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  1. StudyWell
  2. Understanding Academic Misconduct
  3. Student Stories of Academic Misconduct
  4. Luther the Lecture Notes Lifter
Current students

Luther the Lecture Notes Lifter

Luther is a focused student and always works hard to keep up with his lectures, tutorials, and reading. He finds the course very interesting and values the information given to him by his tutors. When working on his ethics essay, Luther gathered all of the recommended reading and the lecture notes on ethics and set about writing a detailed essay based on what the tutor had taught him.

The lecturer had given the class some lecture notes that were on exactly the same topic, and Luther remembered the tutor telling the class to ‘use the lecture notes’. Luther therefore used the lecture notes in his essay by copying the lecturer's words in some places and by paraphrasing the lecturers’ words in most of the rest of the essay.

Shortly after submitting the essay, Luther received a letter inviting him to attend an Academic Misconduct Panel.

When marking the work, the lecturer recognised the lecture notes which had been written into the essay. The parts that had been copied were not in quotation marks, and other parts had been copied with a few words changed here and there but without any acknowledgement of the fact that it was the lecturer's work. Furthermore, the lecture notes were not referenced in footnotes, or in the bibliography so it looked as though Luther was trying to make the words look as though he had thought of them all himself.

The Academic Misconduct Panel understood that Luther plagiarised unintentionally because he didn’t realise that he should reference his lecture notes, however, the University Regulations required the Panel to give Luther 0 marks for the work and he will have to re-sit the coursework.

Moral of the story

Even if you had good intentions, you can still be guilty of academic misconduct.