Plagiarism Prevention & Detection

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Can your students identify word-for-word or paraphrase plagiarism? "Ask them to take the Smith College Plagiarism Test. Students who complete all test questions correctly may print out a certificate verifying that they have passed the test. The Smith College Information Literacy Team thanks Ted Frick and the Indiana University Instructional Systems Technology Department for permission to use this material.

If you are teaching entering students ask them to take the Plagiarism Tutorial, developed by Holly Davis from the Jacobson Center. For more information contact a member of the Information Literacy Team.

The best way to prevent plagiarism is through careful design of an assignment and monitoring of students’ progress through the stages of its completion. For some ideas on alternatives to the standard term paper see Assignment Ideas and Do’s and Don’ts.

But if you suspect a case of plagiarism the first step is to run a search on standard web search engines such as Google and Yahoo on the broad topic of the paper. You should also run a phrase search by taking strings of four to six words from the paper and placing them in quotation marks. Searching in full-text journal database such as J-STOR, Project Muse, or Academic Search Premier can also be a useful strategy.

Smith College Academic Honor Code Infractions

For further suggestions on strategies consult the following:

Guide to Plagiarism and Cyber-Plagiarism (University of Alberta)

Cheating 101 (Coastal Carolina College)

Choosing the Best Plagiarism Detection Tool (courtesy of Educause & the University of Georgia)