A senior in a lower level science course was found guilty of plagiarism on a paper. Although the student cited all of his sources, he failed to use quotation marks around passages that he copied directly into his paper. He claimed that he was confused; he believed that quotation marks were only necessary to indicate someone’s opinion, but objective facts or information did not require quotation marks. He stated that he had followed this erroneous method for all his papers at Emory. The Honor Council believed that the student did not intend to deceive the professor as he did cite all his sources. Nevertheless, the paper clearly contained plagiarized material. The council recommended an F on the paper and a 1-year mark on the student’s personal performance record.

A sophomore in a lower level humanities course was found guilty of plagiarism on a short paper. The paper included passages that were copied directly from two online sources. Roughly 90 percent of the paper matched these two sources exactly. There were no references. The student claimed that she did not understand proper citation methods and did not intend to violate the honor code. Even had the sources been properly referenced and placed into quotation marks, there would have been no original work in this paper except for a couple sentences of the student’s own writing. As the student had a prior violation for plagiarism, the Honor Council recommended an F in the course, a 10-year mark on the personal performance record and a 1-semester suspension. The appeal panel upheld this decision.

A sophomore in an upper level science course was found guilty of plagiarism on a homework assignment. The student submitted a program that was identical to an online source. She claimed that she had consulted this source in order to help her write her own program, an action that was allowed according to the rules for the assignment. However, she accidentally submitted the online program instead of her own work. The Honor Council reviewed the files on the student’s laptop. The document properties and statistics matched the student’s story. Given the similarity of the file names and the student’s overwhelming disorganization, the Honor Council found her account plausible. However, the program that the student had intended to submit was still problematic, did not properly reference the online program and was overly derivative. As the professor advocated for a light penalty, the Honor Council recommended an F on the assignment instead of an F in the course, and a two-year mark on the personal performance record.

– Compiled by Lydia O’Neal, Senior Staff Writer

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