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Preventing and Detecting Plagiarism: Tips for Faculty

Some Reasons for Plagiarism

Unintentional - unaware, lack knowledge
Intentional - learned trait
Pressure - teachers, parents
Fear/Intimidation - bad grade, weak writing skills
Procrastinators - wait until the last minute
Readily available or easy access - Internet Paper Mills: websites that offer "custom or ready made" research papers for free or purchase

Prevention of Plagiarism


  • Chalk Talk in the Classroom
    • Syllabus - define meaning of Plagiarism, Intellectual Property, Academic Integrity
    • Academic Dishonest Policy - explain school’s and yours
    • Plagiarism - create a debate
    • Skills - offer research tips
    • Sources - talk about the advantages of citing sources
    • Examples - offer examples of some repercussions
  • Design Creative Assignments
    • Assign - varied, specific, and clear assignments
    • Add - analysis and criticism component
    • Give - smaller research projects
    • Coordinate - due date with length of assignments
    • Require - assignments orally, written, and electronically
  • Monitor Research
    • Be aware of your students' capabilities and writing styles (assign an on the spot writing exercise - a brief writing assignment is an effective way of becoming familiar with each student's style)
    • Monitor your students work which will include checking the progress of research step by step
    • Approve topic/thesis statement
    • Require current sources
    • Specify type of sources and citation style
    • Request a copy of the bibliography (or annotation of sources)
    • Offer guidance and be available (this will be time consuming, especially with a big class, but in the end, this can be beneficial
  • Provide referral

When plagiarism is suspected, consider that the plagiarism can be:


Offer some help on the writing process

Refer writing center

Recommend some writing classes


Repeat the assignment

Fail the course

Face possible suspension

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