What would be considered code plagiarism?

Hi everyone,

I’ve just finished the Responsive Web Design certification and I’m slightly concerned I may have unintentionally plagiarised the example Code Pen projects.

As somebody who is relatively new to coding, I don’t really have much experience writing code completely from scratch so when I was completing projects , I was using the examples as a framework to guide me through creating my own projects. I didn’t really think this would be an issue until I ready the academic honesty policy, now I’m not so sure.

The majority of the projects look nothing like the example projects (aside from the Technical Documentation project, which I’m revisiting) and I made sure to add my own twist to them. However, there will inevitably be parts of the code which are the same as the example, simply because I was trying to recreate the same effect.

To give you an idea of what I’ve done:

My personal portfolio: https://codepen.io/jwhlr/full/KKVyQLv
Personal portfolio example: https://codepen.io/freeCodeCamp/full/zNBOYG

Will this be ok? Or will I need to re-do my projects to keep my certification?

Thanks in advance!

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The question isn’t whether or not any of the code is the same (or extremely similar). The question is: did you write it or did you copy it? If you can look at your project and say “Yeah, seeing the example helped, but I wrote this code.” then you’re in a good place.


That makes sense! I think it’s good practice for me to re-do them from a completely different angle anyway, so I will do that, but I completely agree with what you’re saying.

Thanks for the reply!

Sounds good. Congratulations on doing the projects!
Happy coding.

Technically, you’re suppose to site all your resources, and in this case, it leans more to whether its a copyright violation because the code used will, usually, state whether its “open source” for “public domain” or not.

As for an academic violation, if the original content used was not cited as the source content, then it’s clearly plagiarism , except for honest mistakes (You cannot claim something is your work without including a cite to the source material utilized to create it unless it’s absolutely original).

I think that no one in this world could say that their code is completely unique and has no inclusions from other sources. There is relatively new article about code plagiarism here https://medium.com/@andrii_nykonenko/how-to-detect-plagiarism-in-code-a26342302c84
Basically you need an expert to tell if your code is plagiarized or not but usually this involves questions where big money is in stake so I think you are good to go