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Academic Misconduct/Plagiarism

Hi all,

I am not sure if this is the right place to ask this type of question sorry.

I am a first year Law student with ambitions of becoming a lawyer.I have just been told by my university that part of my assignment has been found with plagiarism.I made a mistake by not referencing properly after paraphrasing as I wasn't aware of this. This was not intentional and due to time pressure and ignorance, I have missed out on referencing quite a lot.Now that they have found this as a major misconduct, this will go for an investigation and committee.I am quite stressed and this never happened in my studies before. I don't know how not to think about this as my dream is to become a lawyer and I am scared that this is going to affect my future studies.I have heard that because this is my first year the admission to legal profession won't have any issues.Can anyone put some light into this, please?

Re: Academic Misconduct/Plagiarism

Hey @bob78, welcome to RO Smiley Happy



Being accused of plaigiarism can definitely be really stressful as a student, especially if you're aiming to do really well in your studies, as you are. I can't really speak in terms of being a law student, but I have been to university, so I can talk a bit about how investigations like this go.


If you're really worried about how the investigation will go, it might be a good idea to see if you have some kind of student union or representative you can talk to about your misconduct. They could give you more insight into the whole process, and help you out with it where they can. 


As for your future studies, usually one issue of plaigiarism shouldn't affect it too much, but if you're not totally sure you could talk to the faculty. It's perfectly understandable to feel anxious about being told you plagiarised in an assignment, and for the investigation itself its best to be completely honest and let them know it was a mistake on your part.


Hope this helps Smiley Happy Let us know how things go

Re: Academic Misconduct/Plagiarism

Hi @bob78,

As a uni student myself I can definitely relate to the pressures of plagiarism checks! 
I wanted to check in on you and see how you were going. 

I think at this stage keeping in contact with your course convener (or whoever is your point of contact) and making sure to explain what happened on your end will definitely help to clarify things.  

Re: Academic Misconduct/Plagiarism

Hi safari93,
Thanks for the reply,I sill haven't heard from them as it may take few weeks.Spoke to student union and said they will help me, when I hear from the committee. I hope everything goes ok.

Re: Academic Misconduct/Plagiarism

Hi Missep,
Thanks for checking, still haven't heard from them yet waiting.Do you have anyone who has gone thru this?Very painful in initial years trying to figure out everything not knowing what is right or wrong.

Re: Academic Misconduct/Plagiarism

Hey @bob78

It is great that you have spoken to the student union and they are willing to represent you. I have not known anyone personally to have gone through this process, but as @safari93 has said, it is important to just be as open and honest as possible when you have your hearing.

WE WANT YOU to tell us what kind of infobuses you'd like to see! Let us know here.

Re: Academic Misconduct/Plagiarism

@bob78 a friend of mine went through it a few years ago and from what they said if it was accidental - which yours was - then it will all be ok Smiley Happy particularly so if you are in first year in the discipline and not too sure how things work yet

Re: Academic Misconduct/Plagiarism

Hi @bob78!

I haven't known anyone personally but I have heard of incidences!  When we're new to uni it's a learning process and with the amount of students writing academically for the first time, these things can accidentally happen. I believe that when a discussion goes through about plagiarism, they can definitely recognise whether it was accidental or purposeful. 

Please don't let this discourage you for the future, if anything it can be seen as a learning experience! 

We all go through learning experiences in uni! 

Please keep us updated! 

Re: Academic Misconduct/Plagiarism

Hi there @bob78


I had a good friend go through a similar experience. She was an occupational therapy student in her second year who sumbitted an assessment which had a portion of un-referenced content. 


She went through a very similar experience, however she was just given a warning at the end of the investigation, because:


  • She was still "early" in her degree (not a seasoned academic)
  • She had no other incidents of academic misconduct
  • She acknowledged her error, and advised that it was not intention, just an error
  • She offered to take on any further classes/workshops on referencing to prevent an incident from occurring again

I hope this information helps. Getting support from student guild/union will also be able to help. Make sure you also let some trusted family/friends know about the situation so you aren't facing this alone. 


Take care! Heart

Re: Academic Misconduct/Plagiarism

Hi ms_xt,
Thank s heaps, appreciate your reply.