What is plagiarism?
- “Presenting someone else’s work, including the work of other students, as one’s own”
- Failure to acknowledge “ideas or materials taken from another source . . . unless the information is common knowledge” (http://studentcode.iu.edu/responsibilities/academic-misconduct.html)
How do I talk with students about plagiarism before assignments are due?
- Provide a clear statement on your syllabus about what constitutes plagiarism and what penalties students can expect if they plagiarize (use language from the Student Code and/or departmental policies).
- Provide explicit guidance in class. Because notions of plagiarism are culturally based, and because “common knowledge” differs from course to course, don’t assume that your students will know what counts as plagiarism in your class.
- Have students practice recognizing plagiarism: (https://www.indiana.edu/~academy/firstPrinciples/index.html).
- Contact the Campus Writing Program at 812-855-9023 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more ideas about how to address plagiarism and “common knowledge” in your courses.
What do I do if I suspect plagiarism?
- Collect concrete evidence—for example, by using Turnitin—before talking with the student.
- Do not accuse the student of plagiarism; instead, ask questions and describe what you see as the similarities between the student’s work and other sources or ideas.
- For example, you might say one or more of the following:
- “I notice two different voices in this essay.”
- “I notice that this unquoted material is just like this source.”
- “Could you explain to me what these sentences mean?”
If you decide to penalize the student for plagiarism, you must file a report with the Office of Student Ethics.
Would you like to find out more about plagiarism? This post is the third in a series aimed at addressing plagiarism and how to prevent it in your classes. The first two posts addressed: 1) appropriate assignment design and 2) helping your students with the research process. Upcoming posts will cover procedures for following up on suspected cases of plagiarism and more useful resources to share with your students. Interested in talking with someone about plagiarism related topics? Contact email@example.com for a consultation.
Plagiarism Blog Series:
- Designing Assignments to Promote Academic Honesty
- Collaborate with Librarians to Help Your Students Develop Their Research Workflow
- What is Plagiarism and How Do I Talk with Students about It?
- Truth, Then Consequences: When Plagiarism Is Reported at IU
- Resources to Help Minimize Plagiarism in Your Course