How to Prove You Didn't Plagiarize
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How to Prove You Didn't Plagiarize

How to Prove You Didn't Plagiarize

You are a diligent and ambitious student and you try to do your best to excel in your studies. You are well aware of all the risks and consequences of plagiarizing and you never do anything to break the rules of academic integrity. Is that all true about you? No matter how decent you are in your studies, you have to know how to prove you didn't cheat even if you have never done that.

Plagiarism is an academic offence that can ruin all your life; so, if you are accused of copy-pasting ideas of other people, it will bring you lots of troubles. Your primary task is to make sure that you give no reason for such accusations and know how to protect yourself, not how to not get caught plagiarizing.

So, how can you handle this stressful situation? Have a look at our handy tips.

How to Convince Your Teacher That You Didn’t Plagiarize

Let’s fancy that you got accused of plagiarism without any reason. It means that you know for sure that it is done wrongly. What happens if you get caught plagiarizing? How can you wrestle down all the blames? It is not a rare problem that either Turnitin or a teacher points out at plagiarism, but a student is confident about originality of his paper. What investigation process shall it imply? Take these simple steps:

  1. Do not get irritated or angry!

Overreacting does not help. You will figure out how to prove you didn't plagiarize, so stay calm while asking for peculiar details about non-originality in your paper. Take notes about all dates and events related to this accusation. The record you keep cam help you a lot.

  1. Request for all proofs.

Send an email to your tutor with a question, ‘I got caught plagiarizing in college what should I do?’ and ask for a report with all matches indicated. It is essential to know which sources the report mentions as you can use this information to protect yourself.

  1. Ask for a personal meeting with a tutor.

You need all possible explanations and a meeting will be your chance to present your concerns and tell about what could go wrong. It is still possible to get the issue resolved at this stage without any further investigations.

  1. Admit your mistakes, if any

In some cases, plagiarism is unintentional. If you have checked on the report from the plagiarism checker and see that you actually plagiarized without even knowing that, the best way will be to be honest. There will be no need for the university to start a process of investigation and punish you if you simply admit the mistake and take this lesson seriously.

  1. Check on the university policies.

In case you see that you cannot agree with the results of plagiarism check as the proofs look invalid for you, you have to clarify what you can do next to protect yourself. The tutor will explain to you what will happen next.

  1. Defend yourself in the formal process.

A university plagiarism committee will start an internal process of investigation and you should use the results of plagiarism check for your text and your own proofs to show that you are innocent.

If they give you a chance to fix the text and get no consequences of the incident, just be appreciative and accept the offer. You will know that next time you will check plagiarism online and via various tools before you submit it.

Steps to Take to Check the Plagiarism and Be Sure that You Have Avoided It

It is frightening to be informed that a university check for plagiarism showed that your paper has signs of stolen content. Check whether you have followed these simple rules for avoiding the academic offence of plagiarism.

  • Use of the required citation style.

The plagiarism check can show improper citations and quotes without referencing in APA, MLA, Chicago or any other style required in the task. There are nuances in every formatting style and you have to learn all of them to make sure that you are well aware of all the requirements.

  • Understanding of plagiarism.

You have to be sure that when you check plagiarism in your paper, you need to know which parts of your writing you had to reference and how you should insert in-text citations.

  • Apply the strategies of citing sources.

It is not enough to document the quote or cite the idea of another author. What you have to do is to build a bridge between the research of other people and your own opinions and ideas.

  • Study how to create a proper bibliography.

Each style of formatting has a set of specific requirement to a list of sources. When it is time to check plagiarism, improperly formatted sources may also cause a significant increase in the percentage of plagiarism.

If you have checked on all the above-mentioned points and you know for sure that there is nothing you could do in a wrong way, you can procced to the next stage of defending yourself.

Plagiarism Check in Case of Accusations

For sure, if you see that you have found yourself in a tough situation, you will be looking for a reliable plagiarism detection engine that can streamline your academic performance and help you prove that you have never stolen anything. You need an unbiased report with detection of all possible similarities with all the sources mentioned. You do know that you have used only your own mind and imagination for writing, but still the software with sophisticated algorithms and huge databases can help you figure out what could have happened.

Key Tips for You

Stay calm and confident whatever happens! Check text for plagiarism with different tools and do not let your emotions interrupt your strategy of protecting yourself. Study all the reasons that might cause the accusation, look into every minor detail of the plagiarism report you have received, and only then claim your innocence. If you are excessively impulsive, you might offend your tutor and question his attitude to academic integrity and his work. What you need is to prove that you have done nothing wrong, not that someone else has made a mistake. Take control of your academic success and counter the accusations!

Kelsey Ayton
Born in Warsaw. Studied Psychology at SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities; took part in several inspiring Erasmus programs.
Former Practical Psychologist| Blogger of Various Mass Media | Currently PlagiarismSearch content writer | Mother-Freelancer
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