Detect, prevent, avoid
Plagiarism is an ever-present issue in schools, colleges and universities today. This site was created to help both students and teachers in the fight against plagiarism.
Stamping out plagiarism starts with prevention.
Students need educating on how to properly use and reference materials that they find.
Plagiarism detection is difficult.
By the time you've got to the detection stage, you've lost half the battle. Prevention and avoidance is better.
Learn how to prevent avoid and detect plagiarism in academic work.
Some plagiarism is (almost) undetectable.
No matter how good your tools are, you won't be able to tell if a student paid someone else to write their paper - unless you know their writing style.
Not all plagiarism is deliberate.
Many students commit accidental plagiarism - with no intention of cheating at all.
The meaning of plagiarism according to the Oxford Dictionary Online is “the practice of taking somebody else’s work or ideas and passing them off as one’s own”. As a result, it is a kind of fraud and should be avoided as it is severely dealt with by educational institutions. This is the basic meaning of plagiarism but there are a wide selection of behaviours within creative work, literature and educational work which count as plagiarism. It is popular for students to plagiarise without realizing it, but misunderstanding is not an excuse, subsequently it is crucial for all students along with those who work within the educational and research spheres to familiarise themselves with the practices that constitute plagiarism so that they may prevent it.
University students are expected to conduct research into the topic they are writing about, which includes reading extensively then crafting assignments which are arranged by their teachers to demonstrate the students’ comprehension of the field at hand. This will involve quoting authors they have studied, paraphrasing those authors’ words and occasionally quoting authors to make points in the student’s paper. It is therefore essential for students to learn how to adequately reference other authors as they might be accused of plagiarism simply because they have not accurately acknowledged authors for the work they quote. For instance, some students duplicate another author’s work without recognising that they are supposed to paraphrase and quote and give the authors credit, and think that what they have done is within normal academic practice.
Plagiarism can subsequently result from inadequate working practices by pupils or researchers who don’t check their referencing style properly and quote other authors without giving credit to their words. It can also manifest when a student has replicated work from another origin, such as another student, a textbook or an internet resource, and put it into their own work as if it was written by themselves. This is likely to be a deliberate fraud as opposed to a mistake. In some cases pupils will reword sentences from these sources before planning to submit them as their own work, but this is still classed as plagiarism if the rewording is not adequate and if the initial author is not mentioned as a source.
It is accepted as a form of cheating to plagiarise, as the student is attempting to gain recognition for something that is not their own work. This is why it is taken extremely seriously by schools, universities and various other academic associations. Many schools use computer applications which check through projects that are submitted electronically and compare them to past assignments from other students, textbooks and internet sources. The reports from these anti-plagiarism applications return a percentage match with sentences and paragraphs highlighted so that tutors can identify where the student may have duplicated work. It is expected that a certain amount of projects will find matches with others if they are written on the same subject, but a teacher will become suspicious if there are large portions of text that are almost indistinguishable to other sources and with no quotation marks or citations given to credit the original author. Often the tutor grading an essay is not the same person as the teacher who gave a talk on which the assignment may be based. Subsequently it may be the case that pupils feel they can rely considerably on class notes without being found out, however when most of the submitted assignments are almost identical, this becomes quite obvious to the marker.
One of the more difficult forms of plagiarism for universities to identify is when a pupil submits an assignment that has been written by someone else. This counts as plagiarism under the classification of passing someone else’s content off as one’s own. Teachers may perhaps suspect that the paper has not been created by the student who uploaded it if they have seen previous work by this pupil and the style is totally different, or if the assignment is very well-written and the pupil has not reflected that amount of academic ability in the past. This is hard to recognize though, if the assignment has not been posted anywhere else.
http://www.plagiarismchecker.net/plagiarism-detection.php - plagiarism detection
http://www.plagiarismadvice.org/ - plagiarism advice
http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/topics/plagiarism.aspx - JISC
Plagiarism from a teacher's perspective