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Plagiarism Workshop: Case #6

This guides addresses plagiarism in a number of ways. Primarily it serves to educate in-coming students on what constitutes plagiarism and informs them of the policies and procedures for those students accused of acts of plagiarism.

Case #6

Case 6



Jill St. Blonde is a second semester freshmen.  She is taking two classes that both require papers.  In her Education class she is required to write a paper on a topic assigned by the instructor.  Her English instructor is allowing students in the class to write on any topic they wish.  Jill decides that it will save her some time and effort if she chooses the same topic for both classes but intends to write two different papers and decides to use different references for the two papers so that no reference will be common to both papers.  She does, however, end up using different articles from the same journal for both papers.  For her Education paper she uses a quote from the following article:


Wehmeyer , Michael L., Sharon Field, Bonnie Doren, Bonnie Jones, Christine Mason. “Self-determination and student involvement in standards-based reform.” Exceptional Children 70 (2004): 413-425.


For her English paper she quotes this article:


Mason , Christine, Sharon Field, Shlomo Sawilowsky. “Implementation of self-determination activities and student participation in IEPs.” Exceptional Children 70 (2004): 441-541.


Both papers were due on the same day.  In her confusion to get both papers in on time Jill adds the reference for the Education paper to her list of endnotes for the English paper and vice versa.  Jill’s Education instructor and English instructor happened to be chatting in the faculty lounge in-between grading the papers for their classes.  Coincidently, they realize that Jill has written both her papers on the same topic and decide to carefully scrutinize her references.  They discover her mistake and agree that Jill must write a new paper on a different topic for her Education class, since both papers used the same research.


Was this a case of plagiarism?  Was it fair to make Jill re-write the paper for her Education class?  Please prepare to justify your answers for the class.

Case #6