Demanding aspects of academic writing take a lot of time and creativity to accomplish. This is why many assignments that require rigorous writing and research often frighten students.
However, there is a similar and more serious challenge that many of them experience occasionally, called plagiarism. Having spent countless days working hard on a written task, many students find their work being rejected after a uniqueness check.
This can happen even after following the rules and being authentic in your written content. So how do you convince your instructor you didn’t plagiarize?
Lucky for you, this post discusses this at length and offers ideas for avoiding plagiarism in the future. It also helps answer the likely lingering question, “how can teachers tell if you plagiarized?” So read on, and let’s get started!
How do professors check for plagiarism?
Many students understand the consequences of plagiarism and its primary causes, but not many understand how supervisors check for them. If you constantly wonder or ask yourself, “how do teachers know you plagiarized?” Then the answer might not be surprising.
Professors and other instructors use a free or paid plagiarism checker online to determine if a paper is authentic or not. As an instruction, these checkers must be accurate, but not all turn out to be.
So in rare cases, a plagiarism checker can show wrong results. Most checkers use several additional settings that may increase their sensitivity to matching written text. However, there’s a limit to how many similar words and word arrangements are flagged as plagiarism.
To learn how to beat plagiarism checkers and defend yourself when you have been wrongly accused of plagiarism, you have to understand how plagiarism checkers work. Whether your teacher changes some settings of the checker or not can be an indication of your plagiarized work.
What to say when caught plagiarizing
When caught plagiarizing, the only thing to do is apologize if it was intentional. If it wasn’t, be clear and firm in your defense and honest to your supervisor. Do not admit plagiarism when you didn’t plagiarize.
If it is an error on your part discovered through a thorough investigation, be sure to apologize and redo your work. But if, after an investigation, it was discovered that you’d been falsely accused of plagiarism. Then, you have nothing to worry about through an error from your professor or a faulty plagiarism checker.
How to prove you didn’t plagiarize
The truth should determine your actions when you need to prove you didn’t plagiarize or learn how to get out of plagiarism. For example, you can prove your innocence if the low uniqueness of the text was error-based, but not if you copied it from the internet. In general, if this was an accident and the person has a reputation as a hardworking student who doesn’t break any rules, the odds of justifying are good.
However, if you want to prove that you did not plagiarize, you can take the following steps:
- Start with absolute honesty
Before anything else, start with absolute honesty when approaching the issue. Everyone is afraid of failing, but lying isn’t the best option, especially after getting caught. It would be best if you were honest with yourself first, then with your supervisor.
Be sure to understand if you accidentally plagiarized or not and learn to admit your faults immediately if it is yours. On the other hand, avoid continuous lying, as the situation can become a lot more complicated.
- Ensure you’ve been accused of plagiarism in the first place
If you are confident that your work doesn’t contain plagiarized content after critical self-evaluation, ensure you’re being accused. You have to be sure you weren’t just asked a question but approached with an explicit accusation.
- Request oral defense
This is the best solution to prove that your work isn’t plagiarized. With this step, you can make an oral report on the topic of your paper to confirm the work is yours. You can also explain why you’re innocent and what could have caused the mishap.
It would help if you came prepared with meaningful evidence, like research notes or drafts made when writing the paper. You can also call upon the credibility of your previous easy and other academic papers to show your adherence to strict writing rules.
- Cite sources
Lastly, you can also create a list of cited sources to prove the conduct of valid research. This will show that you haven’t wholly copied from your information source.
It is possible to be falsely accused of submitting plagiarized work. However, if your actions were indeed pure, all you need to do is approach your defense calmly and understand the whole plagiarism process. Then, by following the tips above, you’ll surely prove your innocence.