Now What?!: How to Reform a Plagiarizer

For my last post, I discussed the meeting with my student who had been caught plagiarizing. So, you’ve caught a student plagiarizing, now what. How can you follow through with the consequences while maintaining your responsibility as a teacher to help them learn from their mistake? The purpose of the consequences is rehabilitation. Turn the cheater into a conscientious writer who, hopefully, will not make the mistake of plagiarizing again. Below are a few of the extra steps I take with students who cheat.

  • Failing grade for the assignment that they will have to make up over one of their breaks (Fall, Winter, Spring) with the inability to score higher than a 75%.
  • If the assignment is a final assessment, then a failing grade for the unit/semester/course.
  • The student will handwrite the next two assessments in my presence and only in my presence. Thus, if they have to spend extra time at school, then they must make the arrangements.
  • This can be a pain for some teachers, but let the student know that they must work around your schedule. They made the choice to plagiarize. They must take the responsibility to fix it.
  • The student must write a letter to parents and administration—that will be shared only with them—explaining their choice to cheat and how they are going to make it up to the class.

These are just a few idea. There are lots of teachers on this site each week. PLEASE, give us your ideas.

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