Plagiarism Cases Cited in The California Aggie

Collected by Andy Jones
Coordinator, Computer-Aided Instruction Program
The English Department



4/6/00 - A senior with no prior referrals was sent to SJA for plagiarism on a paper in an upper-division writing course. The instructor suspected plagiarism when grading the paper and noted highly eloquent wording, which was inconsistent with the student's previous work in the class. The paper also lacked references and quotation marks. The instructor then investigated some of the student's Internet sources and found them inaccessible. In a meeting with SJA staff, the student admitted to improper citations and plagiarism. The student was placed on deferred separation, a sanction that could result in a dismissal or suspension if the student has any subsequent violations. In addition, the student must write a paper on honesty and plagiarism and visit a writing specialist at the Learning Skills Center. A score of zero was assigned to the student's paper. The case is closed.

Plagiarism from Internet

10/26/00 - A junior with no disciplinary record with SJA was referred for suspected plagiarism from the Internet. The instructor became suspicious because the student's paper had citations within the text but not on the reference page and some references were left out of the paper completely. The plagiarism was confirmed when it was analyzed by, an electronic plagiarism detection service. identified multiple similarities between the student's paper and several Internet sites. When speaking with the instructor, the student claimed that the plagiarism was unintentional. Later, the student failed to meet with the judicial officer assigned the case so unilateral action was taken. The student was placed on probation through graduation and received a zero for the paper. Case closed.


11/15/00 - A first-year student with no prior disciplinary history was referred to SJA for alleged plagiarism on a paper. The instructor noticed on the final paper that the student had written a two-page description without any citation or reference. In a draft, the instructor had warned the student to cite sources and use quotation marks appropriately. It was obvious to the instructor that the student did not heed this warning. In a meeting with SJA staff, the student admitted to copying the material but said the plagiarism was unintentional. The student claimed to have misunderstood the rules and believed a single citation at the conclusion of the paper was sufficient. The student was placed on probation until spring 2001 and received a zero on the paper. This case is closed.

See to learn more about plagiarism and Student Judicial Affairs.

Return to "Responsible Use of the Web"