The Ultimate Plagiarism Guide: How to Detect and Prevent It

When the emphasis is on prevention

We talk about it all the time in school it seems. How to detect plagiarism. Every learning management system needs to have control and assume it is the norm, not the exception, to test for plagiarism I mean.  When we catch a first-year student plagiarising at my school,  I usually say it is a good thing they did it now, and not in their senior year, or at college or university. Because at that stage it gets serious. In the early high school years, let’s treat it as a teachable moment. And prevent further events, by discussing and modeling.

When I wrote my book; “The Digital Classroom Transforming the Way We Learn”, I used the paid version of Grammarly. Because you never know if you accidentally write something, previously written and published. You might remember it from somewhere you read, mistaking it for your own brilliant ideas. Better safe than sorry.

Here is an interesting article on detecting and preventing. I am sharing parts of it here:

Tips to Avoid Committing Plagiarism Accidentally

In essence, it’s easy to avoid plagiarizing others’ work by following the mantra “give credit where credit is due.” But for many of us who are not well-versed in formal writing, proper attribution and citation can be confusing and tedious.

As an alternative, we recommend that you regularly follow these tips so you can build the conscious habit of attributing ideas to their proper sources.


A Guide to Avoiding Plagiarism

    •  Never copy and paste anything you read on the internet. If you are directly quoting from an article, make sure to attribute the reference correctly.
    •  Prepare an outline of your ideas before you set out to write. If you’re working with multiple sources of information to write your piece, work out a balance between your own original ideas and your references.
    •  Clearly distinguish who said what in your writing. When you’re mixing your ideas with those of your sources, the source of an idea could become ambiguous. Aim for clarity and simplicity so that you can give credit to the right person.
    •  Learn how to paraphrase so you won’t be tempted to copy entire passages from your source. Take note that even when you paraphrase another’s ideas, you will still have to include a proper citation. Here’s a guide to paraphrasing from the Purdue Online Writing Lab.
    •  Evaluate your source’s credibility so you can be assured of the accuracy and quality of the information you are citing. Refer to the Web Page Evaluation Criteria prepared by William Patterson University.
  •  Always use plagiarism detection tools to check if your text contains sentences or paragraphs that you may have inadvertently lifted from another source.

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