Can a Student Be Guilty of Plagiarism if the Teacher Didn't Instruct on How to Cite Sources?
It is probably within the teacher’s discretion to give a student a lower grade for plagiarized work than a student who put their original thoughts into an assignment, given the amount of effort involved. A person may be found guilty of plagiarism if one did not intend to or knowingly attempt to steal anothers ideas or pass another's work off as one's own. In the school setting, it is generally a matter of internal administrative decision-making. While the school may have applicable guidelines to follow in disciplinary matters, it often is a matter of subjective determination. It is more of an administrative than a legal matter.
Typically, the courts will review such cases only insofar as ensuring that due process rights were afforded to the student in the disciplinary procedures. This will involve such considerations as whether the student was served with a written notice of charges; she was made aware of grounds which would justify her expulsion or suspension by way of the student handbook; the hearing tribunal afforded her an opportunity to hear and confront the evidence presented against her and an opportunity to be heard and to offer other evidence if she chose; she was accorded the right to have someone from the college community to assist her in the proceedings; she was informed of the tribunal's finding; she was given access to its decision for her personal review; and, she was advised in writing of the discipline imposed.