Prior to, or at the meeting, you should review any evidence/information given, and consider your responses.
In cases where a turnitin report is provided, you should give consideration to the overall similarity percentages, individual similarity percentages and how any patterns to the highlighted similarities.
In particular you should look for;
- Solid blocks of identical similarities which can be indicative of copy and pasting
- Blocks of near identical similarities where there are a few words that differ or where the ordering of words is slightly different; which can be indicative of poor paraphrasing or an attempt to purposefully mask someone else’s work as your own
- If similarities are wide spread throughout the assessment or if they are concentrated in one area of the assessment.
- If there is a similar structure to a highlighted similar source
If an issue has occurred, it is a good opportunity, with the module lead present, to go through those issues to get a better understanding of how to improve your academic writing and avoid future occurrences.
Considering your response
We recommend you write down your responses, notes and thoughts in advance of the meeting where possible. This way you can be confident that you have raised everything you wish to do so before the conclusion of the process.
You should try to anticipate possible questions and points the module leader might have when considering your response. An Advisor from Sunderland Students’ Union is well placed to help you consider possible questions and your response in advance of the meeting if evidence or information has been provided.
If you have extenuating circumstances which affected your assessment, there is a University policy with regard to extensions and extenuating circumstances which can deal with such cases in a supportive and appropriate way.
This means that such circumstances will not normally be considered in the decision of whether or not academic misconduct has taken place, or what the penalty should be.
However if you do highlight such circumstances, although this does not dissolve you of responsibility it may still present the module lead with an opportunity to consider if there any support you might need in the future and to offer guidance.
If you are struggling with attendance you could ask if the module lead will consider re-arranging, hold the meeting via skype or telephone, or responding in advance in writing. All these options have limitations to them and you should consult with an Advisor when considering these options.
You have the right to be accompanied by another member of the University community and we recommend you do. Having someone there, who supports you, can really help you feel more confident and supported during meetings.
Responding to questions
Take your time in answering questions put to you; take a deep breath or a sip of water if you need to. It is better you are able to calmly and cohesively answer rather than rushing to respond.
Try not to act in an aggressive or confrontational way if you are facing challenging questions. Remain at all times, polite and professional- this does not stop you being firm or resolved in your responses.
If you admit to academic misconduct or negligence the Module Lead will suggest a marking adjustment that does not fail your work if appropriate, alternatively your case can be sent to a Misconduct Hearing.