Prevention of plagiarism at the university (2023)

Strategies and Resources for Students and Teachers

Students, especially college students, are expected to adhere to strict codes of conduct that emphasize academic integrity, including a ban on plagiarism. However, avoiding plagiarism can be more difficult than it seems, and the consequences can be serious. Fortunately, this is a topic that educators are devoting a lot of energy to, and new resources are available to help students avoid the traps of plagiarism. Read on to learn more about practical preventative measures.

meet the expert

Matt Ashareis an Associate Professor of Journalism and Media Studies in the Department of Communications at Randolph College, a private liberal arts college in Lynchburg, Virginia, formerly known as Randolph-Macon Woman's College. She graduated from Wesleyan University with agraduation in historyand worked in journalism for more than two decades as a writer, editor, and cultural critic. He is directly involved in teaching students about the issues associated with plagiarism in academia and the real world of publishing through coursework in journals and article writing and as a faculty advisor to Randolph College's student newspaper, The Sundial. .

158 students were suspended from UC San Diego between 2012 and 2014 for violating the academic code.

More than 1,200 complaints have been reported, according to the LA Times. The punishment included writing a think tank, attending an ethics skills seminar, or deportation.

Two students were expelled from the University of Virginia's Semester at Sea program in 2008 for plagiarism.

The school's Single Penalties Honor Code subjects students to severe penalties after being convicted of a single offense.

Plagiarism remains a pressing problem in universities. The stakes can be surprisingly high: intentional and even accidental plagiarism is considered a felony in academic and/or research settings. But what exactly is plagiarism? Why is plagiarism considered such a serious problem? And how have online research tools and new digital technology resources changed the way students and academic institutions approach the problem? The following guide focuses on these key questions to explore the nature of this complicated topic. Drawing on expert advice and the latest research in the field, this guide reviews several strategies that can help students navigate the confusing terrain of scientific attribution, including proper citation and paraphrasing, proper citation of relevant texts, and the safe use of primary and secondary sources. material without raising the red flag of plagiarism. It will also highlight some of the new online resources to help students and educators combat plagiarism and provide step-by-step instructions on how to identify and prevent it.

The majority of university deans (55%) say that plagiarism in student work has increased in the last 10 years.

Among those who see an increase in plagiarism, 89% say that computers and the Internet played a role.

Those:Pew Research Survey on the Digital Revolution and Higher Education, 2011

What is plagiarism? intentional x accidental

In theory, plagiarism is a fairly simple concept: it involves stealing someone else's words and/or ideas without attribution or credit. In practice, however, there are a number of different aspects that constitute an act of plagiarism that distinguish plagiarism from other types of academic violations. Individual schools, institutions, and subjects may use slightly different definitions. Let's look at some common ways that various authorities formally define plagiarism.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

Using another person's words or ideas without giving that person credit.

Tips from the writer administrators:

In an educational setting, plagiarism occurs when an author intentionally uses another person's original language, ideas, or other material without acknowledging its source.

Indiana University Bloomington School of Education:

Plagiarism is the act of portraying another person's work, including the work of other students, as your own. Any idea or material taken from another source for written or oral use must receive full credit, unless the information is in the public domain.

Harvard College Writing Program Guide to Using Fonts:

In academic writing, it is considered plagiarism to adopt someone else's idea or language without properly acknowledging that source in your paper. It doesn't matter if the source is a published author, another student, a website with no clear authorship, a website that sells academic papers, or someone else: acknowledging another person's work is theft and unacceptable in all academic situations, whether you do it intentionally or accidentally.

Purdue University Online Writing Lab:

Some acts almost certainly can be called plagiarism, such as: B. Buying, stealing, or borrowing any work (including copying an entire work or article from the Internet); hire someone to write your paper for you; and copying large sections of text from a source without citing or citing correctly. But there are acts that are generally more of a gray area, such as B. using a source's words too narrowly when paraphrasing (where quotation marks should have been used) or building on someone's ideas without citing their oral or written work. Sometimes, teachers who suspect students of plagiarism consider the student's intent and whether it appears that the student was intentionally trying to make other people's ideas sound like their own. However, other teachers and administrators may not distinguish between intentional and accidental plagiarism.

As can be seen from the tiered nature of these definitions, plagiarism is generally not as straightforward as it might appear at first glance, and the plagiarism policies established by various teachers, administrators, and institutions reflect this fact. The rapid growth of a new medium for communication and research, the Internet, has made things a bit more complicated. To illustrate, let's start with the most basic and egregious example of plagiarism: what we call "misappropriation." Then, through a series of questions that every student should be familiar with, we'll explore the so-called gray areas, including something known as "tile writing."

Voluntary appropriation: the cardinal sin of plagiarism

In the introduction to their 2007 collection of critical essays, Culture, Identity, and Technologies in Star Wars Films, Carlo Silvio and Tony M. Vinci write: “Few popular cinematic narratives have so captured the public imagination and generated so much critical comment. as George Lucas Star Wars series. First released in May 1977, Episode IV: A New Hope (then simply called Star Wars) quickly became the highest-grossing film of all time, redefining the cinematic use of special effects and ushering in a new era of Hollywood blockbusters.

Those two sentences contain information that could be considered common knowledge: the fact that the first film was released in May 1977 and became "the highest-grossing film of all time." But they are unique in their wording and contain ideas and constructs that essentially "own" the writers, such as the premise that Star Wars "redefined the cinematic use of special effects and ushered in a new era of Hollywood blockbuster." ". Even if he agrees with the authors and, after reading these sentences, he feels they summarized his opinion, using these sentences without quotation marks and without explicitly naming Silvio e Vinci is plagiarism. In other words, he doesn't need to steal the entire essay or even a whole paragraph: two sentences copied from an unattributed text and thus passed off as his own work are enough to set plagiarism at its simplest. .

Accidental plagiarism

At many colleges and universities, plagiarism is an academic offense that falls within the scope of a broader code of ethics that requires students to adhere to various standards of conduct.

Lying, cheating, and stealing are three of the elemental transgressions prohibited by an honor code. If we view plagiarism as a form of academic theft of another person's words and ideas, as it is commonly defined, then the implications of intentionally appropriating another person's work are self-evident. It's not just stealing, it's also a form of cheating, as the plagiarist tries to unfairly inflate your grade by misrepresenting it.

But what if a student wants to credit the original author? Let's say you're writing an essay on Star Wars for a film or modern mythology course; You find the introduction to culture, identity and technology in the Star Wars movies; Quickly copy a paragraph or a few sentences from the introduction; And if you're in a rush to get the job done on time, forget about including a quote.

In this case, it is not a case of cheating, but plagiarism. However, lying and evidence of intentional fraud compound the crime. And, as Purdue University's online writing lab guidelines emphasize, intent can be an important factor: Acting in good faith and clarifying the "accidental" nature of the breach, rather than denying the obvious, can be a mitigating factor when that case is subject to sanctions.

academic integrity and
consequences of plagiarism


Vice President Joe Biden withdrew from the Democratic presidential nomination in 1988 when it was revealed that he had been caught plagiarizing in law school 23 years earlier.

I tell my students that there are three ways to view plagiarism and its potential impact. The first is that it makes up the law of the land in science. It is not necessarily illegal to plagiarize, at least not in the criminal justice system. But going to college is a privilege. All colleges and universities have an academic code of conduct that covers plagiarism and other forms of cheating, and those who violate the code can face serious consequences. This varies from school to school, but can include anything from failing an assignment or an entire class to suspension and/or expulsion, depending on the severity of the offense.

Second, it is an insidious and often mindless form of fraud. When you plagiarize, you steal other people's words and ideas, which undermines the whole notion of academic integrity and intellectual honesty. It's not fair to other students who are presumably working hard within the rules, and ultimately cheats the plagiarist out of the chance to experience real intellectual growth. And if you go to the trouble of finding good source material, why not credit your research efforts with a citation?


In the 2016 Republican presidential race, Senator Rand Paul had to defend himself against accusations that he plagiarized several speeches and one of his books.

Another good reason to avoid plagiarism is that it is embarrassing and can damage a person's reputation. An incident of plagiarism on a college transcript is a reflection of who that person is and what they represent. It's too risky.

detect plagiarism

Intentional or accidental, plagiarism can occur in many ways. Below is an analysis of the most common situations.

Gray Areas: Paraphrasing, Summarizing, and General Knowledge

Consistent with the dictionary definition of plagiarism, academic guidelines on infringement do not just cover explicit, word-for-word copying without citation. They also encompass a broader class of offenses that include stealing concepts or ideas from another source and inappropriately paraphrasing and summarizing an author's words. The ease with which text can be copied and pasted from websites and other digital and online sources has created new problems that fall under the heading of plagiarism, the most common of which is commonly known as "patch writing".

One way to look at these issues is through a paradigm shift in what is expected of students transitioning from high school to college. A typical high school writing assignment might require students to read and summarize a text, whether it be a section from a social studies textbook or a chapter from a novel, to reinforce reading comprehension and develop writing skills. of comments. Since students refer to a single text, attributions and citations are generally reserved for direct citations.

(Video) Real Stories of Plagiarism | RMIT University

In college, however, students move beyond summarizing individual texts and into the more complicated realm of synthesizing ideas from multiple sources. They are expected to read and research beyond the confines of a single book, chapter, or essay, using their critical thinking skills to weigh different arguments, compare and contrast conflicting viewpoints, and contribute their own analysis of the problem or issue. This requires carefully delineating one's own words and ideas found elsewhere, tracing multiple sources, and using appropriate citation and attribution styles that can vary from discipline to discipline. Summarizing, paraphrasing, and directly citing sources are now integrated into an essay that also requires students to express their own ideas. And that, understandably, makes the process much more complicated and potentially complicated.

To cite or not to cite: the common knowledge exception

The Harvard College Writer's Guide to Using Sources defines general knowledge as:“Information that is commonly known to an educated reader, such as commonly known facts and data and, less frequently, ideas or language. Facts, ideas, and language that are distinct and unique products of a particular person's work are not considered common knowledge and should always be cited."

One of the first areas of confusion regarding plagiarism faced by students transitioning from high school to college is what constitutes common knowledge and therefore does not require classification. In general, simple factual information and common expressions are not subject to the plagiarism limit; however, complex ideas, analyses, opinions, and interpretations are subject to and must be cited.

Wikipedia.orgAlthough often not the most respected source in academic settings, it is actually a good guide, as the best Wikipedia pages aim to include or request the inclusion of a citation for anything that is not commonly known. It's not foolproof, but it's useful for understanding the difference between what's common knowledge and what isn't.

General knowledge example:

OWikipedia.orgThe entry for director George Lucas correctly does not include a footnote citation for his full name (George Walton Lucas, Jr.), date of birth (May 14, 1944), or place of birth (Modesto, CA). These facts are part of the public record and can be considered public knowledge, even if they should not be known in advance. However, his estimated net worth in 2015 (five billion) is credited to Forbes magazine, as it is specific information that can be disputed. In the opening paragraph, the entry reads, "He is best known as the creator of the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises," without quoting, as it is a general observation of fact. It goes on to say, "Lucas founded Lucasfilm and served as Chairman and CEO before selling the company to The Walt Disney Company in 2012," including a footer link to a story about the sale. One could argue that details about the sale are also potentially common knowledge, but it never hurts to cite a source.

Paraphrase and Summarize: Danger Zones

One of the most common areas of confusion and misunderstanding among students who struggle with the concept of plagiarism is paraphrasing and summarizing. Both are useful writing strategies when used correctly. Here's a helpful rule of thumb: if you change a few words here and there in someone else's text, messing with a text in the hope of making it your own, you're asking for trouble. You may end up not copying word for word, but you're still stealing another author's thoughts, ideas, and formulations, and that's plagiarism. Also, it cannot result in a successful paraphrase or summary. In either case, a subpoena is required.

But first, let's distinguish the two:

Paraphrasing involves restating a quote or repeating a premise or point from a given text passage for clarity or style. It can be useful for simplifying overly technical language, updating outdated language, or further emphasizing a particular author's concept or idea.


An abstract takes a larger section of text, perhaps even an entire chapter or essay, and boils it down to one or more key points that have specific relevance. Therefore, a paraphrase is usually about the same length as the original text, while a summary is always significantly shorter.

Examples of paraphrases and summaries:

This is an excerpt from a 1995 article titled “Teaching The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twainby Dr. Shelly Fisher Fishkin, Professor of American Studies and English at the University of Texas.

It is impossible to intelligently read Huck Finn without understanding that Mark Twain's perception and awareness is greater than that of any of the novel's characters, Huck included. Part of what makes the book so effective is that Huck is too innocent and ignorant to understand what is wrong with his society and what is right with his own transgressive behavior. Twain, on the other hand, knows the sheet music. One has to be skeptical of most of what Huck says to listen to what Twain says.

failed paraphrase:

It's hard to read Huck Finn without understanding that the author's conscience is bigger than any of the characters in the book, including Huck. One of the things that makes the novel so great is that Huck remains blind to both the evils of his society and the good things of his own rebellious behavior. Twain shares this, and the reader must listen beyond Huck's words to understand what Twain really means.

Correct description:

In her essay on teaching Huck Finn, Dr. Shelly Fisher Fishkin on the importance of looking at Huck's actions, words, and thoughts through the author's lens, because Twain understood what Huck never understood about the virtues of violate unfair social norms.


Dr. Shelly Fisher Fishkin makes the case for the importance of teaching Huckleberry Finn precisely because it is a difficult text in which the author confronts the evils of racism and slavery through the eyes of a character too naive to offer much insight. Coherent critique of the society that occupies you, but whose instincts lead you in the right direction.

Or problem to "patch"

In music, sampling refers to a process of cutting parts of existing song compositions and stitching them together into new works. While this sound collage technique has gained respect, it remains controversial, mainly because it's not entirely clear what is and isn't allowed under current copyright, licensing, and copyright laws. So-called "patch writing" poses an analogous dilemma for educators and administrators when faced with the realities of the digital world, an area in which students have access to seemingly unlimited source material that can be easily copied and pasted into assignments. .

What is patch writing?

A writing technique in which an author weaves together material from multiple sources almost verbatim with their own words and ideas, and fails to identify or cite the original sources. The result is a mix of plagiarism and original content.

Those:Northern Illinois University,
Online Tutoring on Academic Integrity

The question is: is patchwriting plagiarism? Or is it something else? Even the experts aren't sure. Sandra Jamieson and Rebecca Moore Howard are the professors who founded the Citation Project, a national research organization that has looked at the topic, and in a 2011 interview with the Information Literacy Project, they said, "Patch writing repeats a phrase, clause or phrase or more phrases while staying close to the source language or syntax We now understand patch writing as a failed attempt at paraphrasing In the work we reviewed, students often alternate between paraphrasing and patch writing as they attempt to respond to the question: "How else can I say this?" You ask if patch writing is a form of plagiarism. It could be: an author might intentionally correct rather than bother to successfully paraphrase. However, based on our own experiences as authors, teachers, and judges of plagiarism cases, we believe this rarely occurs.Patch writing occurs whenever an author has There are problems with the original text, and many college freshmen don't even realize it's not a 'paraphrase'."

Another, perhaps more useful, way to conceptualize patch writing is as a sort of collage of source material that does not contain much of the original writing or student insight. Think of it as lining up quotes from different sources without providing context or synthesis. Even if the sources are cited correctly, the result will not be a very good piece of work.

Copyright infringement x plagiarism

Many students, and non-students alike, are confused about the difference between plagiarism and copyright infringement. Copyright gives the owner several exclusive rights under the Federal Copyright Law. According to the US Copyright Office, it includes these rights:

  • The right to reproduce copies of the original work(s).
  • The right to create derivative works
  • The right to publicly distribute (sell, rent, lease, or lend) copies of the work
  • The right to perform or publicly display the work
  • The right to public performance of the work through digital sound transmission (in the case of sound media)

A person who does any of the above actions without the permission of the copyright owner may be liable for the infringement. All rights apply to both published and unpublished works.

In general, the basic differences between plagiarism and copyright infringement are:

Although plagiarism is a violation of an academic code, it is not illegal.Copyright infringement is illegal
It is a crime against the author.It is a crime against the copyright owner.
Applies when ideas are copiedApplies only when copying a specific fixed expression
To avoid plagiarism, you must give due credit for intellectual recognition.Copyrights protect original works and maintain revenue

Plagiarism Prevention: Proper Citations and Best Practices

There are many ways to formally cite sources in academic papers and in the non-academic publishing world. Depending on the professor, discipline, and institutional policies, footnotes, endnotes, or parenthetical citations may be preferred. There are also several style guides, including the Modern Language Association (MLA) format, the American Psychological Association (APA) format, and the Associated Press and Chicago stylebook format, all available online. To avoid plagiarism, the key is simply to make sure sources are clearly cited one way or another. Losing points for style may not be ideal, but it's better to get flagged for plagiarism charges.

Let's look at the main ways plagiarism often shows up using the Harvard College Writer's Guide to Using Sources as a guide.

Definitionthe repair
a literal plagiarismLack of citations in words that come directly from another text, as well as lack of clear attribution of citations.Add quotation marks and a quote.
mosaic plagiarismA type of patch writing in which pieces from one or more sources are improvised with some of the author's own words without proper attribution.Separate source material and add a unique attribution for each.
insufficient paraphrasingThe author only changes a few words in a poor attempt at paraphrasing and ends up with little more than a revised reworking of the original text. Even with the correct citation, this can be considered plagiarism if the author appears to be taking credit for repeating the original text in the author's own words.Quote the original text directly with attribution.
paraphrase without quotesDo not cite the source of the ideas contained in it, even if the passage has been restated in part or in large part.Add the correct quote before or after the paraphrased section.
quote without quotesA direct quote with the appropriate quotation marks is used, but quotation marks are not included.Add the correct quote.

Examples of correct citation:

We use this passage from Dr. Shelly Fisher Fishkin's essay "Teaching Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" to illustrate some common errors that can lead to an accusation of plagiarism.

Something new happened in Huck Finn that had never happened before in American literature. As many critics have noted, it was a book that served as a declaration of independence from the lofty tradition of the English novel. Huckleberry Finn facilitated a different style of writing: clean, clear, factual, earthy jargon that jumped off the printed page with unprecedented immediacy and energy; it was a talking book. Huck's voice, combined with Twain's satirical genius, changed the shape of fiction in America, and African-American voices had a lot to do with what it was.

a literal plagiarism

(Video) Preventing Plagiarism

Huck Finn served as a declaration of independence from the best tradition of the English novel.

correct quote

As Fishkin notes in an essay on teaching the novel, "Huck Finn served as a declaration of independence from the noble tradition of the English novel."

mosaic plagiarism

Huck Finn changed the face of fiction in the United States. He allowed a new way of writing, independent of the high tradition of the English novel. Twain's writing is clean and crisp. He jumps off the page with immediacy and energy. And he crucially embodies the voice of African Americans.

correct quote

In his essay on the teaching of Huck Finn, Fishkin notes several ways in which the novel broke new ground for American fiction: it departed from the "gentle English novelistic tradition"; it featured "an earthy, vernacular style of writing that jumped off the printed page with unmatched immediacy and energy"; and "African-American voices had a lot to do with what it was."

insufficient paraphrasing

As many critics have pointed out, Huck Finn was Twain's way of declaring the independence of American fiction from the tradition of the English novel proper, Fishkin explains in his essay on Teaching Huck Finn.

correct paraphrase

A large part of what makes Huck Finn such an important literary milestone, Fishkin says, is the degree to which it freed American writing from the constraints of British novels by incorporating native and African-American earthy voices.

paraphrase without quotes

Huck Finn is a major milestone in American literature because it broke free from the constraints of the gentrifying British novel through the use of earthy slang and African-American voices.

correct quote

Fishkin cites Huck Finn as a major milestone in American literature because its use of African-American slang and voices broke the constraints of the gentrifying British novel.

quote without quotes

Twain broke new ground for American literature with Huckleberry Finn, making possible “a different kind of writing: clean, clear, down-to-earth, down-to-earth jargon that jumped off the printed page with immediacy and energy.” incomparable; it was a talking book.”

correct quote

As Fishkin points out in an essay on teaching the novel, with Huckleberry Finn Twain broke new ground for American literature and enabled "a different kind of writing: clean, clear, factual, earthy jargon that jumps off the printed page into a language Unprecedented." Immediacy and energy; it was a talking book.”

Best Practices: How to Avoid Plagiarism

Plagiarism doesn't happen when you least expect it. In fact, most plagiarism, whether accidental or unintentional, happens exactly when you expect it. Students are anxious about their grades, pressed for time, unsure how to cite correctly, disorganized in their research, and going out of their way to put the finishing touches on a last-minute paper. Plagiarism happens very often. Saying no is sometimes easier said than done. Below are some simple preventative measures, derived from the Council of Writers Administrators Best Practice Statement, that can help mitigate some of the major causative factors of plagiarism.

Know and understand your university's policies.

Every school has a student handbook and most can be accessed online. Find out how your school defines plagiarism, what the penalties are, and what other resources may be available. For example, more and more colleges and universities have writing centers that can help students deal with problems related to plagiarism and proper writing and citation.

Set realistic expectations for success.

Often it is fear of failure or risk aversion that tempts students to plagiarize. Be realistic about each assignment and understand that earning a bachelor's degree is a process. You don't have to master every assigned task with flying colors, and it's also not worth putting yourself under so much pressure if you end up being accused of plagiarism.

Manage your time wisely.

It may be possible to have a successful evening simply by writing a five or ten page article. But research is something else entirely. Lay the foundation for any task early on by reading and researching early on.

Organize your sources.

Searching online and being able to cut and paste text from different sources can create opportunities for accidental plagiarism, but it can also offer some easy solutions. If you cut and paste text in a document, make sure it's in a different font than the default. Use Word to color-code material from different sources; Save the URLs and bookmarks of the websites you have used for specific tasks; and take clear notes. Being able to prove where you got the uncited information from later on can be a mitigating factor in cases where plagiarism is suspected. It pays to have good notes for an assignment, and they can come in handy later, too.

If in doubt, cite.

It's a good rule of thumb to start by simply providing a quote if you're unsure. Ask yourself where you got certain ideas, concepts, and information from. Is it something you read? Did you copy or cut and paste text onto your paper? If in doubt, provide a quote. Care is the mother of the porcelain box.

PLAGIARISM Put it in context

There is a persistent and widespread perception among educators that plagiarism is on the rise, and there is plenty of anecdotal information to support this claim. Additionally, there is a growing body of research supporting the claim that plagiarism remains a pressing problem for students transitioning from high school to college. Here's what some of the data shows:

A 2010 survey of 43,000 high school students by the Josephson Institute's Center for Youth Ethics found that one in three admitted to using the Internet to plagiarize a term paper.

In a 2010 survey of 24,000 students at 70 high schools conducted by Donald McCabe, a professor at Rutgers Business School, 64% of students admitted to cheating on a test, 58% admitted to plagiarism, and 95% admitted to participating in any form of cheating. , be it a test, plagiarism or cheating homework.

(Video) How to avoid plagiarism in academic writing

In surveys conducted by the same academic between 2006 and 2010, almost 40%, or two in five students, admitted to having copied a few sentences in a written work.

McCabe's research also found that 7% of college students admitted to copying materials "word for word" without citing them, and another 7% said they submitted someone else's work under their own name.

As reported by The Boston Globe, about 75% of college students admit to cheating at least once during their college career. This percentage has remained constant since 1963, when the first major college cheating survey was conducted.

Frequently asked questions about plagiarism

Plagiarism can be a complex issue. Below are some frequently asked questions that often come to the mind of many students.

Is it plagiarism to copy another student's copy?

Technically yes. The definition of plagiarism includes passing off someone else's words and ideas as your own. Therefore, copying another student's work for a submitted assignment constitutes plagiarism, but it is also cheating, which is a problem in itself.

Is it plagiarism to submit a purchased paper?

Again, technically, it's because it means putting your name in a text written by someone else. But like copying another student's work, buying work in general is an academic offense that falls under the category of fraud and is prohibited for reasons beyond mere plagiarism.

Is inventing a plagiarism of sources?

No. However, it may constitute academic dishonesty or lying, but it is not technically plagiarism. Plagiarism often reflects a lack of creative thinking; Making up a font or quote can be too creative.

Is it plagiarism if you reuse some of your own work?

This is a gray area. Schools may prohibit students from submitting the same assignment or work in more than one class without prior approval from teachers, and this may be classified as plagiarism. But it doesn't fit the strict definition of appropriating someone else's words and ideas. Full disclosure is generally the best policy in situations where a conflict may arise. For example, if you want to use documents or text you previously prepared for a British history course in a Shakespeare course, check with your teacher, or at least add a footnote or endnote to the passage in question.

How many words do I have to change so that it is not plagiarism?

There is no set number of words that would make a difference in terms of plagiarism. In fact, if you go to the trouble of changing the wording to avoid accusations of plagiarism, it's better to spend that time citing the source accurately. Because it's theoretically possible to plagiarize without sharing a single word with a source, as long as you reproduce that source's ideas.

Should works be cited "in the public domain" or without the author's name?

Yes, as long as you cite the work or use an idea derived from the work. If the text itself exists, then it can and should be attributed, whether or not the author's name is known.

What are the legal penalties for plagiarism?

Plagiarism is not a crime in itself. Its legal analogue is copyright infringement, which can result in civil lawsuits and significant penalties. Basically, if you use a large enough part of someone else's work without permission or for a good reason, it could be considered copyright infringement. Fortunately, academic purposes are generally considered justifiable grounds for referencing parts of another author's work without permission.

How much of a quoted text can I use in my own work?

Since copyright infringement is unlikely in an academic setting, especially when no one benefits from the use of parts of a text, the answer depends on the attribution and purpose of the citation. For example, if you are writing an accurate textual analysis of a poem, it is not necessary to use the full text of that poem and is unlikely to be helpful. Quoting half the poem might even be too much. But this is not a plagiarism problem; it's more a matter of relevance.

(Video) Plagiarism: How to avoid it

If the citation is incorrect, is it still plagiarism?

This is a tough question. While it may not seem fair, misquoting means that you haven't correctly identified the author and source. And this is a kind of plagiarism. But the guidelines on this vary from class to class and from teacher to teacher. In fact, a miscitation error is much more likely to negate the plagiarism guidelines for high school and graduate students than for freshmen and sophomores.

Are hyperlinks considered a form of attribution?

This is a question without an answer. For practical reasons, hyperlinks are gaining ground in the online publishing space as a means of attribution. However, it can be problematic if the link goes down. In an academic setting, it is best to assume that hyperlinks are not an appropriate means of citation.


There are several online resources available to help identify and prevent plagiarism. Whether you're a student, educator, or concerned parent, the following list of resources provides helpful information and tools for anyone who wants to learn more about plagiarism and how to avoid it.

Resources for a suitable appointment

quote machine

This site helps researchers and professionals to use sources correctly. Users can choose between APA, MLA, Chicago, and Turabian citation styles.

cross reference

CrossRef is a collaborative, member-based association of academic publishers that calls itself "the citation-connecting backbone for all academic information in electronic format" and serves as a platform for the academic community to gain easier access to research content. .


At EasyBib, users will find easy-to-use search, annotation, and citation tools, as well as resources on MLA, APA, and Chicago citation styles. The platform also provides tools and information that educators can use to teach their students to be effective researchers.

Final note

This reference manager allows users to search databases, collect PDF files, organize sources, create and format bibliographies, and share research results. The platform is offered in three versions: EndNote X7 (desktop and online), EndNote for iPad, and EndNote Basic (free, online only).


Mendeley is a free reference manager that allows students and researchers to cite, read, and annotate PDFs as they type, on any device.

OWL – Search and citation resources

Purdue OWL provides guidelines and information on appropriate research and citations. Find information on APA, MLA, and Chicago styles here.


A free and easy-to-use online tool that helps users collect, organize, cite, and share research sources. Zotero can interact with all kinds of online resources and allows users to automatically extract and store bibliographic references.

Student Resources

Writing Board Program Managers

As the national association of college professors with professional experience writing syllabuses and curriculums, the CWPA includes an advice section for students with questions about plagiarism, as well as links to other online resources and tutorials.

Guide to Using Harvard College Writing Program Fonts

Contains a comprehensive overview of the proper use of fonts in academic papers, including a detailed section on the different types of plagiarism and how to avoid common mistakes in college writing.

I think

Powered by Turnitin, iThenticate is the leading provider of professional plagiarism detection. This tool can be used by editors, writers, and researchers to assess originality. The texts are compared with a database of more than 50 billion web pages and 130 million works.

An information page for students who want to know more about plagiarism and how to avoid it. The site also includes a section on source citations, creating footnotes and bibliographies, paraphrasing, and correct use of citations.

This free online tool allows students, teachers, publishers, and website owners to check assignments for plagiarism. The tool reads and analyzes content in English, French, German, Italian, Romanian, and Spanish.


Leveraging Internet search capabilities and a proprietary database of university papers, Turnitin provides students and instructors with a report that highlights parts of an assignment that are not original documents and therefore may be plagiarized. The idea is that students have the opportunity to go back and make sure they gave the correct citations to any work that appeared elsewhere.


This online tool provided by Pearson can be used as both a plagiarism checker and a grammar checker. The site notes that the tool is used by high school and college students and was developed based on feedback from various faculty members. While this tool uses the same research database as Turnitin, the main differences are that WriteCheck identifies possible unintentional plagiarism and does not find a matching source, and WriteCheck essays are not added to a database of student essays. .

Teacher Resources

Faculty tips for plagiarism prevention

Adelphi University has created a guide on plagiarism specifically for teachers. The guide provides resources and information and focuses on improving classroom teaching, rather than monitoring, to prevent plagiarism and fraud.

MIT – Comparative Media Studies

MIT provides basic information on how teachers can prevent plagiarism. Find out what teachers and professors can do to prevent plagiarism in the first place.

Plagiarism and Teaching Strategies – Washington State University

Washington State University has an entire section dedicated to plagiarism on its website, including teaching strategies for teachers. WSU cautions that poorly crafted assignments can sometimes be the reason students submit low-quality work or plagiarize and cheat. Educators can read more about the role of task design in relation to plagiarism and what they can do to prevent academic dishonesty.

This free and easy-to-use online tool compares copy-pasted phrases with resources found on Google and Yahoo! Users can indicate if they are teachers or students to receive personalized instructions and results.


Students and teachers can use this online plagiarism detection tool. In addition to analyzing a text for originality, the platform also offers various tools to help teachers empower students to produce high-quality, original academic writing.


This site serves as a reading and language arts resource for educators, parents, and extracurricular professionals. Educators can find information and tools to identify plagiarism, as well as lesson plans to teach students about plagiarism.

Responding to Plagiarism - DePaul University

Created by DePaul University, this resource emphasizes approaching plagiarism as a learning opportunity. Instead of detection and punishment, educators can engage in open discussion and include creative activities to turn plagiarism into a "learning tool."

(Video) Preventing Plagiarism

secure assignment

This online tool can be used both for plagiarism detection and as an educational tool to prevent plagiarism.


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