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Prevent Plagiarism

Preventing Plagiarism

Discouraging Plagiarism

  • Talk to your students about academic integrity

  • Include a statement or policy about plagiarism on your syllabus

  • Make sure students know what it takes to be successful in your class
  • Be available for questions and consultations

Creating Plagiarism-proof Assignments

  • Choosing Paper Topics

    • Assign narrow, specific topics

    • Use current events
    • Have students draw upon personal experience
    • Assign compare/contrast assignments
    • Assign local topics, or have students choose and issue and apply it to the local area
  • The Process
    • Require pre-approval of research topics
    • Don’t allow last minute topic changes
    • Have students write about / discuss how they will proceed with an assignment (have them create a research plan)
    • Require an annotated bibliography or notes taken on a number of sources
    • Have them write an abstract of their paper or project
    • Require an outline or drafts
    • Have students turn in their research plan or portfolio of resources with their final project
    • After the project is done, have them reflect on it. Examples: If you had another week, what would you do differently? What was difficult and why? What did you like and why?
    • Use the’ Everything but the Paper’ model and the ‘Research Log’ assignment stored in our Information Literacy Toolkit:
  • Sources
    • Require a variety of types of sources
    • Require recent sources, if the topic supports it
    • Control some of the topics (example: require inclusion of class discussion, interviews, original surveys, a specific article you assign)
    • Require detailed citations, including page numbers
  • Change assignments every year
  • Stress the real world importance of a task and its relationship to the assignment you are giving
    • The assignment has to have a clear purpose – explain its purpose to the class
    • In smaller classes, invite students to design the assignment with you
    • Doublecheck your assignment with a colleague. Check for clarity and assumptions.
  • Explain your assessment procedures to the class
    • Students need to know how they will be evaluated
    • Provide grading rubrics to students when available

Help for Faculty

  • Assign or encourage your students to take the Avoiding Plagiarism Tutorial (includes a quiz) at

  • Adapt the activities created at the UT Libraries:
    • Peer Mentor Training Manual: Walks through how to talk about plagiarism in a higher education setting with games and discussion starters. Accompanying PowerPoint slides available as well.
    • Links to handouts from the University Writing Center on paraphrasing and using quotations.
  • Refer to the International Center for Academic Integrity: for research on academic dishonesty, tips and advice for faculty, examples of honor codes and policies.


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