Teacher accused me for plagerism for using a definition?

Asked almost 2 years ago - Milwaukee, WI

I understand pulling any information from anywhere needs to be cited, but say for example 2+2=4, where would you cite that?
I saw the definition as common knowledge, and said "the literal meaning is "....." "
is there any way in which im NOT at fault?
I just dont like being accused of cheating or doing something i havent.

Additional information

What he did is basically fail me and not let me redo the assignment. He's a smart teacher, so me looking for additional information is my weapon against him.

ALSO, i understand lawyers don't always protect the person who did nothing wrong.. But they find a way to make it so that the person who did wrong, doesnt get in as much trouble as they should because of some underlying factors.. any help? any way im not completley wrong??
please and thank you

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Charles K. Kenyon Jr.


    Contributor Level 19


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Better practice would have been to cite your source. Believe it or not, different dictionaries give different definitions for words. This does not sound like you are claiming credit for someone else's work (what I normally thikk of as plagiarism) but rather being a bit sloppy. There is a difference to me.

    However, plagiarism.org, has a definition that includes quoting something without citation.

    When you say the teacher accused you of plagiarism, what, exactly, was said and done? Did you get a failing mark on a project or reported to the principal? Were you threatened with suspension or some other sort of discipline?

    Talk about this with your parents and counselor. See whether it can be straightened out. Unless this make a difference in your ability to go to school, I can't see involving a lawyer.

    Confidential information should not be disclosed in this Internet forum. This answer is not legal advice, which... more
  2. Christine C McCall


    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Your school has an administrative appeal process for resolving these kinds of disputes. It is set forth in your student handbook, on the school's web-site and in your enrollment/admission materials. You must pursue this process, including timely satisfaction of all steps, before you have any right to bring any legal claim.

    You have a right to utilize legal counsel in the admin appeal process and if the school is proposing serious discipline, you should have an attorney. Plagiarism is considered an "integrity violation" by all colleges and universities and discipline on that ground can keep you out of grad and professional school, professional internships, and other post-graduate educational programs. It can affect your eligibility for military service, state licensing, and of course post-grad employment.

    If the evidence is weak, you may be able to defeat the allegation in the appeal proceeding. If the evidence is strong, an attorney can sometimes negotiate a "safe" resolution that accomplishes the school's purpose while keeping the matter confidential and allowing the student to go forward without a disciplinary record that limits so many future opportunities.

    My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as legal advice.... more
  3. Brian S Wayson

    Contributor Level 19


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . I agree with the fine answers of my esteemed colleagues, I trust you will heed their wise words.

    Disclaimer Information on this site is provided by Brian Scott Wayson as general information, not legal advice,... more

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