Plagiarism is copying ideas or work of another and then claiming them as your own. It could even mean copying your own writing ideas. Essay plagiarism is just as easy in the sense of copying paragraphs; however it could be more serious than copying entire pages of a written source, like the book, essay or article. To detect plagiarism you must be aware of the most common mistakes made by plagiarism and ways to verify your suspicions.
Connect the essay to an online plagiarism checker
Numerous schools offer plagiarism software for their teachers. However, many plagiarism checkers are available for free online. You can use one of the free plagiarism checkers here. Simply copy or paste text into the program, and it searches for duplicate parts and compares it against other content on the web. Although these methods aren’t 100% foolproof however, they can help find out where the student obtained the essay.
Make use of the search engine
If you believe that a phrase or phrase is copied, simply put the phrase into the search engines like Google or Bing. Try using quotation marks on it and search for the exact phrase. However, it is possible that you’ll get nothing (if the student altered an element of the phrase).
- If the text was copied verbatim or closely, it’s quite likely to provide certain exact matches. Any source online that has identical text will appear at the beginning of the results page.
Be Sure to Look for Other Signs of Plagiarism
Examine the current essay with the style of writing that is typical for students
Think about the style of work that the student typically submits. If the writing style is significantly different, it’s possible that the student copied the latest essay. For instance Is the piece significantly longer or does it contain more detailed analysis than you’d have expected from the person? It’s not a sign of plagiarism in itself, but be sure to keep an eye out for any other indications of plagiarism.
- For example, is this person prone to create mistakes, but suddenly, they write an uncluttered essay? Do they usually possess a lack of clarity or poorly formed ideas, but then present clear and well-written assertions?
- Find the student’s portfolio of work in your class to use as a point of comparison. If you’re unsure it might be helpful to get copies of the work from teachers who are also teaching as well.
Pay attention to changes in the phraseology
When one paragraph is straightforward and unwieldy, and the other is a tangled mess of words with complex connections, the sentences were derived from two sources. Be aware of these changes throughout your paper, since the majority of students incorporate other sources into their writing.
- There is also the possibility of noticing that perspectives shift , or that students abruptly end their thinking by switching to a different issue.
- Also, look out for an ineffective start and finish with a stunning middle or another combination of strong and weak areas. This could be an indication of a student who is struggling to structure an essay in a rational manner; however, it may be an indication of plagiarism if the student has copied and pasted information from different sources.
Be aware of shifts in spelling
When a work is plagiarized, some words could have spellings that differ. For example, an essay might be able to switch between British in its British to American spellings, or the reverse. Sometimes, the name of a character in a book may vary depending on the style of the novel. If the words change around, this could indicate plagiarism.
- But, inconsistent spelling could be the result of a bad writer.
Check to see if the individual remains on the subject
Of course, students might veer off subject matter in their essays simply because they’re not good writers as of yet. But, if the essay is veering off in a way that it’s not enough to cover the most important aspects, it could mean that the student made a poor choice in deciding on a source from which to copy.
Examine for strange phrases
It’s often difficult to find a quality plagiarized paper. If the student can’t comprehend the paper properly, they might not be aware that it was written poorly. Most of the time, the strange spelling is due to poor translations, since some documents may be written in other languages.
Check in on ideas that seem too complicated
If you find that certain concepts are far beyond the level of your class It’s a good idea to explore it further. Of course, there will be students who are way beyond the level they are at however it could also be that the student copied the idea from a different source.
- For instance, if you teach intro composition and your student is completing graduate-level coursework it is possible to examine the student’s essay more closely.
Be sure to look for similar phrases throughout your documents
One method of identifying plagiarism is to search for similar words across various essays. Most students who copy use the same sites, which means the similar words and phrases will be used within their writing.
- For instance, you might notice that when discussing a novel like Frankenstein, a specific phrase, such as “represents the monster within each of us,” is shown in a number of documents.
Be Sure to Look for Other Indicators of Plagiarism
Check for citation styles in a variety of styles
If the student employs more than one reference style might be the case that the student copied the content. If you also requested the paper to be written in only one type of style (such as MLA) but the paper follows a different style (APA) It could be the case that the student copied the essay.
- Also, verify whether the citation actually exists. In certain cases students fabricate reference, or assert the existence of a chapter from the book is present when it’s not. Maybe you are able to access the text at issue and are able to check. Look through Google Books, or look online for citations of articles.
Look for any old information
Sometimes, plagiarized papers may contain details that are not actual. For instance, if a paper refers to an “recent” event that happened some time ago, it could indicate that it was plagiarized. In the same way, if an essay mentions someone who was in a specific position, but has since left this could be an indication, also.
- Also, look for older resources that could indicate the source is old.
Check for Font modifications
If the student is copying and pasting information into the document, they might not be able to go back and ensure that the font remains the same across. If the font’s size changes or style, this could be an indication of plagiarism.
Also, look out for other formatting modifications
The font style isn’t the only thing that can change across the paper. You might notice that curly quotation marks change into straight ones and in reverse, for instance. The style of the heading could differ across.
Contact the student if you suspect plagiarism
If you’re certain that the student copied your work save the evidence
Follow your student. Discuss the evidence that you have uncovered and then use the time to determine whether the student is willing to admit plagiarism.
- If you’re not 100 % sure that the student has copied the material You can use the meeting to determine whether the student is actually familiar with the subject matter and if they are able to tell. However, certain introverts may get agitated under these circumstances regardless of whether they actually have written the content or not.
We would like to add that you will never be able to find plagiarism in a work written with StudyBounty.
Find out the consequences in the event that the student copied
Concerning consequences, what you do next will be determined by the school’s rules. However, it’s beneficial to document the incident in writing. The consequences should be discussed with your student. After you’ve spoken to the student, you can write an email addressed to your student stating what transpired and the actions you did.
- For students who are younger, you should contact the parents of the student and then follow up with pertinent administrators who must be informed of the incident. Contacting older students directly is fine, however there could be consequences on the school’s honor council.