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What to Do If Your Teacher Found Plagiarism in Your Extended Essay?

plagiarism in ee

As a seasoned IB writer, I’ve seen my fair share of ups and downs in academia. However, one challenge that often catches students off guard is dealing with plagiarism in extended essay. This is a big problem in the International Baccalaureate (IB) world. You’ve put your heart and soul into your work, and then you’re accused of plagiarism out of nowhere. It’s a tough spot, but don’t worry. I’m here to guide you through this tricky situation.

Causes of Plagiarism in Extended Essays

First things first, let’s clarify what we mean by plagiarism in extended essays. From my experience, it’s not always about intentionally copying someone’s work. Sometimes, it’s the little things — forgetting to cite a source or paraphrasing too closely. Remember, in the IB, integrity is critical; understanding this can save you a lot of trouble. Also, plagiarism in extended essays can stem from a variety of causes:

  • Lack of Understanding. Sometimes, students may not fully understand what constitutes plagiarism. They might think changing a few words in a sentence or paraphrasing without crediting the source is acceptable.
  • Poor Time Management. Students often juggle multiple assignments and responsibilities. When pressed for time, they might copy materials directly from sources to meet deadlines.
  • Inadequate Research Skills. Students who struggle with research may find it challenging to gather enough information to write a comprehensive essay. It may lead them to copy from existing primary or secondary sources.
  • Pressure for High Grades. The desire to achieve high grades or meet high academic expectations can lead some students to plagiarize, thinking it’s a shortcut to success.
  • Access to Technology. With the vast amount of online information, it’s easy for students to find and copy content. This accessibility can increase the temptation to plagiarize.
  • Lack of Confidence. Students who doubt their writing abilities may resort to plagiarism, believing they cannot produce quality work independently.

In my opinion, many students stumble into plagiarism unintentionally. Perhaps you were in a rush or didn’t quite grasp how to cite sources correctly. Or maybe the sheer volume of information made it difficult to differentiate between common knowledge and ideas that needed crediting. It happens, but the key is learning how to avoid these pitfalls in the future.

Initial Steps to Take After Being Accused of Plagiarism

Let’s look at this scenario: you’ve just been hit with the big “P” — plagiarism — in your extended essay. Your first reaction might be panic, confusion, or maybe even a bit of anger. But here’s my first advice, coming from years of experience in the IB field: stay calm. I know, easier said than done, right? But trust me, keeping a level head is your secret weapon here.

plagiarism in ee

Get Clarity on the Situation

Now, let’s get into the nitty-gritty. According to general IB criteria, understanding what you’re accused of is crucial. Maybe you’re thinking, “But I didn’t copy anything!” Here’s where things get interesting. Plagiarism isn’t always about lifting chunks of text from Wikipedia. It can be as subtle as paraphrasing too closely or forgetting to cite a source. So, the first proactive step? Get clarity.

Communicating with Your Teacher or Supervisor

Reach out to your teacher or supervisor for a detailed explanation of the plagiarism allegation. It’s about understanding the specific sections of your work under scrutiny. Sometimes, a simple conversation can clear up a lot of misunderstandings. You may have missed a citation, or there’s been a mix-up with your sources. These things happen and can often be resolved with a bit of dialogue.

Revisit Your Extended Essay

Once you have a clear picture of the accusation, it’s time to reflect. It is where you put on your detective hat and revisit your essay. Look at it through the lens of the feedback you’ve received. As I’ve learned through my years in the IB, self-reflection is a powerful tool. It’s not just about fixing a mistake; it’s about understanding how and why it happened. This way, you’re clearing your name, learning, and growing as a scholar.

Document your Findings

And here’s a little tip from me to you: document your findings and your reflections. If you’ve found areas where you could’ve cited better, note them down. If you believe there’s been a misunderstanding, prepare your points calmly and logically. It’s about demonstrating your commitment to academic integrity. In the end, remember, this isn’t a catastrophe. You can smooth it out with the right approach and come out wiser on the other side. So take a deep breath, gather your thoughts, and step forward confidently and clearly.

Rectifying the Situation with Plagiarism in EE: How to Proceed

Let’s roll up our sleeves and get down to business. You’ve talked with your teacher about the plagiarism hiccup in your extended essay, and now it’s time to take action. From my extensive experience in the IB, I can tell you this: correcting a problem like this is more than just a quick fix; it’s an invaluable learning curve. So, how do we turn this ship around? Let’s break it down.

Step 1. Re-examine and Understand the Problem Areas

First, closely examine the sections of your essay that were flagged. Understanding what went wrong is critical. Was it a missing citation? A paraphrased paragraph too close to the original? Or maybe it was an overlooked quote? Pinpoint the issue.

Step 2. Research and Learn the Correct Citation Practices

If you’re unsure how to cite sources correctly, now’s the time to learn. Get into the IB’s guidelines on citations. There are plenty of resources out there that can guide you — use them. Remember, citing is not just an academic requirement; it’s a skill that will benefit you throughout your academic and professional life.

Step 3. Revise Your Essay with Integrity

Now, bring out your editing tools. It’s time to revise those problematic sections to make a high-grade extended essay. But here’s the thing: do it with integrity. It is more than just avoiding plagiarism; it’s about respecting intellectual property and valuing your academic integrity. Replace any copied text with your original thoughts and analysis, and cite your sources meticulously.

Step 4. Use Plagiarism Checkers as a Tool, Not a Crutch

There are fantastic plagiarism checkers available to ensure your extended essay is unique. Use them to ensure you have caught everything. But remember, these tools are just that — tools. They’re there to help, not to do all the work. Your critical thinking and attention to detail are irreplaceable.

Step 5. Reflect and Learn from the Experience

Once you’ve revised your essay, take a moment to reflect. What did you learn from this experience? How will it influence your approach to academic work in the future? As I always say, every challenge in the IB is an opportunity to grow.

Step 6. Submit and Communicate

Finally, once you’re confident with your revisions, resubmit your essay. And don’t just drop it in your teacher’s inbox and vanish. Communicate your process and what you’ve learned. It shows your commitment to learning and growth, something that’s highly valued in the IB community.

Turning Plagiarism Challenges into Growth Opportunities

Throughout my years in the IB, I’ve learned that every challenge, especially one as daunting as a plagiarism issue in your extended essay, is not just a hurdle but a profound learning opportunity. It’s these moments, often uncomfortable and a bit scary, that mold us into not just better students but wiser persons.

Understand the Root Cause

First off, take a moment to dissect what led to the plagiarism issue. Was it a lack of understanding about what constitutes plagiarism? Or was it a time management issue, where the rush to meet a deadline led to cutting corners? As I’ve often found, identifying the root cause is critical to ensuring it doesn’t happen again.

Develop Strong Research Skills

Plagiarism often stems from how we handle our research. It’s crucial to develop strong research skills. It means gathering information, understanding its context, paraphrasing effectively, and keeping meticulous track of your sources. It’s like building a strong foundation for a house.

Enhance Citation and Referencing Skills

I can’t emphasize this enough: mastering citation and referencing is a game-changer. Whether it’s APA, MLA, or another style, knowing how to cite sources properly is a skill that will serve you well beyond the IB. Consider attending workshops, using online resources, or even practicing by revising past assignments. It’s a bit like learning a new language — challenging at first but incredibly rewarding once you get the hang of it.

Time Management and Planning

Often, plagiarism is a result of last-minute work. Developing strong time management and planning skills can make a world of difference. Start by breaking down assignments into manageable tasks with clear deadlines. It’s like plotting a course on a map — it helps you go through your workload without unnecessary stress or haste.

Need help with your IB extended essay?

From research and analysis to structuring and editing, our skilled mentors will be by your side, helping you write an exceptional extended essay that meets the word count and stringent IB criteria and reflects your passion for the selected IB group.

Seeking Feedback and Support

After an incident like this, feel free to seek support and feedback. It could be from teachers, peers, or even academic counselors. I’ve learned that a support network can provide guidance, reassurance, and perspective. It’s like having a team of coaches and cheerleaders by your side.


To wrap it up, encountering plagiarism in your extended essay isn’t the end of the world. It’s a bump in the road that can be smoothed out with the right approach. Your integrity as a student is priceless; learning from these experiences will make you a stronger, more ethical scholar. So take a deep breath and tackle the issue head-on. And remember that Extended Essay Writers are always here to help!

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