New York Times Plagiarism Education


Here’s a great website I found care of “The Learning Network” from The New York Times:New York Times Learning Network: Plagiarism Education

The site has all sorts of lesson plans, tools, tips, videos, and more that can help you instruct your students about plagiarism. As they put it, “The middle and high school years are an opportunity to shape healthy attitudes in a lower-stakes environment. But for many students, poor habits are formed ahead of college.” This website can help you instruct your middle school and high school students in the good habits of avoiding plagiarism.

WorldEssays.Com Free Plagiarism Checker

The folks at found the website and reached out to me. I checked out their resource and found it to be a really good one. Try it out, and thanks to

Here’s their blurb:

“Feeling angsty about all the referencing in your essay? Afraid that it’s repeating some article or book passage? Visit Free Plagiarism Checker by Its extensive academic paper database yields the most accurate results when in doubt on authenticity of essays written in English and Spanish. You may do 5 checks per month without any additional actions required, and after becoming a registered user you get 100 monthly tokens. Nowadays it’s hard to come up with original ideas that don’t second anyone, however with Free Plagiarism Checker you can rest assured that your choice of words is impeccable.”





“The Ultimate Guide to Copyright [and Plagiarism] for Students”

This week, one of the creators of reached out to me with their great resource for Plagiarism Education.

WhoIsHostingThis is a free tool that allows anyone to see who hosts a particular website. One of the most common uses of the tool is in the course of investigating plagiarism and/or copyright infringement.

The website is really detailed and offers great info and videos to share with your students. Check it out in the link below.

WhoIsHostingThis Copyright and Plagiarism Guide

Reputation Ruined: Students Need to Know What Plagiarism Can Do to Their Rep

Plagiarism can seriously damage someone’s reputation. Just this month, an editor at the NY Daily News fired one of its editors for removing attributions in articles. The editor didn’t commit plagiarism himself, rather, through his editing he made it appear another writer did. It’s a mess, I know. Here’s the story: Editor at Daily News Fired.

So, what’s this got to do with our students? The article highlights how damaging an accusation of plagiarism is to someone’s credibility. This month, many of my students are getting into universities. However, a few, are having difficulty. One in particular received a few rejections. When asked, the student’s plagiarism case from their junior year was highlighted by an admission official as causing serious concern. Universities take plagiarism very seriously, just look at any university plagiarism policy. Our students need to understand the gravity of plagiarism and how it can affect how people (especially admissions counselors or future bosses) view them. The CNN story is only one case, there are plenty of others. Today, help your students understand the risk of committing plagiarism and how it might prevent them from their future goals.


Every week, I have at least one teacher ask me about free anti-plagiarism websites. Well, from all the ones I’ve checked out, the best is Why? It has a pretty sophisticated plagiarism checker, though nowhere near the advanced algorithim that turnitin employs. But, for those schools who are cash strapped. It provides a nice alternative. Of course, you don’t get all the bells and whistles, but grammarly does provide some other resources. My favorite is the grammar help it offers to students. I ask my writing students to use grammarly to help them eliminate many of their common grammar mistakes.

It’s not the best thing out there, but among the free choices, grammarly is hard to beat.

Check out the link:

Plagiarism Instruction in the MLA Handbook

A great resource for teachers is the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. If you go on to the MLA (Modern Language Association) website, you can email MLA to request a free copy. Besides all the information about MLA formatting and citations (the standard for all Humanities classes), the handbook provides a concise chapter on plagiarism—a clear definition, types of plagiarism, consequences of plagiarism, and tips on how to avoid plagiarism. I have created of the handbook which you can see at the end of this post.

The MLA Handbook’s section on plagiarism is very student friendly, addressing the student directly. I have culled a few insights from the chapter that I think is most helpful for teaching students about plagiarism:

  • Because research has the power to affect opinions and actions, responsible writers compose their work with great care. They specify when they refer to another author’s ideas, facts, and words, whether they want to agree with, object to, or analyze the source. This kind of documentation not only recognizes the work writer do; it also tends to discourage the circulation of error, by inviting readers to determine for themselves whether a reference to another text presents a reasonable account of what that text says. Plagiarists undermine these important public values. (52-53).
  • Plagiarists are often seen as incompetent—incapable of developing and expressing their own thoughts—or worse, dishonest, willing to deceive others for personal gain (53).
  • Student plagiarism does considerable harm. For one thing, it damages teachers’ relationships with students, turning teachers into detectives instead of mentors and fostering suspicion instead of trust. (53).
  • To guard against unintentional plagiarism during research and writing, keep careful notes that always distinguish among three types of material: your ideas, your summaries and paraphrases of others’ ideas and facts, and exact wording you copy from sources. Plagiarism sometimes happens because researchers do not keep precise records of their reading, and by the time thy return to their notes, they have forgotten whether their summaries and paraphrases contain quoted material that is poorly marked or unmarked (55).
  • If you realize after handing a paper in that you accidentally plagiarized an author’s work, you should report the problem to your instructor as soon as possible. In this way you eliminate the element of fraud. You may receive a lower grade than you had hoped for, but getting a lower grade is better than failing a course or being expelled (56).
  • If you have any doubt about whether or not you are committing plagiarism, cite your source or sources (59).

Besides these insights, the sections on “Forms of Plagiarism” (56-58) and “Summing Up” are also great for students. Check out the PDF file below and consider sharing these two sections with your students.



MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th ed. (New York: Modern

Language Association of America, 2009).



I Didn’t Know!!!: Students Claim Plagiarism Ignorance

Plagiarism CartoonI am the head of the Student Plagiarism Review Committee at our school (Yes, I know it is an awful name . . . any suggestions?). The committee is an ad hoc committee to determine student plagiarism and consequences. We are not quite six weeks into the new school year, and, unfortunately, I have had to oversee four committee meetings already. Each time, the student accused of plagiarism pleaded ignorance–“I didn’t know that was plagiarism!” This is an all too common occurrence.

The purpose of this website is to give teachers the tools to educate students about plagiarism so that they can learn how to avoid it. If you are a follower of, you know that my school has focused on this issue for over year with a blitzkrieg education program (see Nonetheless, students who sat through each one of these information session–one even wearing our stop plagiarism bracelet–pleaded a lack of knowledge about what constitutes plagiarism. I was baffled.

As I reflect on these four sessions, I have learned one thing–teachers need to constantly teach students about the gravity of plagiarism as well as the benefits from avoiding it (not just the consequences!). English teachers around the world are checking off the obligatory beginning of the class speech about plagiarism. They will not revisit the issue until the following year. Don’t do this, for the sake of your students. Every so often–at least once a month–briefly revisit something related to plagiarism to keep the issue at the forefront of the students’ minds. Remind them every paper to be original, creative, and critical and not cheat themselves by committing plagiarism. Only be constantly reminding our students can we help them see how serious an issue it is and help them avoid sitting in front of the dreaded plagiarism committee.

Plagiarism Tutorial



This week I created an online tutorial that gives nine different scenarios and asks students to identify whether or not the scenario is a incident of academic dishonesty. I got the idea from a required task I had to complete during my first semester of graduate school. Here is the link:

As you can see, the scenarios cover real life situations the students may encounter over the course of a year. Completing this tutorial at the beginning of the year ensures that the students are aware that some of their actions are seen as cheating/plagiarism/academic dishonesty.

This resource is free to use for all teachers (use it in your classrooms with my blessing 🙂 ). However, the best thing to do with this resource is to use it as a template to construct your own. If you are not adepth at things like computer coding, do what I did and utilize the skills of students in your schools. This makes the plagiarism tutorial an example of students helping students, and that is doubly great! Here are a few other examples that can help:;;;

*My great thanks to my student, Evan Bestic, for helping me design the site.