BRIDGEWATER COLLEGE WRITING CENTER
Suggestions for Deterring Plagiarism
Go to printer-friendly version.
open-ended research assignments; instead, require students
to relate research to readings or topics under discussion in
Make new assignments or significantly revise assignments each
writing progress, if you can make the time to do so.
Any of the following strategies will remind them that you
consider the writing assignment to be important and expect them
to take some time with it:
Ask students to submit their topics ahead of
time (and you may want to mention that
last-minute topic changes are often signals that
a student is not doing original work).
Ask for a preliminary list of sources.
Ask for a tentative outline or abstract.
Review the introduction.
If you are willing to take the time for brief
conferences or reading rough drafts a couple
weeks before the due date, you will most likely
feel better about the finished products.
(Tell students that their citations and
bibliographies are part of the draft.)
Allow class time for peer response or peer
Checking Papers for Plagiarism
Familiarity with students’
writing styles can be useful in alerting you to plagiarism.
Keeping a writing sample from each student on file
throughout the semester may prove helpful if you suspect
Allow time for spot-checking use of sources.
Use a search engine to check for any phrasing that sounds more
sophisticated than you expect from the student writer.
Warn students ahead of time that incomplete bibliographical
information is grounds for failure or refuse to read any paper
handed in without a reasonably accurately formatted
bibliography. Check the
bibliography first and try Web addresses or look for an article
in a subscription database.
Check some cited information for accuracy of attribution or
thoroughness of paraphrase.
Use a plagiarism detection program such as
Writing Center Resources
Bridgewater College's Plagiarism Statement is at
See Writing Center guidelines for
Bridgewater College students receive the following kinds of instruction in
ethical use of sources in ENG 110: Effective Writing:
The necessity of citing all sources, including in-text citation
(parenthetical; in some sections numbered citations or notes as
Specifically, the necessity of citing sources for information,
whether or not direct quotation is used;
The mechanics of quoting (use of quotation marks or indentation,
scrupulous accuracy, bracketing any changes, etc.);
with instructions in how to write each;
Practice in quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing and citing
in, minimally, papers written for class; often with additional
practice exercises and examples of ethical paraphrase and/or
Instruction in integration of quoted material;
The mechanics of constructing a bibliography in, minimally, MLA
and APA formats;
Introduction to critical evaluation of sources.
Instruction in these skills occurs over the course of the semester, but all ENG
101 instructors introduce the topic within the first month of the semester. See
Updated by A. L. Trupe August 25, 2010