Plagiarism on College Campuses

Attending a higher education is not all fun and games. Students are flooded with homework and they spend large amounts of time studying for exams. It is common for students to feel overwhelmed during the school year and do things while tired or under pressure that they regret. One of these forbidden actions is plagiarism. All throughout a student's educational career, they've been warned of the consequences of copying someone else's intellectual property and labeling it as their own. Lectures have been dedicated to citing and referencing works and ideas written by other authors in order to deter it from occurring. However, it happens often. Whether a student lacks a genuine understanding of the concept of plagiarism or a student does so in order to submit a paper on time, it warrants pretty harsh consequences.

Here is a list of reasons why a student might plagiarize in a college setting:

  • Poor time management and procrastination
  • A fear of failing a course
  • A belief that he or she will not get caught
  • Genuine lack of knowledge of what constitutes plagiarism and a university's policies surrounding this offense

How Can Plagiarism Affect My Standing as a Student of the College?

The repercussions of plagiarizing can adversely affect a student in ways that are professional, personal, ethical and legal. Higher education institutions tend to take claims of plagiarism incredibly seriously and have a very low tolerance for students who are found guilty of doing so. In many circumstances, students accused of this act in college are suspended for a first offense. From then on, the student's work will be thoroughly monitored by a college or university's academic integrity committee to deter him or her from plagiarizing again. If the committee discovers that a student has once again committed this act, subsequent offenses will likely end in expulsion.

Additional Consequences

It's important to note that students who wish to pursue specific professional careers - such as a professor, teacher, politician, businessperson, public figure etc. - should be aware that a plagiarism offense on their record will follow them for the entirety of their academic and professional career. Having this ethical offense on a student's record could prevent them from obtaining the career they attended college to prepare for in the first place.

In addition to the professional and academic consequences, there are legal repercussions that students should also be concerned about when accused of this offense. Copyright laws dictate that a person can be criminally charged for using another person's material without referencing or citing their work. A violation of these laws could ultimately lead to hefty fines and even imprisonment.

Also, an author or any other person who writes for a living has the constitutional right to sue a person who has plagiarized their intellectual property. In the event that an author wins the case, a student may be ordered by the court to pay monetary restitution.

Pennsylvania and New Jersey Student Defense Attorney

Being found responsible of plagiarizing can jeopardize the professional and academic career of a student. With the help of a legal professional, a student may have the chance to protect their rights and preserve their educational future. Contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.

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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 our offices today, and let us help secure your academic career.

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