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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Ten Resources for Preventing and Detecting Plagiarism

Plagiarism, we all hate it, but how can we teach students to avoid it and how can we detect it? Just as the Internet makes plagiarism easy, the Internet also makes detecting plagiarism and prevent plagiarism easy. What follows are ten resources for detecting plagiarism and teaching students to avoid plagiarism.

Detecting Plagiarism
1. The most obvious way to check a student's work for plagiarism is to do a quick search on Google. If you notice that a student has strung together some phrases that you don't think they've written, put the suspected phrase inside quotation marks and search. You may want to search on Google as well as on Google Scholar.

2. The Plagiarism Checker, created as a project for the University of Maryland, is an easy tool for detecting plagiarism. Simply enter a chunk of text into the search box and the Plagiarism Checker will tell you if and from where something was plagiarized.

3. Doc Cop offers a free service for checking small documents and a free service for checking documents against each other. Doc Cop also offers a fee based service that will check large documents and do a more comprehensive check than that offered for free.

4. Glatt Plagiarism service offers a simple self-detect program that you or students can use. Like the Plagiarism Checker you simply type or paste in a document to detect plagiarism.

Prevention of Plagiarism
5. The Purdue OWL website is the number one place I refer students and parents to for questions not only about Plagiarism, but for questions about all parts of the writing process.

6. FAQ's for Educators was created by four students at the University of Illinois. On this website you will find a list of lesson plans for teaching students about plagiarism. Lesson plans are available for elementary school, middle school, and high school students. In addition to lesson plans, teachers will find reference materials regarding copyright and intellectual property law.

7. Plagiarism.org, produced by the same people that produce the commercial plagiarism detection software Turn It In, has a free learning center for students and teachers. Plagiarism.org's learning center includes tips about avoiding plagiarism, definitions of plagiarism, and explanations of when you do or do not have to cite a reference.

8. Plagiarized.com offers some practical tips for students, teachers, and parents about avoiding plagiarism. Plagiarized.com also offers some tips about the research and writing process.

9 and 10. Like many universities and colleges both Northwestern University and the University of North Carolina offer student writing guides that include examples of plagiarism with explanations of why the text is considered to be plagiarized. The examples on both websites include examples that many students would not think are examples of plagiarism.

What have I missed? What are your techniques for teaching the avoidance of plagiarism? How do detect plagiarism?Please leave a comment and let us know.