18 Ways to Prevent Plagiarism in Student Papers

  1. Hand out explanation of what constitutes plagiarism in its various forms.
  2. Teach students how to paraphrase and how to cite sources.
  3. Give students a set of topics from which to choose and change topics frequently.
  4. Do not allow last-minute topic changes.
  5. Require students to submit copies of research notes.
  6. Require students to submit bibliographies, outlines, and drafts.
  7. Require precise formatting for papers and do not allow even slight deviations.
  8. Give pop quiz on paper contents.
  9. Require oral report in addition to paper.
  10. Warn students against storing work on multiple user computer devices such as shared computers.
  11. Assign narrowly focused topics, rather than broad, general ones.
  12. Use very current topics to lessen chance of papers being available on the Internet.
  13. Structure the writing assignment as a series of steps with checkpoints.
  14. Require copies of at least two drafts.
  15. Check the working bibliography early in the assignment.
  16. Require all resources to be current, from the last 2-3 years.
  17. Require an annotated bibliography with 1-2 sentences describing each source.
  18. Do not leave graded papers lying around


Sources: Ann Lathrop and Kathleen Foss, Student Cheating and Plagiarism in the Internet Era.
Bernard Whitley, Jr. and Patricia Keith-Spiegel, Academic Dishonesty.