Preventing Plagiarism...How?

I am in my first year teaching high school. I am currently using to prevent my students from plagiarizing, but I am beginning to think that the heavy disadvantages outweigh the easy advantages of saving time and less teacher work.

One of my student's papers was marked as plagiarized and yet she denied the accusation claiming that she was just using sources like I asked. Since the definition of plagiarism includes the intent of a student to pass off another's work as their own, there was no serious action taken against the student.

However, I would certainly like to avoid another situation like this again.

So I turn to my fellow teachers for guidance. What do you do to help your students avoid plagiarism?


  1. In my University, we often use an introductory assignment in lower-level Accounting classes.

    The students complete an online workshop that describes the nature of plagiarism, the consequences of plagiarizing, and how students can avoid doing it. They also read a referencing guide for further clarification.

    After this preparation, students are given an essay written by the faculty based on an accounting topic. This essay includes several references: web articles, academic journals, a newspaper, professional publications, etc. In this essay are 10 examples of plagiarism.

    Using the original sources, students identify and correct these examples of plagiarism. They must also write a correctly referenced conclusion to the essay.

    With this assignment in place, the number of plagiarism cases detected have been drastically reduced.

    I believe because this assignment raises awareness and clarification about plagiarism, students are more likely and able to avoid it.

  2. As a fellow high school English teacher here are a few things that I do to help prevent my students from plagiarizing.

    1. Create assignments with authentic audiences
    (Often I simply use their peers)

    2. Require several steps to writing their paper: topic explanation, research plan, outline of paper, rough draft, revised rough draft, final draft

    3. Require various types of source materials: books, articles,
    journals (especially recent articles)

    4. Students must include a specific material I tell them to include. This may be some research article I think is critical for their conversation or a book/story I want them to analyze--it varies.

    Overall, I think there is nothing better you can do than provide students with explicit knowledge and conversations about plagiarism.

  3. I completely agree that explicit knowledge about plagiarism is the key!

    I like to walk my students through techniques of accessing and using various sources. I model for them how I might use or quote sources.

    I also like to present situations to my students and let them discuss whether or not the situation is okay.

    Plagiarism is not an easy thing to identify and often depends on the context of the situation. We need to help our students understand this!