Another question about plagiarism

A post by @IsaacAbrahamson has gotten me worrying - I’ve watched a few tutorials - not that many to be honest. Whenever I found something useful I tried to use it in my projects.

My intent was not to take a shortcut but to use what I had learned. A simple example: Wes Bos in his Javscript30 series shows how he uses “data-” to create stuff (for lack of a better word) easy to handle.

I thought it was pretty handy and have used it several times already - I find I can access data I need to perform some javascript thingies easily that way.

Another example: I had seen “transition” is CSS but had never used it. Wes Bos uses it too so it gave me the confidence to try it out.

I mean, obviously I don’t know much so pretty much everything I see is new and interesting. I’ve learned about dropdown menus so I’ve used them too.

So have there been any cases of actual plagiarism and how did people find out - I mean how did they decide it was plagiarism?

When I see the hours I’ve spent console.logging my variables to try to understand how the DOM works and where it stores my data, I’d find it pretty unfair if that caused me troubles?

The only moment when I thought there was a problem is when I watched a tutorial on the Weather App, but then I decided to re-build my project from scratch to make sure I had understood everything and that was the last time (and the first time) I watched something so specifically linked to an FCC project.

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First of all, I’m not an admin here so I can’t say for sure what is and isn’t plagiarism in their eyes. With that being said and from what I’ve read in your post, what you’re doing is just using the skills you’ve learned from other sources in your projects, which, in my opinion, is using Read-Search-Ask process as it was intended. Plagiarism to me is when someone takes a template from someplace like or or some other student’s work, changes some of the text and maybe some of the styling, then says they created the site on their own. If you’re using someone else’s pre-built template, you’re not learning anything other than how to copy someone else’s work.

I think you have the right idea on how to learn new things. You’re going to external sources, watching the videos, then playing around with them to figure out how they work and the best way they can be implemented in your sites.

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Right, I’d forgotten about that - definitely what I do except for the “Ask” part, plus a lot of fiddling. Thanks for your input - admin or not :slight_smile:

Plagiarism is only of real consequence in the academic world, its more of an ethical issue than a legal one afaik. What you may mean is copyright infringement. For what, though? For using free and open source technologies? Sure, software patents and trolls are a thing in certain countries (like the US), but I can’t imagine that writing mundane websites would qualify as infringement.
At least here in Germany, you’d be laughed out of the courtroom if you told the judge you want compensation because someone dared to use standardized web technologies. There are only so many ways to reinvent the wheel, so who cares if you use someone else’s? Unless you destroy a legitimate business model by doing that, it should be alright.

Yes, of course I wasn’t even remotely considering legal problems - I can hardly see FCC suing me or even having reason to, but this certificate has come to mean a lot to me on a personal level.

Professionally I doubt it would have much weight, it’s really for myself first that I want it.

Plagiarism, in the industry of coding and programming, would be if you took a complex system someone created and literally copy-pasted it into a project. Not just a useful function or a few lines of code that used a command you hadn’t seen before or in a way you hadn’t thought of, but an entire system - like the combat code from a video game.

If you boil it down that’d be more intellectual property theft than plagiarism, but in my mind that’s the only way you could say a coder/programmer plagiarized.

Yes what you say makes sense - in the industry of coding and programming - I wonder how it works on FCC though.

What you are describing is more like best practices than plagiarism.

Sometimes your code will look like other people’s in small chunks because that’s just what code looks like - I mean a for loop is gonna have for loop code in it, isn’t it?

Plagiarism (in our context) is taking someone else’s hard work and sticking your name on it instead.

You’re fine :slight_smile:


Plagiarism is handled very strongly by FCC as we are an “academic” organization. Quincy himself covered this a little bit on the New Year’s eve broadcast when someone asked about how we do our certificates. I assume there have been a couple cases, but it is rare. Here is the basic academic honesty policy:

Academic Honesty Policy

If you write your own code, you have nothing to fear. If you use someone’s open source library, you have nothing to fear. Pretty much unless you deliberately copied someone else’s code so that you didn’t have to learn, then you would be plagiarizing.

@timotheap I had this question awhile ago myself. You can read the thread here. I don’t think you should have to worry about anything :slight_smile:

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From the Academic Honesty Policy:

"I understand that plagiarism means copying someone else’s work and presenting the work as if it were my own, without clearly attributing the original author.

Taking this at face value, I would say you’re safe from plagiarism charges unless you are actually copying code and claiming you thought of it.

edit: Daaaayum, here comes the mod brigade.


Most of the code for the projects within the FCC curriculum is pretty standard - at least as far as I’ve gone having just finished the Random Quote Generator - meaning there’s not a lot of variance possible. Personally, I try to add my own flair to projects that are outside of the instructions and example to put my own personal stamp onto each one. E.g. I added a link that executed a scroll animation on my tribute page and the quote text on my generator has a typing animation as well as a 3D button.

I think as long as you don’t copy-paste the example code, you’ll be okay. What you’ve described is how everyone learns code, and anyone who reviews your projects on FCC will likely be a coder who understands that fact.

I have, and it was clear to me you were safe -![quote=“JacksonBates, post:8, topic:72115”]
I mean a for loop is gonna have for loop code in it, isn’t it?

hmm you should really check out my code sometimes, I think it would make you laugh.

Aren’t you sweet :grin:

Ok - for my part I’ve got my answer and I feel safe - we can close the thread if you want unless other people want to pitch in with their own question !

Thanks a lot for your input - I had a feeling it was a silly question but you know, I had to ask, being myself and all…

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… will wonder what the hell was that timotheap thinking? But point taken !

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It was not a silly question. It is good to be concerned about honesty! If everyone else in the world was concerned about little things like this, our world would be a much better place!

You’re really nice :blush: because I wasn’t worrying so much about being honest (I am, even when I’m lying) than about the view/opinion of others for something I would have mishandled somehow. Now I think things are pretty clear ! And - oh my you have those ugly old men in your profile - good luck, you’re about to get our certificate, no?

I have to thank @PortableStick for the wonderful picture :smiley:
I claimed my certificate about 2 months ago :slight_smile:. I almost got the back-end microservice one done now too.


Yeah, I remember when he shoved it in my(?) thread and it really creeped me out :scream:

Congratulations :fireworks: - it’s amazing !!! Good luck with the rest !

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I didn’t know we could use gifs in our profile. This. Changes. Everything.

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Just a quick rant … Been working on Simon Game and have spent the last what…4 or 5 hours reading and trying:

  • setInterval(),
  • setTimeout(),
  • clearInterval(),
  • cleartimeout(),
  • delay(), as well as
  • forEach(), been of infinite loops three times and am now finding out about
  • queue().

I guess I won’t sleep this night either !

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Whoever made this project is sitting at home right now going: mwahahahahaha sucker

I can’t tell you how long this took me. Just a suggestion:

There are quite a few ways to do it, but it is very confusing.

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