Photo courtesy of  Flickr Creative Commons/ Brian Turner

Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons/ Brian Turner

  • When a sophomore in a lower level social science course did not understand a homework assignment question, he consulted his roommate, who showed him the answers and left. The student copied his roommate’s responses, which the course professor noted while grading the assignment. While collaboration was permitted, the student’s roommate said he did not know the student had planned to copy his responses. The student received a two-year mark on his record, a full letter grade deduction in the course and a zero on the assignment.
  • For a short writing assignment, a freshman in a lower level social science course copied a few sentences verbatim from a website without using quotation marks. After typing the phrases into a quick online search, the professor soon found the original text, which had been referenced in the student’s bibliography. As an international student, he claimed that he did not know that direct speech should be placed in quotations but acknowledged that he had committed plagiarism by U.S. standards. The Honor Council required the student to complete an educational program and gave him a one-year mark on his record and zero on the paper but decided that he would have the opportunity to replace the grade after writing another paper on the same subject.
  • While working on a paper about a contemporary author for a lower level humanities course, a junior student contacted the author and included some of his communication with the author in her paper. The professor noted a difference in the student’s language and ideas while grading the paper and consulted the student, who said he didn’t know the content of his conversations with the author should have been cited. Though the student argued that he supplemented the author’s ideas and claims discussed during the unreferenced conversation, he received a failing grade in the course and a two-year mark on his record. Convinced that the student did not intend to plagiarize the discussion material, an appeal panel maintained the two-year mark but gave the student a zero on the assignment instead of an F in the course.

The following reports are real cases adjudicated by the Emory College Honor Council. Any personally identifiable information has been omitted to protect the privacy of all parties involved.

— Compiled by Lydia O’Neal