Plagiarism is a very serious issue that may result in severe consequences. Academic plagiarism may lead to expulsion, while more complicated cases when a person who plagiarized is taken to the court can be finished with huge fines and imprisonment.
What should you do to avoid punishment if caught red-handed? The first and most important step is to write an apology letter for plagiarism. Confession and repentance can save you from tough consequences if they are sincere and timely. Let’s see how to write an apology letter for presenting someone else’s work as yours and sound convincing and mature.
Structure, content, and format of the apology letter for plagiarism
It is a common knowledge that no sin is beyond redemption and apology letter is a good evidence of this fact. If you wish that your letter was taken seriously and prevented you from the consequences it may bring about, follow a three paragraph structure of the letter.
- Start a letter with the opening. Choose a suitable salutation and sound formal. Usually, such letters start with “Dear Mrs or Mr”.
- Devote the first paragraph of the letter to confession. You can use the following words like ‘admit, confess, regret’ etc. to start the first sentence. Then it is important to describe the case of plagiarism. It must be a summary both concise and specific.
- The second paragraph is known as apology or repentance. Here you should ‘apologize, be sorry for’ your cheating. Admit your errors, say that you understand that you did wrong and offer solutions how you will fix the problem. You may also mention what you have learnt through being caught or punished.
- The last paragraph is a promise that the offense will never be repeated. You can also add how you appreciate the writer’s work and talent. If it is academic plagiarism, mention how important education is for you. Thank the reader for his or her patience too.
- Close the letter with words ‘Sincerely or Thank you’ accompanied by your name.
Writing a letter, don’t forget to format it properly. Remember that your task is to persuade the reader that you regret having plagiarized and ensure him that it will never happen again.
Tips on writing
Before you start writing the apology letter, it is important to consider several important tips:
- Acknowledge what your fault is. Many people never admit the fact of plagiarizing finding numerous excuses like borrowing or citing someone’s work. But if you have already plagiarized, there is no sense to refuse that. Modern plagiarism detection software will undoubtedly find not properly cited similarities so it is better to say the truth and admit your fault.
- Find suitable words. Before you start writing look for words and phrases that will deliver your message as accurately as possible. Find synonyms and emotionally colored words to persuade the reader that you repent and will not repeat that again.
- Be direct. Write in the apology letter exactly that confession that happened in reality. You can tell whose work you have copied or paraphrased, for example.
- Use first person singular. The letter should be written from you so it is important to use ‘I’ speaking about your thoughts and feelings.
- Don’t invent excuses for yourself. It is a human nature to find an explanation to everything to get away with it, but these excuses only confirm that you do not totally feel your fault. That is why it is better not to mention them at all or write a single one if you feel that it is a great reason for you.
- Avoid blaming the reader. Some people like saying that ‘I have done that because of you’. Putting blame on others means that you do not think that your actions were wrong and your letter is not worth anything.
- Think what you can do instead. It is great to think how you can make that up and mention this information in the letter. You can write a completely new text or change plagiarized pieces for your own ones.
- Inform the reader what you have learnt from this situation. It is important to include that this life lesson has influenced your attitude to plagiarism. Tell the reader what you feel about it and what you have learnt – for example, plagiarizing is illegal and immoral.
Nobody is insured against plagiarism. It can be intentional and accidental but in any case, it is equal to crime so it is always better to check your texts on modern software.
If you still have been accused of plagiarizing, don’t argue and try to correct the situation. Write a convincing and well-structured letter of apology. It may save you from troubles and give you the second chance.
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