Stopping Plagiarism

Plagiarism is not a trivial problem. According to McCabe, Treviño and Butterfield (2001), 58% of university students surveyed admitted to some form of serious cheating on their written work (this included plagiarizing, fabricating or falsifying a bibliography, turning in work done by someone else, and copying a few sentences of material without footnoting them in a paper).

All faculty members need to work together to reduce the amount of plagiarism in our classrooms. The four basic steps are:

  1. Making sure your students know what plagiarism is and helping them to avoid it.
  2. Preventing plagiarism by designing your written assignments appropriately.
  3. Detecting plagiarism in the submissions you receive by learning the telltale signs and familiarizing yourself with anti-plagiarism tools.
  4. Punishing plagiarism once it has been detected.

McCabe, Donald, Linda Treviño, and Kenneth Butterfield, "Cheating in academic institutions: a decade of research". Ethics & Behavior 11.3 (2001):219-32.