Recommendations for Educators Handling Plagiarism

In the world of today, handling plagiarism has become a difficult task. No matter how much you explain it to the college and university students, some of them are still going to bring plagiarized assignments. Most of the institutions have the regulation of detaining the students from the school for a particular time or forever if they repetitively present plagiarized content in their projects, assignments and papers.

There are many reasons why students plagiarize. Instructors sometimes over-estimate their students and assume that they know everything about plagiarism and know how to avoid it and how to cite. However, some of them probably don’t even know why their assignment or project was rejected on the basis of plagiarism. They are not scholars and cannot be expected to think of all the ideas themselves and know the facts all around. Hence, it is important for the instructors to take a few steps in this regard. Some recommendations for educators handling plagiarism would help both the instructors as well as the students and would save both of them time, energy and effort.

Teach Them How to Cite

Students should get proper detailed lectures on what is plagiarism, why it should be avoided and the most important “how to avoid it”. You should practically explain it to them on multimedia. Quote something from a source and tell the students how to cite it in their work. Show them all the different styles and the difference between all. You might prefer APA style of referencing in your institute, but the student may go to a different school later and be required to use MLA or Chicago style.

Moreover, tell them how to rephrase, when to quote word-by-word and how to summarize. Tell them to take notes during the class lecture. They should pick points from the lecture and clear their concepts, so that they can easily explain them in their own words rather than going to other books later on and copy/pasting for assignments. Make them practice writing in their own words, in order to discourage plagiarism.

Using Plagiarism Tools

Teach the students how to use plagiarism tools and where they can find some free plagiarism tools. Also, inform them that you are going to use these tools to check their assignments. They’ll be marked zero or will have to face other consequences in case any plagiarism is found. Show them how these tools work. And how can they be caught. Showing it practically would have a lot of impact rather than just telling the students to find out a tool and try it for checking plagiarism. Explain to them how much and what kind of plagiarism will be accepted. There are many plagiarism tools for free that can be used by students easily. Show examples of a few assignments in the class that were plagiarized. Providing feedback has a lot of effect on how students behave.

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