Penalties for Plagiarism and Academic Misconduct

Grade reduction

Colleges require lecturers to deduct points on students found guilty of plagiarism, cheating, or academic dishonesty. Grade reduction negatively impacts the overall score, undermining a student’s development. 

Course retake

Some colleges have a policy mandating all plagiarism and academic misconduct culprits to repeat the entire course. Such institutions do not deduct points but rather require students to start the course afresh to ascertain their real academic capabilities. Furthermore, a student can be forced to retake a course when their grades are reduced to below pass mark following a plagiarism penalty. Retaking a course is both expensive and time-consuming. Moreover, asking parents to pay a retake due to exam cheating can create problems in a family. 

Suspension and dismissal

Plagiarism and academic misconduct penalties may include suspension and dismissal. Students found guilty of violating school policies on academic integrity face suspensions ranging from weeks to a year. A suspension break is costly and time-consuming. It derails graduation, undermining career and educational plans. Repeated academic malpractices can result in a dismissal whereby a student is disbanded from college and academic activities. Academic dishonesty dismissals are detrimental because it becomes almost impossible to join another institution. Other colleges and universities are likely to deny admission to individuals with a record of academic cheating.

Prison sentence and monetary penalties

Copyright laws protect original works, including books, journals, and newspaper articles. Copying content or borrowing ideas from copyrighted sources without acknowledgment is considered a criminal offense and can result in a prison sentence. A court may also require the accused person to pay monetary damages. Avoiding plagiarism and academic misconduct helps prevent a prison sentence and monetary fines.

Assignment failure

Students found guilty of plagiarism risk failing in assignments and exams. A 20 or 30 points reduction due to plagiarism can cause the grade to drop below the pass mark. For example, a student with a 69% score is susceptible to fail when a plagiarism penalty of 30 points is applied, assuming the pass mark is 40. Students who engage in academic misconduct stand to lose more than they can gain.

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