Some students don’t even know the meaning of the word ‘Plagiarize’ so it is important to make them understand what it is and know that it’s wrong. If students get into a habit of plagiarizing, then it is difficult to stop the practice as later in life. There is the infamous case of an author who won a major prize for her novel only to have it exposed as a largely plagiarized work, then a short time later she was exposed again in a newspaper short story which she’d lifted from the internet.
Tell students to look up the meaning of ‘plagiarize’ and to write this down. Include in a letter to their teacher, why it is wrong to plagiarize, and its consequences. Make sure you establish this rule and consequences you and the school will exact on perpetrators.
Devote a considerable amount of time in the week (class work & homework) doing this task as this will impress upon students the importance of avoiding plagiarism. Students should restate any rule, such as a “failing grade’ that you have made if they are caught passing someone else’s work off as their own.
Check to see if students’ work is plagiarized. Enter the first sentence or a thematic sentence of the work into a search program such as Google or Yahoo and these will find instances of these word combinations online.
Impress upon students that as well as getting a failing grade it is dishonest and theft.
· Use purpose-designed sites available to educators which make it very easy to find plagiarism. Some are provided below.