To be sure, Ingrid has to be punished. Plagiarism, whether intentional or not, is still an offense and neglect does not excuse or exempt a student from committing plagiarism. But the question arises where regular punishment applies to inadvertent plagiarism which resulted from neglect in referencing the original work. It has to be mentioned that the penalty of withholding the bachelor’s degree for one year and a permanent notation on the student’s transcript that he or she committed plagiarism is applicable to those students who willfully, knowingly and intentionally committed plagiarism with the intention to cheat. Ingrid’s case does not fall in this category because plagiarism was committed unwittingly and not with the intention to cheat but rather out of negligence.
Withholding the bachelor’s degree for one year much more a permanent notation on the student’s transcript that he or she committed plagiarism is not appropriate as a punishment and is in fact, excessive especially the notation on the student’s transcript that he or she committed plagiarism because it will affect her career and life in general long after she graduated college. It would be cruel to punish her for the rest of her life for a mistake she committed in college. Permanently notating her transcript is tantamount to nullifying her college degree because it is short of saying that she cheated her way to college.
Having mentioned this, I would instead, propose an alternative punishment for Ingrid. She still should be punished even if her commission of plagiarism is unintentional to send the message that we do not plagiarism in whatever form that it may come.
My proposal is to remove the notation on her transcript that she committed plagiarism so that she will still have a career after college and that she will still have the chance to reform herself and to learn a lesson