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Yesterday I turned in paper for my graduate class and I've been stressing like crazy since. Thing is, I somehow got worried that they may accuse me of self-plagiarism because I outlined the essay from another I did last year on a similar (but different focus) paper. I didn't self-plagiarize (my grad school makes a point of saying they don't allow this) but I realized after I turned it in that my conclusions were unintentionally similar. For some reason it didn't hit me until I turned it in.

The assigned paper was on a similar topic so I went back to my old one to use some of the sources since they were relevant. I re used some quotes and numbers, and the history of the topic is similar but there's really no way to avoid that since its just facts, but since my stance on the issue is the same as it was when I wrote the last paper, my conclusion was basically along the same lines. I'd say 80% of the paper has nothing to do with the old one, but the minor similarities have me paranoid. I even accidentally used some similar phrases (like "can't set a doctrine in stone") and brought up similar criticisms.

I had a friend look at both papers and she said she didn't see much resemblance and thinks I'm panicking over nothing, but I am worried they might run the paper (submitted via email) through one of those plagiarism softwares and it flags something. I don't know if they actually do that for anything besides thesis papers, but I'm really worried. If there is any plagiarism it was unintentional, but I wrote this paper in a rush and didn't give it a final look over like I should have. What do I say if I'm accused?!

Please help.
 
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