I was wondering, what are the likely outcomes for a case where the assignment worth less than 10% has been deemed plagiarized by the instructor? I understand that there is a mark of 0% or they’ll take it to the dean, but is there anyway to prove my innocence without having to go through such a process? Like I honestly haven’t plagiarized and I feel like Uoft is the government where they make false cases against you just to trap you in life. This is so unjust, but their authority is much greater than my word. How do I escape these lies when I haven’t, 100% not, plagiarized or at least with no intention to at all? In what case will this accusation (false) appear on my transcript? What will the discussion with the instructor consist of? How can I prove my innocence without going through the scary process with the dean?
From one frustrated student who feels like uoft is out to get me!
i get that you ‘honestly haven’t plagiarized,’ and i feel for you, i do, but you gotta understand i don’t know you personally. i don’t know if you plagiarized. same goes for your instructor/the dean; as far as they know, you could be pulling a NASTY TRICK. i mean, don’t get me wrong, you seem pretty cool. i’m sure you’re an A+ guy who would never cheat, but like, there’s no way of knowing that for sure. that means that some kind of formal process has to be followed by your instructor, and that process is outlined in the code of behaviour on academic matters.
any instance of plagiarism will only go to the dean or a formal hearing if it’s not resolved at a less formal level – and with such a small assignment, i’m sure it can be. according to the code, the first step is just that you discuss the offence with your instructor (that’s on page 4 if you wanna take a look at it). so before you do anything else, go to your instructor, ask them what offence specifically they think you’ve committed (improper citation, etc.), and then you have a chance to explain yourself to them.
keep in mind that although you’re almost certainly not a bad person and maybe you didn’t intend to plagiarize, it could have happened accidentally. there are a whole bunch of offences listed in the code, and maybe you committed one without knowing it. so listen carefully when your instructor explains why they think you plagiarized. if it turns out you did, just admit to it – the earlier on you do, the less severe the punishment.
if however, your instructor really has just made a mistake, everything should be fine at that point. if not, they have to take it to the department chair/dean, but as long as you’re honest and explain your situation fully with your instructor, there should be no problem.