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What is the Penalty for Plagiarism?

Plagiarism is a serious offense. When you ask: “what is the penalty for plagiarism,” it also means you need to look further into what plagiarism actually is, to understand the severe penalties that can occur. Basically, plagiarism is not just copying other people’s work without giving proper credit. It’s also about claiming that you did work that you did not actually do.

For example, if you are writing a book critique on Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, and you quote a passage verbatim from the book without giving proper citation, you are committing an act of plagiarism. Can this be accidental plagiarism? It may be, but it’s still going to be considered plagiarism by your professor regardless.

When a professor suspects that you plagiarized something in a paper, they have to look for evidence to prove it first. They can do this by using plagiarism checking software, using Copyscape and even just doing a simple Google Search. If the professor is able to prove that you committed the act of plagiarism, the following punishments can happen.

  1. You can just fail the assignment. This is the least damaging to your academic reputation because a failed assignment doesn’t automatically lead to a failing a class. If you’re caught at the beginning of the semester and this is the only punishment your professor dishes out, you can easily turn things around and still pass the class.

  2. But, very few professors will just give you a failing grade on the assignment. They’ll go further and give you a failing grade for the class. They won’t give you the chance to prove yourself and regain their trust. It won’t matter if the other work you did and got good grades on averages out.

  3. Worst of all, committing the act of plagiarism can lead to being expelled from the college and university that you are attending. If your professor is able to gather sufficient and irrefutable evidence that you are guilty of plagiarism, you can end up having to testify in front of an academic review board. Yes, you have the chance to defend yourself. You can claim that you were not understanding what plagiarism actually is, and what it entails. However, it is very hard to successfully defend yourself against an obvious intentional act of plagiarism. For example, the school administrators will never buy that you didn’t know it was ok to copy something verbatim out of a book and not give credit.

Numbers 2 and 3 are the most common punishments for plagiarism in college. The only way number 1 will occur is if:

  1. You have a gullible professor that will believe you when you claim that you didn’t know any better. There are professors who will go easy on their students, and not bring first time offenders of plagiarism to the attention of University officials.

  2. It’s a case of accidental plagiarism. For example, you remember reading something in a book, and wrote it down close to how it was presented in the book because you have a pretty good memory. But you don’t remember the name of the particular book. Another example is that you forgot to cite something. This is very unlikely to happen with most professors, especially if this is not your first semester of college, because they feel you should know better.

Now, let’s look at an example in the real word. What is the penalty for plagiarism at the University of Phoenix?

The University of Phoenix website has a student code of conduct, located here: https://www.phoenix.edu/content/dam/altcloud/doc/about_uopx/student-code-of-conduct.pdf. In it, it defines plagiarism as follows:

  1. “The exact copy of information from a source without proper citation and without use of quotation marks or block quotation formatting.” Quotation marks must be used around words in the paper that are not he student’s original words.

  2. Summarizing paragraphs, papers and books done by someone else without properly citing the original author and work.

  3. When a student claims ownership for work that was not actually done by them. This includes purchasing essays.

  4. The student fails to cite any data they got from other sources.

Now that we’ve looked into how the University of Phoenix defines plagiarism, how do they penalize students for committing such an act?

  1. First, an impartial investigation happens and evidence for the act of plagiarism is collected. The student can be removed from class and other University events during the investigation.

  2. The student is notified in writing of the charges of plagiarism against them. They have 10 days to provide a written response to a designated official at the University. If the student fails to respond, they will be suspended from the University when they complete their current courses.

  3. If the student acknowledges guilt in their response, copies of that response will be given to the “Campus Director of Academic Affairs, the Campus Director of Operations, or their designee who will determine the appropriate sanction(s).” ( https://www.phoenix.edu/content/dam/altcloud/doc/about_uopx/student-code-of-conduct.pdf.)

  4. If a student does not acknowledge guilt in their response, an Ethics Committee comprised of a school administrator and at least three people, all of whom will be objective and detached from the situation. No one who has been previously involved with the student will be a part of this committee.

  5. The committee will look at the evidence against plagiarism presented to them to decide whether plagiarism actually occurred and what the punishment will be.

  6. The student will not be allowed to have an attorney or other 3rd party representing them, but they will be able to speak in their defense.

The punishments that can occur when a student is caught plagiarizing at the University of Phoenix are as follow:

  1. Counseling

  2. “Loss of academic credit” (https://www.phoenix.edu/content/dam/altcloud/doc/about_uopx/student-code-of-conduct.pdf.)

  3. Suspension

  4. Expulsion

If this is the recommended punishment, there will be an automatic review by the “Student Discipline Review Committee (SDRC)”

Plus, students always have the right to appeal the decision of the ethics committee and the school. As you can see, being found guilty of plagiarism at the University of Phoenix doesn’t always lead to expulsion. This is the way it is at a lot of universities. They give the offender a chance to defend themselves, and conduct a review on how the plagiarism occurred.

When you consider the following question: What is the penalty for plagiarism in college, you also need to look at how you can avoid those penalties. It’s simple – don’t plagiarize. You do this by either writing your own work and giving proper credit, or, if you are at the point where you want to buy a paper still, you buy it from a trustworthy college paper service like Prescott Papers.

How will using Prescott Papers still prevent you from being accused of plagiarism?

  1. The Ivy-League level professors and graduates that Prescott Papers hire will only write completely unique content. Our writers will never plagiarize any work from the internet or another source. They know how to properly cite sources. Their custom papers will pass any plagiarism checks that your university conducts.

  2. The Prescott Papers website is completely secure, with a valid website certificate and TLS (Transport Layer Security) protocol. This means your visits at the website are completely secure. It allows Prescott Papers to maintain complete confidentiality as well. They will never give anyone information about your order. There will never be any evidence that you used the website, and had a paper done by the company.

  3. Prescott Papers still allows you to make the work your own by offering unlimited edits and revisions for free with each order. You can also keep in constant communication with the writer to ensure the project is being done the way you want it.

Overall, the student is ultimately responsible for maintaining their academic integrity and being extra careful of how they have their college work done to avoid being accused of plagiarism in the first place.

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