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Posted by on Dec 18, 2013 in Academics | 2 comments

Cheating and Plagiarism

Cheating and Plagiarism

Were you ever in a situation where you caught a student cheating on an assignment, whether plagiarism or on a test? What did you do?

Dear Lily,

I’m not a professor so I have never caught a student cheating. As a student I have never had to cheat for anything. I have never seen cheating or plagiarism of any kind really, not in my classes or from my peers.

I guess if I had a student cheat on an assignment or commit plagiarism I would ask him/her why they did it and try to understand their reasons. Nevertheless in academia plagiarism is the highest crime. Therefore, it must have a strong punishment. I know that in certain classes cheating is entirely unacceptable and if it is done then the student would fail the class. In other classes if a student cheats on an assignment then he/ she receives a zero on the particular assignment. SPC’s tolerance level against plagiarism is zero.

Honestly, there is no reason to cheat. Any student should follow an anti-cheating and anti-plagiarism rule. Especially with plagiarism because citing is the easiest skill to have, because it is a staple and if you need help attaining it then please visit the writing studio.

Follow Maria at #AskMaria



  1. I take mostly online classes, and many of those require discussion posts. In one of my classes, I took the time to research the topic, then posted what I felt was a well written and in-depth response.

    A few minutes later, another student replied, providing the exact same information I did, basically just paraphrasing but giving the same obscure facts. There were some sections that were left word for word.

    The teacher responded with a “great job!” to the other student’s posting and didn’t seem concerned that this student basically cheated off of me.

    What should I have done? Should I have pressed the matter?

    Thanks, Maria. 🙂

    • Dear Cara,

      This happens a lot in classes that have any sort of online discussions where students see each others’ work. Matter of fact, it happened all the time in my Philosophy class this past semester where our daily assignments were to answer a question based on the readings. For each reading, we had about 10 questions to chose from and it was obvious how the same students chose the questions that where already answered and copied these answers from someone else. My philosophy teacher was very smart though. She did noticed what was happening and told the class that if responses were similar to other students then they were not valid. Nevertheless, if your work is being used then it can be super annoying. In your case, I believe you should press the matter and tell your proffesor, specially if the credit is not being given to you. The other student was relying on your work and using it as his/ her own and this is, by definition, plagiarism and unnacceptable. Make sure you have the proof that you posted your work earlier and that the other student copied from you.

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