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I’ve been accused of plagiarism. How do I defend myself?

I’ve been accused of plagiarism. How do I defend myself?

Being accused of plagiarism as a student can be a deeply upsetting, humiliating and stressful experience. The time that a student invests in their further education could all be lost if found guilty of plagiarism and if you are in a regulated profession such as medicine, law, social work or nursing, the consequences of being found guilty of plagiarism can potentially extend to your professional registration, making a career in your chosen field virtually impossible to pursue.

Plagiarism is taken very seriously by colleges and universities and if a student is found to be passing someone else’s work off as their own then there can be serious consequences for the student involved. These consequences could include expulsion from the course and often end up being life-changing for the student.


Accidental acts of plagiarism

The advent of the internet has seen a big rise in plagiarism cases simply because of the ease of obtaining information and how quickly it can be incorporated into essays and submitted papers. However, in many cases, the plagiarism that has happened is purely accidental and can be put down to a failure to reference properly or follow best practice guidelines when quoting works from other authors.

If you have been accused of plagiarism and believe that the allegations are completely unfounded then there are options open to you. Firstly, you can appeal before an Academic Misconduct Panel and defend your case. In order to do this you will need to have a good understanding of the precise allegations being made and be able to explain your defence. This is when you might want to seek the advice of education lawyers such as Match Solicitors to guide you through the process.

The law surrounding plagiarism is contentious and if you profoundly believe that you are being falsely accused then it pays to have someone on your side who can present your arguments in a professional way.

The fact is that sometimes accidents happen and students submit work that does not adhere to the strict guidelines. Failure to reference properly or paraphrasing other authors without giving accreditation are common mistakes that are made. These mistakes are not intentional and can often be put down to simple human error.

There are also cases where the wrong version of the paper has been submitted, computer glitches have occurred, and original references have been lost. Students can sometimes submit papers that they haven’t proofread properly or applied the appropriate amount of checking. These students may be guilty of lacking attention to detail but this does not mean they are plagiarists.


Action you can take

Whatever the scenario, if you have been accused of plagiarising and you know for a fact that you haven’t committed an offence then you need to defend your corner and engage the services of a law firm who will give you strong support.

At Match Solicitors we have acted for many students in Academic Misconduct Panel hearings, defending the student's position rigorously but fairly. Our expert knowledge in this field has enabled us to overturn plagiarism allegations and give students the opportunity to continue the courses that they were previously threatened with losing their places on.

We work with specialist barristers that are able to represent you at hearings alongside submissions prepared by our team of experts. This will give you the best chance of defending an allegation of plagiarism so that you can continue with your choice of university or college course.

If you need any advice about a plagiarism case, then please contact us now.


Match Solicitors


All testimonials


I am totally delighted by the services provided to me. The crucial time when I was emotionally and physically drowned by an academic accusation, Match Solicitor gave an enlightenment to my case and my academic career,I won my case and I am now doing degree in Adult Nursing. Very friendly, co-operative and efficient staff

Mohina Basnet Rai, Ashford

The service received from Match Solicitors was faultless; highly professional and efficient. The advice received was extremely sound and sensible. The service was fairly priced.

Mr Moore, Kent

Match Solicitors showed genuine concern for my daughter’s case and worked tirelessly to achieve a satisfactory outcome. The service and quality of work was excellent.

Mr D Richards, Buckinghamshire