academic offense,  plagiarism,  UTM

second academic offence before graduation

Hi Aska,

I’m a 5th year student at UTM, planning to graduate in June this year. And just before this Fall semester ended one of my professors called me out for plagiarism on a final essay. (Note: The turnitin percentage was 14 percent, there were two short sentences on the paper she said were “too similar” on the essay and I began both with “x-author describes..[etc.]” aka citing the author not only before said sentence but also in the works cited list at the end.) Anyways, the problem is, If this goes through to the Academic Integrity office this would be my second time committing an offence. What can I expect? Will I get suspended just before I am about to graduate? Do you think what I did counts as an offence? The plagiarism guidelines the professor gave us defined plagiarism as “expressing someone else’s ideas as one’s own”, which I did not do. Please let me know what you think of this situation, what I can expect and what I should do. I am very stressed out about this. Much appreciated.


hey there,

tbh, you’re in a bit of a tricky situation considering the fact that this is your second offence. i’m not sure how they could have accused you of plagiarizing since you cited your sources and used quotations, but there must’ve been something serious that your instructor felt the need to address. i hope for you that it was all a huge misunderstanding!

you may already be familiar with this, but in u of t’s academic integrity codebook, there is a blurb on the topic of plagiarism which states:

“For offences involving plagiarism, depending on the amount of plagiarism contained in the work, whether or not accurate (or any) citations are provided or concocted, and whether or not any acknowledgment of the source material is provided, the Provost recommends a sanction ranging from reduction in the grade on the piece of academic work by one-half, to a final grade of zero or failure for the piece of work or zero for the course.”

however, the recommended sanctions for plagiarism will be different this time around because second time offenders will be punished more severely:

“According to Appendix”C” in The Code, where a student has previously been convicted under The Code and commits another offence, the recommended sanction shall be suspension for 2 years to expulsion from the University.”

in terms of what outcome to expect in your case, i can’t answer that. i can’t predict the outcome of your allegation not only because i don’t have enough information, but because there are too many ways your situation could be handled.

the whole process depends on several varying elements such as: how much the assignment was worth, if you admit to committing the offence, and if you admit guilt. it could go all the way to expulsion, but it could also result in the department chair not finding an offence was committed, resulting in no further action.

do you see what i’m getting at here? there are simply too many variables to consider.

you should know by now that the university takes these issues very seriously, so we can only trust that the admin will carefully review your records, look at your assignment and come to a just decision.

if you are suspended right before graduation, there isn’t much to do except try to appeal the decision or wait out your suspension. sorry to end on this disappointing note, but hey, lets hope that no further action will be taken!

bottom line, keep in contact with your registrar’s office since they will be able to help you with your case!

anyways, i’m rooting for you and hope that this issue will be resolved swiftly and in your favour!

peace and love,





  • aska


    unfortunately, i don’t typically tend to find out how these kinds of cases resolve. people don’t really keep me updated, and if i had that information without them giving it to me that would be a little creepy lol. your best bet is to hope that the person who asked the question sees this comment and takes the time to respond… but that’s a bit of a long shot. sorry i can’t be more helpful!

    x aska

  • Jaskaran Singh

    I messed up and cheated in my final exams this fall semester. The prof called me in and accused me of the act. This would be my second offense and my first offense was that I did not properly cite my sources for a minor assignment which was less than 5%. Will this lead towards my suspension? I am about this graduate after this term.

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