Creating Lessons that Discourage Plagiarism

One of the best things a teacher can do is to create a classroom environment that discourages AND DECREASES the temptation to commit plagiarism. Using plagiarism checking software is a must (just like a police officers presence decreases speeding on the road), but anti-plagiarism friendly assignments also are great. They turn your classroom into an anti-plagiarism environment while at the same time promoting creative and original thinking. Win-win!

Here’s a helpful link from MIT’s Comparative Media Studies and Writing department that offers teachers suggestions about how to create assignments that decrease the temptation to cheat: Resources for Teachers: How to Prevent Plagiarism

Good luck on the new school year!

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

This week, one of the creators of WhoIsHostingThis.com 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

I Love Turn It In!

Last year, I was put in charge of the school’s selection of plagiarism software. Initially, I was told by our administrator’s that the software was unnecessary. This, I pointed out, was ridiculously naive. Students, even the best students, are always tempted to plagiarize. That’s a part of our digital world. I did my research and looked at all the types of software out there. Without a doubt, I was most impressed with turnitin.com.  So, I raised funds to purchase a membership with turnitin.com.

I immediately fell in love with the simplicity of the platform, the simple steps for students to upload papers, and the depth of their servers in rooting out unoriginal writing (see below for a description of this impressive depth). I trained all of my colleagues and began offering PD’s focusing on turnitin.com as a great tool for eliminating student plagiarism.

But, why go to the hastle at all? For me, turnitin.com and all of the other tools are not just about decreasing plagiarism, but it’s also about increasing original and creative thinking and writing. That’s the goal of all education no matter what grade.

Please, share your own experience with turnitin.com (or another plagiarism reducing software or website) in the comments below.

***turnitin.com has three databases which it compares student papers to: 1) A copy of the entire internet!, 2) An offline database of academic papers, and 3) Any paper ever submitted to the website itself.  Pretty impressive!