While plagiarism may be "an ancient art" (as Stephen Moss put it in a 2005 article in The Guardian), the advent of the internet ushered in many new and frighteningly easy ways for students to plagiarize papers, from purchasing papers from online clearinghouses to pasting together bits and pieces of information (unquoted and uncited) from a variety of internet sources. Luckily, new technologies have also provided teachers with tools for preventing and/or detecting plagiarism.
This page provides resources for helping your students understand and avoid plagiarism, as well as resources for using plagiarism tools.
Also see: Resources for Writers: Academic Integrity for student resources related to academic integrity
Poster Credit: See Educational Materials - Sample Posters (Clemson University Center for Academic Integrity). The Einstein poster is from the University of Windsor.
Helping Students Understand & Avoid Plagiarism
"Plagiarism Prevention Without Fear" (online article at Inside Higher Education, Scott Jaschik, January 6, 2010)
Academic Integrity and Plagiarism: A Student Guide (from MSU's First-Year Writing Program) Avoiding Plagiarism (Purdue OWL)
"There are few intellectual offenses more serious than plagiarism in academic and professional contexts. This resource offers advice on how to avoid plagiarism in your work." Guidelines for Fair Use (Purdue OWL)
"This handout provides a few general guidelines about fair use policies and copyright laws but no concrete legal advice. Anyone dealing with a specific legal issue or dilemma should contact a lawyer. Anyone making decisions about using multimedia in a class project should first consult the usage policy of their school or institution. The US Copyright Act contains relevant but complex sections that can inform teachers and students making a decision." Academic Integrity Tutorial (York University)
A tutorial that explains and demonstrates the issues involved in academic integrity. The tutorial provides case studies and a handy academic integrity checklist. Writing & Citing: Test Your Understanding of Plagiarism (Indiana University Bloomington Libraries)
A short tutorial that provides scenarios to test your ability to recognize when material needs to be cited and when something is common knowledge.
How to Recognize Plagiarism (Elizabeth Boling and Theordore Frick, Indiana University Bloomington School of Education)
A tutorial that first covers when and how to give credit; then it some examples of real plagiarism cases, this is followed by some examples of cut and paste plagiarism and improper paraphrasing, and the tutorial ends with a 10 question activity on identifying plagiarism.
The Word: Helping Students Avoid Plagiarism Part 1 (YouTube, 10 min. from the University of Hawai`i at Manoa Center for Teaching Excellence)
"Students don't always plagiarize deliberately - they need to learn the difference between plagiarizing and paraphrasing, citing, quoting, editing and the general shift in academic standards as they enter the university system."
NOTE: This is one segment of a 10-part video. For a full list of the segments, click here
What is Plagiarism? (Rutgers University Paul Robeson Library; video vailable on a designated web site and YouTube, 2:17 min.)
This video is an educational parody of a typical classic 50's classroom environment. It is part of a 3 part series. Part 1 is "What is Plagiarism?" (2:17) Part 2 is "Plagiarism: Real Life Examples" (2:26) and Part 3 "The Cite is Right: The Quiz Show" (2:03). There is also a non interactive video quiz associated with these episodes "Plagiarism Quiz (final part)" (2:56)
Episode 12: Plagiarism (iTunes U, The Writing Irregulars, Northern Virginia Community College, 14:41 min.) > See how to access resources at iTunes U.
Podcast by three writing professors at Northern Virginia Community College that discusses the issues surrounding plagiarism college students face.
Deterring Plagiarism: Some Strategies (University of Toronto Writing)
Warding off "Virtual Papers" & Ghostwriters (University of Minnesota Center for Writing, Lillian Bridwell-Bowles)
Dealing with Plagiarism (UCLA Office of Instructional Development, Teach 2 Write: A Guide for Teaching Writing)
Using Plagiarism Prevention Tools
SafeAssign by Blackboard
"SafeAssign™ is a plagiarism prevention service, offered by Blackboard to its Blackboard Learning System Enterprise, Vista Enterprise and CE Enterprise clients. This service helps educators prevent plagiarism by detecting unoriginal content in student papers. In addition to acting as a plagiarism deterrent, it also has features designed to aid in educating students about plagiarism and importance of proper attribution of any borrowed content." (from About SafeAssign)
As a teacher, you can usually tell when a student has plagiarized, and often a quick search on Google will, sadly, confirm your suspicions. It's quite simple--here's a blog post that shows how to use Google for suspected plagiarism.