiarizing, so you can be better prepared should you have to go through it.
Can You Accidentally Plagiarize?
Plagiarism isn’t always intentional, and there are cases where you may accidentally plagiarize. Accidental plagiarism can happen in a few ways. You might not cite sources, misquote sources, or paraphrase sources using similar sentence structures or groups of words.
Accidental plagiarism is a great reason why students should learn how to properly cite sources and take accurate and proper notes.
However, remember that accidental plagiarism does not mean you will not face disciplinary action. While it is not intentional, it still shows some negligence on your side as a student, and you could still be subject to consequences that intentional plagiarism would also have.
If you do most of your research online, there are some plagiarism checker sites that you could use to run over your work. These should not be the only tools you rely on to avoid accidental plagiarism, but they definitely do help.
Just remember to always cite sources correctly, and make sure to check your sources and your work for any similarities that could be picked up as accidental plagiarism.
How Do You Know If You Are Plagiarizing?
Let’s be honest, with all the rules surrounding citing sources and creating your own work, it can be difficult to know when you are plagiarizing.
The best way to avoid plagiarising, especially when it comes to accidental plagiarising, is understanding how to tell if you are plagiarizing or not.
Plagiarism isn’t just copying and pasting from a piece of work to your own, it is more nuanced than that. It is much easier to plagiarize in the academic setting, and plagiarism can be difficult to recognize in your own work.
Avoid taking a few words or phrases from a source material and trying to make it your own. This is especially true if you are keeping the original structure, content, and tone of the source work, but changing up a few words.
You might think this is okay, but doing this and not citing the source is plagiarism, and even though you might not know you are plagiarizing, this could lead to serious consequences.
Types Of Plagiarism
To be able to tell whether you are plagiarizing, it helps to know the different forms of plagiarism. You should be able to recognize these in your own work.
Copying – Copying is the most blatant form of plagiarizing.
It involves taking sentences or paragraphs from the original source and using it word-for-word as your own without any referencing.
This could involve copies of complete sentences, paragraphs, chapters, or even the entire source work.
Minor alterations – Using minor alterations when copying original work is almost as bad.
It is copying exactly what is in the original source but changing a few words here and there to make it appear different.
While the work might look slightly different, it is still using the information and research without any citations or credit given to the original author.
Self-plagiarism – Self-plagiarism is when you use your own work that you have done originally.
This is also known as recycling. Even if using your own work as a source, you should still cite it for clarity.
Avoid using old work and recycling it as new work too, as this is also taken seriously in college.
No citing – You absolutely have to cite work in college, not doing so is considered a serious form of plagiarism.
You simply cannot use another author’s words or research ideas without giving them any credit in your own work.
What Happens If I Plagiarize In Community College?
Plagiarizing as a student is a serious offense, and the repercussions can range from you having to redo the assignment, which is an easy break, or suspension and termination.
It is not worth risking your place at college to plagiarize. Even accidental plagiarism can be avoided if you learn how to research and cite sources properly, and make each piece of work you submit your own.
Cheating should never be an option.
Plagiarism is not something to risk in community college, so avoid it at all costs!
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