Plagiarism has become a significant problem in the academic world, as it contradicts the values of honesty, integrity, and originality that institutes stand for. Candidates who commit plagiarism damage their school performance and the esteem of their educational institutions.
So, in such situations, it becomes essential for teachers to prevent their students from plagiarism. But if you, as a teacher, don’t know where to begin, this blog post is for you.
Here, we’ll share five tips to help students avoid plagiarism.
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What Can Teachers Do to Help Students Avoid Plagiarism in Academic Writing?
When it comes to helping your students avoid plagiarism, getting feedback after they’ve implemented each tip is the key. So, with that in mind, here are some useful tips that can help you in guiding students about plagiarism in academics:
Clarify the Concept of Plagiarism to Students
The primary reason students fall prey to plagiarism is that they don’t know what plagiarism exactly is. Therefore, as a teacher, if you want to help students avoid plagiarism, teaching them the actual concept of plagiarism is the first thing you must do.
You can start with the basics and discuss the meaning of plagiarism in simple terms. For instance, plagiarism happens ‘when you use someone else’s original work without proper permission.’ This statement explains the concept of plagiarism in the most basic terms.
Once the students understand what plagiarism means, teachers can take things up and discuss why plagiarism is illegal. For instance, you can share that ‘plagiarism violates copyright law and is a theft of intellectual property.’ That is why academic professionals consider it an illegal activity.
Thus, after clearly understanding the concept of plagiarism, students will be able to avoid this academic dishonesty more effectively.
Help Students Learn the Severity of Committing Plagiarism
Once the students have comprehended the concept of plagiarism, discussing the world’s behavior with plagiarism-guilty people is the next thing teachers should do. And for that, instructors can share multiple real-life cases of plagiarism.
Different institutes and societies treat plagiarism differently. Therefore, you should share the most popular plagiarism cases from all over the world. And here are some most famous cases of plagiarism from the world of academia:
Some Real-Life Examples of Plagiarism
- Amanda Serpico copied a few fragments in her opinion paper for the course about gay marriage laws.
- According to Coursehero, the University of Witwatersrand fired their professor, Marks Chabedi, after discovering plagiarism in his dissertation.
- According to S. News & World Report L.P., Allison Routman got expelled after plagiarizing information from Wikipedia and a movie in her paper.
Thus, by discussing the different real-life cases of plagiarism, students will learn the severity of committing this academic offense.
Share the Correct Way to Research a Topic With Students
Research is one of the essential things that help in preventing plagiarism. In fact, most people plagiarize their work when they don’t have enough time or data. Therefore, teachers should guide their students about the correct way to research a topic.
Professors are role models for students. Therefore, here, teachers can share their way of researching the data for a topic. For instance, you can teach the right way to explore a topic in the following way:
Example of Researching a Topic
- Start early.
- Thoroughly read the relevant web pages by searching the topic on Google.
- While detailed reading, gather the main ideas and put them in bullet points.
- Don’t limit the research phase to top-ranking articles or blogs. Instead, use advanced sources, such as Google Scholar and books, to research their topic extensively.
- Don’t forget to look for statistical data from sources like Statista and other platforms.
Note: The aforementioned tips will be enough to begin the writing phase because students can collect more data while working on a topic.
Thus, you can guide students on the correct way to research a topic by discussing their personal experiences.
Teach Students About the Different Approaches to Avoid Plagiarism
Undoubtedly, research plays a crucial role in keeping plagiarism away from a writing piece. But even after conducting extensive research, students often fall prey to plagiarism. That’s because while using data from a source, students generally keep the data the same. This situation leads to different types of plagiarism. Therefore, instructors must guide students about the various techniques of using data from a source.
Paraphrasing is the art of restating a sentence or entire passage without changing its meaning. So, if students want to explain an existing idea in their words, teachers can recommend using this tip.
Here are some tips for paraphrasing any material successfully:
- Understand the original meaning of the text before restating it.
- Use the understood meaning to restate the source material.
- For rewording the source material, students can change the sentence structure and replace some words with appropriate synonyms.
- If manual rewording isn’t possible, students can moderately use any of the top-notch AI paraphrasing tools. To better understand this, we’ll use Paraphraser.io because of its quick and accurate paraphrasing as you can see below:
- Remember to acknowledge the original owner of the source material.
Use Quotation Marks and In-Text Citations
The key to paraphrasing the information is to keep the original meaning intact. However, if paraphrasing changes the meaning of the text, students can enclose that text in double quotes and add an in-text citation.
When enclosing the information in double quotes, the key is to use the text as it is. And as far as the in-text citation is concerned, it should follow the pattern specified in the requirements.
Multiple Ways to Properly Acknowledge the Original Information Owner
We’ve already mentioned that acknowledging the original information owner is essential. But the acknowledgment must be professional. Therefore, teachers should teach students how to cite the included information properly to keep plagiarism away after paraphrasing or quoting the info.
Here are the patterns of the most common citation styles used in academia (Pittsburgh, 2010):
Give Access to the Plagiarism Detector Recommended by the Institute
Using plagiarism detection software is the only way to ensure that the work is free from plagiarism. Therefore, providing the students with access to the plagiarism-checking software used in the institute is the last thing teachers should do.
Generally, institutes have access to a top-notch plagiarism checker. But if a particular institute doesn’t have access to any tool, you can also try some online plagiarism-detection tools such as Check-Plagiarism or Editpad. Both these online tools are ideal for students because of their free-of-cost availability and accuracy in plagiarism detection.
Plagiarism has become an increasingly common problem in academia. Therefore, teachers must take steps to help their students avoid it, and clarifying the concept of plagiarism can be an excellent starting point. By understanding plagiarism, students can become more aware of how to use the words, thoughts, and ideas of others properly.
Besides clarifying the meaning of plagiarism, professors can teach students the consequences of plagiarism and how to research, cite and paraphrase the material properly. Additionally, teachers can provide resources, such as a plagiarism checker, to help students identify and eradicate plagiarism from their work. Thus, by providing education and resources, teachers can help students learn how to properly use resources and create original work.