Design Assignments to Prevent Plagiarism
Discuss Plagiarism with Your Class
Other recommended practices:
Include Library Instruction
The following books are available at the NMSU Library. Among other things, they describe prevention of plagiarism.
Combating Plagiarism. Carey, Suzanne F, and Patricia Arnett Zeck. Printed by the Phi Delta Kappa Educational Foundation. A very short but useful introduction to the subject of plagiarism. Especially useful for teachers.
PN 167 .C37 2003.
The Plagiarism Handbook. Harris, Robert A. Includes a chapter on strategies for detecting plagiarism, including several useful web sites for this purpose. This is a practical refresher for teachers looking to prevent and deal with plagiarism.
PN 167. H37 2001.
Do not assume that your students already know how to do college-level research.
Give students library instruction close to a due date.
You could ask students to hand in a working bibliography the next class.
Design assignments in consultation with librarians.
Librarians can suggest steps and appropriate resources and methods. This reduces frustration and increases efficiency.
Give clear directions.
Students will often interpret directions in a very simplistic sense. For example, simply saying "no Internet resources" makes students wonder whether library databases accessed over the Internet are also forbidden.
Encourage students to use library resources.
Students are often unaware that they can find many online resources using the licensed article databases available via the Library's web site. Librarians can assist in identifying relevant library databases and other tools.
Direct students to various possible topics and resources, rather than a single topic or source.
If all students are writing on the same topic, plagiarism is easier. It is also easy to find papers on broad or common topics. Please see our tips on How to Prevent Plagiarism (above).
Pre-test the assignment.
Check that resources are adequate and access is unproblematic.
When all students must consult an item, place it on reserve.
Placing it on reserve ensures that all students, not just one, can access the material.
Avoid scavenger hunts.
Students find these frustrating, and librarians end up doing the work.