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I am accused of copying four sentences from Wikipedia in one of my assignment

  1. Apr 23, 2012 #1
    It’s a 12 page assignment completely based on C++ simulation. I got the result and then I describe the results according to my numerical analysis while I was describing the result four of the sentences exactly match with Wikipedia. During coding in C++, I did not copy a single line from anywhere all of my own codes but Prof. accused me that I modified some codes from online sources that even I do not know. However, I gave the reference of the main algorithm that I am using. Now, Prof. informed me that he will send it to the disciplinary committee because of matching four sentences and modification of some codes.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2012
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 24, 2012 #2
    I think honesty is the best policy. It is a bit insulting to the accuser if he is right, yet you tell him he is wrong. As an example, I don't know the whole situation, but your story that you so happened to lend to your friend a USB filled with all your solutions and your friend got the idea independently to copy them (at no fault of your own) just sounds ludicrous. Many observers would assume what really happened is you gave him the USB so that he could copy the assignments. If I were listening to you tell me that, I would just feel annoyed by you treating me like a buffoon. On the other hand, if you were upfront, I would probably understand that in the inner workings of all classes, many many MANY students share assignments (though more often to check as opposed to straight copy the whole thing or to copy a single, troublesome problem).
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2012
  4. Apr 24, 2012 #3
    Did you copy the sentences from wikipedia??
    Did you give reference to wikipedia??

    Just be honest about it.
  5. Apr 24, 2012 #4
    I forget to give the wiki reference for and this is the only reference that I was missing in the 12 page assignment
  6. Apr 24, 2012 #5
    *winces* Not good. You really shouldn't forget to show all your references, you really, really shouldn't. I agree with micro and Roshan, though, just tell them you forgot to show that one little thing - they'll probably be fine with it as long as it's just a small mistake.
  7. Apr 24, 2012 #6
    No matter the punishment, I think it is also important to take it with dignity. Pleading or claiming something is unfair will just leave you stuck with the punishment for sure whereas showing acceptance as if you think it is fair combined with a small display of discomfort/regret/sadness might work in your favor.

    E.g. if they say you get an F in the course, you can breathe out heavily like a sigh with your mouth scrunched up in a semi-frown while shaking your head for a second. And then say, "I understand." You could also do something like a disbelief look with your mouth open a bit and your eye brows squished up a bit and then follow it with a regular face of logical thought and the exclamation: "I see." or "I understand. That's what I deserve."
  8. Apr 24, 2012 #7
    If you did forget to give the wiki reference, then they are correct. Let this be a lesson for the future: never ever forget to give reference for something you just copied.

    As for the situation now: I think it's the best to be entirely honest and admit you copied the sentences.
  9. Apr 24, 2012 #8


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    I agree with micromass. What the OP has posted here looks like trying to wriggle off the hook IMO. (I didn't see the USB stick comments before they were deleted, but the fact that they WERE deleted is still giving out the wrong message). That will get you nowhere, in front of a committee who have seen it all before.

    If the only mistake you made was forgetting one reference, then you might get off with some sort of warning, especially if you have some working documents that show you did record the reference when you found the Wiki material, but it got lost later on. If not ... well, not all "learning experiences" are nice ones.
  10. Apr 24, 2012 #9
    ok....thanks AlephaZero
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