How Plagiarism Can Lead to Disciplinary Actions for Academic Misconduct

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Dec 12, 2018 | 0 Comments

Students at colleges and universities are required to maintain academic standards and integrity. If students violate the honor code disciplinary actions may be imposed. Violations may include cheating, plagiarism and submitting false data. Sometimes news headlines report on accusations of plagiarism against someone in the mass media or politics. Schools inform their students that plagiarism is not tolerated and will have negative consequences.

What is Plagiarism?

The meaning is often considered as when someone commits an act of “literary theft”. This occurs by using someone else's ideas or materials as if they were your own work. These acts are viewed as forms of fraud or theft conducted for one's own personal gain. Plagiarism may lead to legal actions similar to those of patent infringement. Students are typically accused of plagiarizing after submitting an assignment containing published material without properly giving credit to the author.

Why Plagiarizing is Serious

Those who plagiarize typically have their credibility questioned. Employees acting in a professional capacity can expect to have their employment terminated. Schools take this seriously because it is contrary to the principles of honesty and credibility.

Examples of Plagiarism

Students seeking an easy way to complete an essay, report or term paper may submit one that was purchased from an online seller. Students may submit an assignment that was previously used by another student. Text contained within may have been copied word-for-word from some published source.

The Effects of Plagiarizing

These examples of dishonesty are considered reckless and inconsistent with academic ideals and performance. An incident will likely harm the teacher-student relationship. Students also miss out on obtaining knowledge and plagiarism reflects badly on the credibility of educational institutions.

How Prevalent is the Issue of Plagiarizing?

The following data is from a Rutgers University study that surveyed over 60,000 undergraduate and 9,000 graduate students:

Respondents Regarding Plagiarism[1]



Copying or paraphrasing from internet source without crediting or footnoting



Copying or paraphrasing from a written source without crediting or footnoting



Fabricated or falsified a bibliography



Submitted someone else's work



What is the Perceived Scope of Plagiarizing?

Claire Guthrie compiled some revealing data while at the University of Waikato. She found that 97% of students agreed the leading form of dishonest student activity was “unpermitted collaboration”. Roughly 96% of respondents felt students plagiarized; nearly 25% felt it occurred consistently.

Could an Attorney Assist Students Accused of Plagiarism?

University systems of evaluating and ruling on academic misconduct are not criminal or civil legal processes. But, the outcomes of these proceedings may have devastating consequences. An attorney that is familiar with student disciplinary defense may be of tremendous assistance to the accused.

Attorney for Student Disciplinary Defense

The Lento Law Firm has advised students across the U.S. facing sanctions or penalties at colleges and universities. Joseph D. Lento is an attorney with the experience to ensure that accused students are treated fairly in these matters. Contact the office today at (888) 535-3686 for a consultation.


About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients nationwide. Attorney Lento and his team represent students and others in disciplinary cases and various other proceedings at colleges and universities across the United States. Attorney Lento has helped countless students, professors, and others in academia at more than a thousand colleges and universities across the United States, and when necessary, he and his team have sought justice on behalf of clients in courts across the nation. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide, and he can help you or your student address any school-related issue or concern anywhere in the United States.


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If you, or your student, are facing any kind of disciplinary action, or other negative academic sanction, and are having feelings of uncertainty and anxiety for what the future may hold, contact the Lento Law Firm today, and let us help secure your academic career.

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