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How to Convince Your Teacher That You Didn't Plagiarize

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John Milovich
John Milovich
ScamFighter Expert
Former college customer turned freelance writer, shares insider insights on the essay industry.

You’ve been working on your paper for several weeks and used all the citations properly, but the teacher still accuses you of plagiarism. What do you do to defend your writing and how to convince your teacher that you didn’t plagiarize? Having a lecturer tell you that your work needs improvement or hearing your professor claim your history essay does not have original content can be devastating for a student doing academic research. You need to think of arguments in your defense and prove that plagiarizing is not your case.

It’s not unusual for students to claim, “Safeassign says I plagiarized but I didn’t.” There is a grain of truth behind that statement, especially if you’ve become a victim of unintentional plagiarism. This may occur when you don’t cite the sources properly. Correct citation ensures you are never caught red-handed, and so does putting quotation marks when you need to present an idea. Next time your teacher demands proper evidence you didn’t plagiarize your essay, instead of exclaiming, “Turnitin says I plagiarized but I didn’t,” tell them that you can provide the drafts and the source that you cited to confirm the originality of your paper.

Common Plagiarism Types

What is plagiarizing when it comes to your college assignments and high school papers? Every time you are referencing someone else’s work without giving credit to the source, you are doing the worst crime a student can commit - plagiarism. Trying to pass off someone else’s ideas as your own is serious misconduct enough, but if you benefit from such actions, that’s a whole new level of unethical behavior.

Does plagiarism go on your record? If you address the issue at once and apologize, the university council might let you off the hook with a formal apology and a request for a written promise you will never do it again. I’ve recently discovered there are several common plagiarism types you can come across in an academic environment. So, before you start thinking, “How can I rewrite my essay without plagiarizing?” let’s look at these types:

Complete Plagiarism

Complete plagiarism occurs when you borrow someone else’s work and present it as your own. In case of total plagiarism, you simply plaster your name all over the original paper and walk away, content with yourself. For instance, your older brother could have taken the same class in the past, so you take his essay and put your name on it, ignoring the teacher’s demand to check the paper for copied content.

Direct Plagiarism

Direct plagiarism does not necessarily mean students copying every part of someone’s work without thinking. It may include copied content without the original source. If you have at least three sentences in your term paper that are not your own and presented without the appropriate references, you have a clear case of direct plagiarism and a potentially problematic situation.

Paraphrasing Plagiarism

Paraphrasing can be completely harmless if you know how to do it right and always reference the original author in the process. However, when your text features other people’s theories, concepts, or explanations interpreted in your own way, this can lead to paraphrasing plagiarism. Even if you used different terms and definitions to explain the theory, it still belongs to someone else and cannot be used without crediting the scholar.

Patchwork Plagiarism

Patchwork plagiarism is tricky. Students normally use it to create an illusion of an original work. They produce unique content but still interweave authentic paragraphs with a few plagiarized quotes. This happens when you take a specific part of the author’s work and embed it in your text to make it look like a natural progression of your essay. Patchwork plagiarism is almost impossible to detect, mainly because it’s very subtle when done masterfully.


Did you know you could be plagiarizing yourself all this time without knowing? I was shocked to learn that your teacher may request a plagiarism report even if you use your own ideas for an essay. You might say your ideas belong to you. However, this is not always the case. Imagine you wrote a paper on the history of ancient civilizations a few years ago. Now, you want to use an abstract from the same paper but fail to cite the sources you used in the original work. This is considered self-plagiarism and can be damaging to your reputation even if you are self-plagiarizing without intent.

Plagiarism Consequences

I know how hard it can be to rewrite essay without plagiarizing and maintain the style of your paper intact. However, you should know that an act of plagiarism is never a noble one. For one, writing an assignment takes effort and a lot of energy. When you use someone’s work as your own without thinking about consequences, you undermine the concept of ethical learning and commit intellectual theft. Plagiarism is also associated with some very unpleasant academic punishments. These include:

    • Rewriting your academic papers from scratch. If your work is plagiarized, you may be forced to rewrite the entire task and generate new ideas for your essay. Can you imagine how bothersome that would be for students who thought they had already delivered the assignment? Still, this can be a logical outcome of a teacher detecting your copied text.
    • Getting unsatisfactory grades for your assignment. Your tutor holds all the power when it comes to your grades and academic performance. In addition to questioning the originality of your work, they can crush your dream of getting a better grade. This mainly happens because your professor wants to teach you a lesson and remind students that delivering an assignment without proper citations and formatting will not be tolerated.
    • Making it hard to communicate with your teacher. Getting on your teacher’s angry side is not something we aspire to do as college students. However, some tutors view plagiarized essays as a personal slight against them, even if they’ve come across a case of accidental plagiarism. This makes your communication with the said teacher a challenge since they are already biased and view you as someone who has already exhibited an irresponsible approach.

The Best Way to Avoid Plagiarism

If you struggle to deliver a plagiarism-free paper, using a trustworthy writing service for your essay will fix any issues with a plagiarizing checker. A professional writing expert has their own style and will make sure your high school essay is free from copied and pasted content. You will never be accused of plagiarizing the topic or trying to submit someone else’s work. A high-quality essay writing service will make these issues non-existent, with tools like online revisions and a plagiarizing check free to confirm your work is 100% original.

Hiring a writing expert for your assignment means you won’t have to approach your teacher with a long list of evidence you didn’t copy from other sources. Top essay writing services with an impeccable reputation guarantees that your work will have zero matches with other papers when run through a plagiarism checker. Besides, such services will remove stress from your life when dealing with an especially complex task. The writing expert will create an original text and use the correct citation format for your paper to avoid being confronted by an angry teacher. If you need reliable assistance crafting unique papers, a top writing service is your friend.

Ways to Prove You Didn’t Plagiarize

It’s not enough for a student to know how to paraphrase without plagiarizing. Copying and pasting without getting caught is a valuable skill, yet it accounts for nothing if you have no idea how to defend yourself. If you learn how to prove you didn’t plagiarize, you will have the power to restore your reputation and get excellent grades.

Demand Oral Protection

Requesting oral protection when accused of plagiarism is one of the most effective tactics to prove you have been wronged. If the paper is indeed your own, you will know it better than anyone - and won’t be scared to demonstrate your knowledge to someone who started doubting your originality in the first place. Ask your teacher for a private oral protection session. They can ask questions about the contents of your paper, your essay’s purpose, and specific paragraphs. But as long as you are able to prove that the paper belongs to you and you know it by default, you are safe.

Ask For a Plagiarism Report

How to prove you didn’t plagiarize a paper when your teacher suggests otherwise? Another tactic I recommend is asking your teacher to provide you with a verification report with all the links to copied content and matches found in the process. If the plagiarism checker proves to be an unreliable one, you can easily debate your teacher’s statement that your paper is not an original one. For example, you’ve written an essay on the history of Ancient Rome, and the checker suggests you’ve borrowed an extract from a term paper about the role of feminism in the 21st century. Since these two subjects are completely unrelated, it will be proof enough that the checker in question cannot be trusted.

Provide Evidence

Be prepared to provide enough evidence that the work belongs to you. You can use anything as long as it proves your point and convinces your teacher that you are under false accusations. Drafts, outlines, notes, and screenshots can all be solid proof that you have not been tampering with your academic paper in a way that might suggest plagiarized content. If that is not enough to defend yourself, ask your teacher to compare your essay to your previous work. Having an individual voice in the paper confirms your authenticity and makes further discussion unnecessary.

Be Honest

If your teacher does have a habit of reviewing your work meticulously with the sole purpose of finding plagiarized content, don’t lose hope. Even if they detect an incorrect citation or point out the fact that you paraphrased someone without crediting the source, you can always come clean about the incident and admit your wrongs. Being honest about your mistakes will certainly win your teacher’s respect and convince them this is a single occurrence in your otherwise perfect list of original papers.

Contact Your Department

How to prove you didn’t plagiarize a scholarly article when you are innocent? If your professor refuses to listen to your arguments, reach out to your university department for help and ask them to look into the matter. A university council is responsible for ensuring all students get fair treatment if they have been accused on false grounds.


Convincing your teacher that you didn’t plagiarize is a complicated task that will demand all your patience. However, knowing your content by default and standing your ground when doing open protection can help you prove your stance and win some points at the end of the semester. Being honest about your mistakes, collecting evidence, and checking the verification reports are all tried and tested methods to help you clear your name and reputation.


If you want to know how to copy and paste without plagiarizing, you have to learn how to paraphrase the text using your own words and put quotation marks to indicate the original source. As long as your teacher knows these are someone else’s words that have been used properly, you are safe.

The act of plagiarism in an academic context includes using other people’s ideas as your own and submitting a text that has copied and pasted paragraphs that have not been referenced the way they should be according to your university’s demands.

There are several types of plagiarism that you can come across in college, such as complete plagiarism, direct plagiarism, patchwork plagiarism, paraphrasing plagiarism, self-plagiarism, and unintentional plagiarism.

Plagiarism can lower your grades and make your reputation suffer in the eyes of a teacher who checks your essays daily. To avoid this, ensure there is minimum plagiarized content in your paper.

Some of the best methods to prove you didn’t plagiarize are oral protection, providing evidence with drafts and outlines, and asking for a plagiarism report. Make sure the plagiarism checker is not damaged and has valid matches between your content and links to other sources.