Submitting a friend's old assignment

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 friend's old assignment

Your Computer Science assignment worth 40% of your mark is due on Friday and you have yet to begin your research. You are busy juggling a part-time job and school work while taking care of your younger siblings at home. It is difficult for you to take time to work on your assignment so you ask your friend, if she can provide you with a copy of her old assignment which was previously submitted in the course in another academic term. This is especially easy because your approved outline reflects the same topic as your friend's and she has done most of the research required. Your friend sends you a copy of her assignment but cautions you to use it only as a reference and not to copy the work. You are nervous to approach your instructor and ask for an extension since the deadline is drawing near. Therefore, in order to submit your paper on time, you decide to use most of your friend's paper in you written work by claiming it as your own and you submit it through the plagiarism detection software program.

The Issue

Since you knowingly decided to use your friend’s work as your own, you are committing an academic offence. The importance of producing original work is not only to prevent academic misconduct but to also maintain intellectual creativity as an individual. The instructor will be able to identify your friend's assignment using plagiarism detection software and both students will be approached about the issue.

Smart Strategies

  • Group work; Time management; Students sharing academic work
  • It is best for you to speak to your instructor about the situation you are in before he/she approaches you. Instructors are more likely to accommodate a student's individual needs if they are notified prior to the deadline date of any assignment.
  • If you are experiencing difficulty managing your workload, there are academic resources and services available to help. Contact your undergraduate advisor or visit the University of Toronto website for a full list of personal/ academic resources.
  • You may also talk to a counsellor or visit Health Services for assistance

Range of Consequences

For a discussion of consequences see Key Consequences.