Answered By: Mary Ann Cullen
Last Updated: Sep 22, 2017     Views: 4856

Real-life scenario: A student submits her work through Turn It In and is shocked when the results come back that the paper is highly plagiarized. She wonders how the work could be considered plagiarized when she legitimately wrote the paper herself for another class and it was fine. She got an A on it, even. Why is it "plagiarized" now?  

What's happening here is something sometimes called "self-plagiarism." The terms "self-plagiarism" and "recycling" refer to reusing your own work without acknowledging that you previously published, presented, or submitted that work, or large portions of it, for a class.  Obviously, you have permission from the author, so many people argue that the term "self-plagiarism" is invalid.

Regardless of whether or not you agree with the term, submitting the same work for multiple classes without permission of the instructor is forbidden by the GSU Academic Honesty Policy and is subject to disciplinary action. In most cases, students are expected to create original work for each class. (It's how you grow!) Sometimes, it is appropriate for students to expand on their previous work, but it is still appropriate to acknowledge the previous work.

The Academic Honestly Policy states:

Multiple Submissions: It is a violation of academic honesty to submit substantial portions of the same work for credit more than once without the explicit consent of the faculty member(s) to whom the material is submitted for additional credit. In cases in which there is a natural development of research or knowledge in a sequence of courses, use of prior work may be desirable, even required; however the student is responsible for indicating in writing, as a part of such use, that the current work submitted for credit is cumulative in nature.

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