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Spotting Plagiarism

Page history last edited by Karla Aleman 11 years, 9 months ago

General Resources:

Really Cool Online Tutorials/Videos- Created by Someone Else:

Plagiarism "Checkers"- Reviews papers before students turn them in:

Paper Mills- Places students go to buy papers:

Citation Clues a Work Might be Plagiarized 


After brainstorming ways to use citations to spot plagiarism beyond the standard stuff we all hear about (like changes in writing style, etc.), here is a quick list.  Note: these examples are hardly conclusive evidence, but they might send red flags.
  1. Older material cited.  Many of the for-sale student papers are pretty old, so if you notice that most of the sources are over a decade or more old, then it might be a bought paper. 
  2. Majority of cited material are books.  Students of course use books for their papers, but this might be a sign of an older bibliography.
  3. Library doesn't have access to the articles.  If items (particularly articles) are cited and not easily available in other locations (online or the public library), does the college's library have access or not?  This might be a clue.
  4. Not all of the in-text citations match up to the bibliography.  When students are cutting and pasting, they may end up including portions of text they did not mean to include or they forget to copy the reference along with the plagiarized sentence.
  5. No page numbers provided in in-text citations.  Although many webpages are not numbered in such a way to provide clear page, section, or paragraph numbers, many other items do have some sort of numbering system.  If the student does not include page numbers, is it because they were unaware they needed to do so or because they don't want to make it easy to find the paraphrase?
  6. Bibliography is filled with incomplete citations.  If students are using an older paper, whether their own or someone elses, many of the citations on the old paper will be incorrect by the new style standards.  When students are converting the citations, they may not be able to completely convert them without access to the original cited item, which may no longer exist online or reside at their local library.


Previous Page: Handling MLA


Creator: Karla Aleman, College of DuPage Library, October 2009

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