Skip to content Skip to navigation

Sample Plagiarism Cases

Example 1

A student was charged with plagiarizing a portion of a paper. The original source was part of the available evidence. The student did not contest the facts or the violation. A Judicial Panel found the student responsible for violating the Honor Code.

Sanctions: One-quarter suspension and 40 hours of community service.

Example 2

A student turned in a paper that was identical (except for cover sheet and typographical errors) to a paper submitted by another student to a different course the previous quarter. A teaching assistant who happened to TA both courses discovered the plagiarism. The student did not contest the facts or the violation. A Judicial Panel found the student responsible for violating the Honor Code.

Sanctions: One-quarter suspension and 40 hours of community service.

Example 3

A student submitted an essay written for a previous class, in its entirety, to another faculty member for a course taken the following quarter. The syllabus for the second course specifically prohibited using an assignment submitted to another course. The instructor became concerned because the essay did not cover the material discussed in the course. The student claimed not to have read the syllabus but, once it was pointed out, the student did not contest the facts or the violation. A Judicial Panel found the student responsible for violating the Honor Code.

Sanctions: One-quarter suspension and 40 hours of community service.

Example 4

Two students submitted a computer program containing over 70% of the same code. The similarity was detected by the MOSS (Measure of Software Similarity) system, a free service to the educational community provided by U.C. Berkeley. Student A admitted to finding a copy of the other student B’s code on a public computer and using it to complete the assignment. Student B was not involved in giving the unpermitted aid and therefore was not charged. Student A did not contest the facts or the violation. A Judicial Panel found the student responsible for violating the Honor Code.

Sanctions: One-quarter suspension and 40 hours of community service.

Example 5

A student turned in an essay that had substantial and extensive copying from a published source. A TA noticed that the composition of the essay was problematic. The student acknowledged failing to properly cite sources, but contested that it was an Honor Code violation on the basis that he misunderstood the directions and did not intend to plagiarize. A Judicial Panel found the student responsible for violating the Honor Code.

Sanctions: One-quarter suspension and 40 hours of community service.

Example 6

A professor was concerned about a final paper submitted by a student because

  1. the paper did not answer the question that had been posed
  2. the paper covered portions of the book the students had not been asked to read, and
  3. several sentences were far from the normal writing style of Stanford undergraduates.

After searching the web the professor found at least one of the web sites from which the work had been plagiarized. The student did not contest the facts or the violation. A Judicial Panel held the student responsible for violating the Honor Code.

Sanctions: Two-quarter delay in the conferral of degree and 40 hours of community service.