Submitting a purchased essay

code | scenario | smart strategies | consequences

Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters

1. It shall be an offence for a student knowingly:

(d) to represent as one’s own an idea or expression of an idea or work of another in any academic examination or term test or in connection with any other form of academic work, i.e. to commit plagiarism;

Wherever in the Code an offence is described as depending on “knowing”, the offence shall likewise be deemed to have been committed if the person ought reasonably to have known.

Scenario – Submitting a purchased essay

You are a first-year Master of Engineering student, and are required to submit a computer programing assignment worth 20% for the final grade of a course. Part of the current programming assignment is similar to a program you had submitted in a different course in the previous semester. Seeking to build and improve upon the previous programming solution submitted you search for possible programming solutions on an online freelance site that offers solutions for purchase. You purchase a program with the intention to use it as a reference to improve on your previous assignment solution. However, you determine that the purchased program presents the perfect solution to the assignment and is similar to one that you would have thought of yourself for sure. You integrate a copy of the programming solution into your previous assignment and submit it without the inclusion of any reference or citation to indicate the work is not solely your own.

The Issue

Knowingly purchasing a solution online and then copying it as one’s own assignment, constitutes plagiarism under the Code of Behaviour on Academic Matter. Whether information online is free to view, or requires payment, knowingly submitting the unattributed work of others is still defined as plagiarism. In addition, submitting an assignment previously submitted in a different course for credit is an offence under the Code.

Smart Strategies

  • Internet Sources; Purchasing work on the internet; Information literacy and academic integrity
  • A student may assess and consult with online solutions in preparing their own academic assignments, however, any online sources that contribute to the assignment submitted must be properly referenced and cited if direct quotes, or paraphrased ideas, are taken from the online source.
  • Whether for purchase or free to access, all information that is taken from an online source is subject to appropriate citations when used in submitted assignments.
  • The student could have referenced his own work in the programming solution submitted previously, and then built on this with using new material and sources.
  • The student could have consulted with the instructor to check if using the previously submitted assignment as part of the new assignment is acceptable.

Range of Consequences

For a discussion of consequences see Key Consequences.