How to recognize and track plagiarism?

eHow Education Editor

 Teachers who assign research papers to students have the difficult task of verifying that students wrote the paper themselves, rather than copying or plagiarizing the information from another source. To make this task easier, some tips for recognizing plagiarism are listed below.


Moderately Challenging



Read the finished assignment. Compare the wording in the assignment with the normal way the student speaks. If the tone of the assignment is uncharacteristic for the student, the paper may be plagiarized. Another clue would be using words in the assignment that the student does not understand. It would be difficult for the student to write using words they have never heard.


Analyze the steps outlined for the assignment preparation. Look over the documentation to ensure the student completed all steps of the process. If several steps were skipped, the paper may not be an original work.


Verify that student used the approved resources. If sources are cited that were not preapproved, the paper is mostly likely someone else's work.


Compare the finished assignment to the project details. Did the student follow all criteria laid out in the directions? If not, the finished project may be copied from another source.


Enter the paper in an online plagiarism checker. The program checks the content of the assignment against a database of papers and articles, highlighting any passages that are exact duplicates from other sources.


Check with the school librarian. They may recall the resources used by the student, making it easy to check if passages were copied directly from the reference books.

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