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Anti-Plagiarism Tips - Preventing & Detecting Plagiarism

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1. Require Specific Components for the Paper:

Develop a set of requirements that allow flexibility but that also prevent a canned or downloaded paper from fitting the assignment. Examples:

  • At least two sources must be less than a year old.
  • Include a table of data collected by the student in a survey or experiment.
  • Include a discussion or analysis of a specific book or article named by the instructor.
  • Make use of at least two books, three articles, two Web articles, and an interview.
2. Require Process Steps:

To prevent a student from handing in a paper downloaded or borrowed the night before the assignment is due, require that you see evidence of ongoing construction of the paper. Points should be given to each piece of the process, so that a student who hands in a paper without turning in the pieces will not pass the assignment. Consider requiring some of these steps, spread out over the time allotted for creating the paper.

  • Explanation of topic chosen
  • Research plan
  • Preliminary bibliography
  • Annotated preliminary bibliography
  • Prospectus (the problem, possible approaches or solutions, writer’s proposed approach) Outline
  • Rough draft (on which you make suggestions for additional sources or rearrangement) Final draft
4. Require Copies of Sources:

Have students attach printouts of articles or Web pages cited and photocopies of printed articles and book pages used. Have them highlight the words they have quoted or otherwise cited. Comparing the sources to the paper will enable you to determine how effectively the students use source material. You may also find uncited material in the paper that is plagiarized from one of the sources. When students know that their sources are attached, they may be more careful in using them.

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