Teachers Should Practice What They Preach!

“Not only do we hold students accountable for monitoring their own behavior, but we also teach them to demonstrate courage in re- porting the unethical behavior of their peers. As professionals and adult models, we must expect as much of ourselves.”

How do we teach students about plagiarism and how to avoid it. One simple way–we model anti-plagiarism behavior in our own personal and professional lives. Check out this article: Plagiarism Isn’t Just an Issue for Students. In the article, the author makes an argument that teachers should model anti-plagiarism behavior. This is an important step in teaching students about plagiarism issues.  The article is a sober reminder that we, as teachers, should always practice what we preach.

(Credit to Allen Chase for passing on the article to me. To other subscribers, please send any interesting plagiarism info you find for possible publication on the website.)


China Writers Group Gives Out (Ironic) Award for Best Plagiarist

Check out this article: Plagiarism Prize. The article summarises a Northern China writers’ association award for the best plagiarism of the year. Of course, it’s an ironic award, but it once again highlights the rampant problem of plagiarism in the world today. A good (and funny) article to stimulate class discussions.

Teacher-Librarians and Plagiarism

Hey Teachers,

Stopping plagiarism and creating a plagiarism temptation free school is a collaborative effort. One school position that can have a powerful affect upon your school’s work to decrease student plagiarism is the teacher-librarian. Check out this article by teacher-librarian Allen Chase of the International School of Shenzhen Nanshan  for some great ways librarians can lead the charge: 2017-UF-summer-5-10-38.

A Review of Anti-Plagiarism Practices

It’s the start of another school year, and the fourth year of stopplagiarism.org! My classes are up and going as I am sure many of yours are. At the start of the year, when things are getting crazy, it is easy to overlook the importance of establishing anti-plagiarism classrooms where academic integrity is a foundational principle. Take the time to do so! It will benefit you in the long run. Here’s a great website with a quick summary of some great practices you can implement in your classrooms:

My favorite tips (some of which I have seen for the first time) are these: Education World: Put an End to Plagiarism in Your Classrooms

  • Don’t simply assign a paper and wait for the final version. Set deadlines for research notes and bibliographies, for outlines, and for rough drafts. Check the work in progress
  • Explain to students that you will check any questionable sources or uncited material. Tell them to keep their notes and printed Web pages until they’ve received their final grades.
  • Require that students submit a signed “letter of transmittal” with their reports. In the letter, have them reflect on the research and writing process and explain what they learned.
  • Avoid assigning general topics for research papers. Papers geared toward narrow topics specific to your own curriculum are less likely to be available online. Make your assigned topics as interesting as possible, so students will be more likely to want to do the work themselves.

Check out the other tips on the website, and, good luck this year in establishing plagiarism-free classes!



More Plagiarism Education Games!!!!


Check out these great sites for anti-plagiarism games:

They include information on citation, information literacy, avoiding plagiarism, and much more. A good, fun way to educate your students or review plagiarism and how to avoid it.
****Special thanks to teacher-librarian at the International School of Nanshan Shenzhen, Allen Chase, for sending them my way.

Paraphrasing Tools: A New Problem


“This is why dreams of finding the perfect plagiarism detection system are doomed to failure. The ‘other side,” if you will, will come up with better disguises. We have to find other ways of teaching and enforcing good academic practice” (Debora Weber-Wulff, quoted in retractionwatch.com).

A new internet based tool has become the norm for students scrambling to complete their essays–Paraphrasing generators.  Here’s an example of one.

This article (Evading Plagiarism Detection Software) by retractionwatch.com discusses this new problem.

The article discuses the rising issue with various experts offering their opinions including what to do in response. The best advice for teachers is to LOOKOUT FOR STRANGE OR ODD WRITING WHERE THE SENTENCES DON’T MAKE SENSE.

This is excellent advice. Remember, there is no perfect plagiarism detection software out there. Students can get around it. You can’t just submit a paper to a plagiarism detection tool. You must read the paper and use your common sense.

In the article, university professor Ann Rogerson, tells teachers to “openly discuss their existence in class demonstrating how poor the tools actually are along with my encouraging student questions about originality, citations and acknowledgements when preparing for assignments.  Confronting the issue is important therefore I work with students on how to learn and develop paraphrasing skills without using an online tool.  Just because some online tools can easily and correctly convert temperature, distance and currency does not mean that Internet based text tools can be relied upon the same way.  The only way of bringing it to light is to talk and write about it.”

In the final part of the article, Rogerson describes her steps to detect whether or not a paraphrasing tool has been used by a student. Extremely valuable.

Teachers everywhere must make themselves aware.


Plagiarism, Yes or No?


One of the best ways to help students understand plagiarism is to put the question to them. This week, there were two interesting plagiarism accusations. The first was made against a photo entered into the Sony World Photo Awards. The second was made against  the heavy metal band Metallica for their recent song “Moth Into Flame.” Check out the cases and have your students consider whether or not the plagiarism accusation was warranted. I think you will have a really great discussion.