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Tips for faculty

1. Educate students about plagiarism and discuss why it is unethical.

2. Do not assume that students know what plagiarism is.

3. Make the instruction about plagiarism as positive as possible.

4. Show examples of proper usage of sources as well as examples of plagiarism.

5. Discuss the benefits of citing sources.

6. Make clear the university's policy for dealing with plagiarism. Include the policy in the syllabus.

7. Construct assignments to prevent plagiarism. Consider providing a list of highly specific or unusual topics so it is less likely to find off the shelf papers on the topic.

8. Break the assignment into components with multiple due dates so students have time to work on the assignment. Poor time management, pressure of workload, and stress are some reasons why plagiarism occurs.

9. Require photocopies or printouts of sources.

10. Have students submit an annotated bibliography of the sources used including an evaluation about the usefulness of the source. This will help students reflect on the quality and reliability of the source.

11. When students hand in their papers have them submit an integerity statement to show that they are the true authors of the paper.

12. Bring students into the library for a research session. Work closely with librarians about the research process.

13. Schedule a library instruction session for your students so they can learn about the variety of information resources avaialble to them and how to access these resources, evaluate them, and use them effectively in their papers.

Most of the content taken from:

Harris, Robert A., and Lockman. The Plagiarism
       Handbook: Strategies for Preventing,
       Detecting, and Dealing with Plagiarism.
       Los Angeles, CA: Pyrczak Pub., 2001. Print.

Strategies for detecting plagiarism

Here are some standard clues that may help detect plagiarized papers:

1. Mixed citation or bibliographic styles (some paragraphs containing APA style, some containing MLA style, etc.).

2. Lack of citations or quotations

3. Unusual formatiing, incorrect spacing or lines may be indicators of a cut and paste job.

4. Glaring inconsistency in diction or style (paragraphs containing a mix of sophisticated and colloquial language)

5. If the paper is off-topic and doesn't deveop the idea that it sets out to develop, then it's most likely plagiarized.

6. Long sentences can sometimes be a red flag. Studies have shown that in a good freshman class sentences are generally 20-22 words on an average.

7. Search suspicious sentences or paragraphs in google by enclosing them in quotations.

8. Know the sources of plagiarized papers. There are many paper mill sites.

9. If you suspect plagiarism try a keyword in the subject apporpirate database(s) or seek help from a librarian.

10. There are many plagiarism detection services that are available for free and for a fee. The column on the left highlights some of these.


Commercial Plagiarism Detection Software

iThenticate is the leading provider of professional plagiarism detection and prevention technology used worldwide by scholarly publishers and research departments to ensure the originality of written work before publication.
This is a good product for students and faculty. It ranked as the Best Plagiarism Detection Engine in 2012.

Turnitin is the seading academic plagiarism checker technology for teachers and students and provides online plagiarism detection, grammar check, and grading tools. 

Free Plagiarism Detection Services

There are a number of free plagiarism detection software available and it isn't feasible to list all of them. The list below is a sampling of software that detect plagiarism from websites, databases, blogs, open access resources, and images.

Safe Assign
SafeAssign is a free plagiarism detection tool that integrates with the Blackboard Learn course system. It allows faculty and students to check work against a comprehensive index of documents available through the Internet.

Plagiarism Checker
This is a free tool that does not have ads.

Grammarly is an automated proofreader and plagiarism checker.

This is a free service designed to monitor RSS feeds and find where content has been republished in the blogosphere.

Dupli checker
This is a free online plagiarism checking tool which dissects each sentence individually utilizing authentic data sources. 

eTBLAST is a free service offered by the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute and supports several databases including Medline and publically available full text.

Oaps (Open Access Plagiarism Search)
OAPS provides a new service for plagiarism detection that is able to find similarities between given text documents and available Open-Access documents.

Plagiarism Checker allows you to search for several phrases from a student's paper at the same time without having to type quotation marks or special operators.

TinEye is a reverse image search engine. It finds out where an image came from, how it is being used, if modified versions of the image exist, or if there is a higher resolution version. 

Viper, the free plagiarism detection software from, is great for both students and lecturers and provides quick, accurate scans.It is fast becoming the plagiarism checker of choice.