Cheating and Plagiarism Resources

The following are links to resources that describe cheating and plagiarism and how faculty can manage these problems.

UCF Resources on Cheating and Plagiarism

Syllabus Language - Statements about academic integrity/plagiarism and that you can use in your course syllabus.

UCF Plagiarism Statement - UCF's statement on plagiarism in academic courses.

Cheating and Plagiarism Presentation - PowerPoint presentation on cheating and plagiarism directives at UCF. Given by Nancy Stanlick and Patricia MacKown for the 2007 Summer Faculty Development Conference.

UCF Library Webpage on Plagiarism - Information from the UCF library on how students can prevent committing plagiarism in their work.

UCF Academic Integrity Website

Outside Resources for Detecting and Discouraging Cheating and Plagiarism/Encouraging Academic Honesty

What can we do about student cheating? - Article by Sally Cole and Elizabeth Kiss on how to encourage academic integrity in students. (On-campus access only)

Cheating in the Classroom: How to Prevent It (and How to Handle It If It Happens) - An article by Howard Seeman providing advice on how to manage cheating during in-class tests.

Internet plagiarism: A teacher's combat guide - Article by Jill Suarez and Allison Martin that offers clues for determining whether a student has plagiarized.

Plagiarism detection & prevention: A guide for faculty - Webpage by Delta State University on how to detect plagiarism. - Website providing plagiarism information and resources. Discusses various plagiarism detection tools available on the Internet, what constitutes plagiarism, and how to properly reference materials.

What is citation? - Provides information on why it is important to properly cite other works.

Academic integrity: Case studies to consider - Offers a collection of case studies on plagiarism that faculty can discuss with each other and/or use as instructional materials on academic dishonesty in their courses.

Profiling the plagiarists: An examination of the factors that lead students to cheat. - Article by C. Daly and J. M. Horgan, which describes the conditions/student characteristics associated with plagiarism. (On-campus access only)

Keeping plagiarism at bay in the Internet age - Article by Bridget Murray on how to prevent plagiarism of Internet sources.

Plagiarism and the Web - Webpage from Carnegie Mellon University's Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence and the Office of Technology for Education which discusses strategies for discouraging plagiarism.

Plagiarism: A good practice guide - Report by Jude Carroll and Jon Appleton describing best practices for dealing with plagiarism.

Tips for Reducing Cheating and Plagiarism in the Classroom

Preventing Cheating

1. Use essay questions, when possible, instead of multiple-choice response options.

Multiple-choice items are much easier for students to copy off of another paper than are essay questions. You can reduce the likelihood that students will cheat on tests by requiring them to respond to items in writing rather than by choosing from a list (Seeman, 2003).

2. Consider creating alternate forms of your exams.

Alternate forms of a test can help to diminish cheating during classroom tests, as students are generally unable to simply copy off of another person's paper without risking the possibility that the person they choose has a different test. However, remember that if you color code the paper of each test form, you are letting students know which form others have (
Office of Academic Judiciary-College of Arts and Sciences-at SUNY Stony Brook, n.d.; Seeman, 2003).

3. Create new exams each semester or, if you plan to reuse exams, do not return exam questions/answers to students after each test.

Reusing old exams can make it easy for students to cheat. They simply need to find someone who has taken the class before or who has posted the items on the Internet. By creating new exams each semester, you prevent students from being able to study only the material that they know to be on the test. If it is not possible to develop new tests each semester, you might consider only allowing students to view their exam answers but not to keep them. By holding onto their tests and test answers, you reduce the likelihood that test items can be passed from on from one semester to another (
Office of Academic Judiciary-College of Arts and Sciences-at SUNY Stony Brook, n.d.).

4. Have proctors help administer exams.

If you have a large class, consider using proctors help administer your exams. Proctors can alert you to suspected incidents of cheating and their presence can aid in discouraging cheating. Remember to train these proctors in how to administer the test and to deal with cheating before the actual test.

Preventing Plagiarism

5. Clearly define what plagiarism is and how to avoid it.

Don't be afraid to talk about plagiarism in your classroom and what constitutes academic dishonesty (
University of Wisconsin System Women's Studies Librarian's Office, n.d.; Harris, 2004; Murray, 2002). Discussing these issues outright helps students identify plagiarism in their own and others' work. You might consider adding a clause to your syllabus that talks about academic integrity. In addition to defining plagiarism, discuss ways that students can avoid plagiarizing material and appropriate ways to quote or paraphrase referenced works. Many websites and tools are available to help with paraphrasing (see Purdue University's Online Writing Lab Handout on paraphrasing).

6. Role model behaviors consistent with the principle of academic honesty.

Cole and Kiss (2000) note that being a role model for academic integrity may lead your students to follow your example. This includes citing appropriately within your courses and within your writing. As a faculty member, you can have a great influence on your students. If you do not follow citation guidelines correctly, your students might not either.

7. Make class a time to discuss paper topics and to work through the writing process.

Class time can be used to help students formulate their ideas and clarify their thinking. Consider having students write up short summaries of their ideas to bring in and discuss during class as well as outlines and first drafts. Using a staged process for paper submission will also help to resolve referencing problems early . Although this is usually only possible in small classes, you could encourage students to break into small groups to discuss their paper topics in large classes as well.

8. Be a resource for students about how to correctly cite sources.

Students should feel comfortable about coming to you to talk about how to appropriately cite other works. By encouraging students to talk to you about their citation issues, you show that you understand the difficulties inherent in writing and referencing material and you encourage discussion of how to resolve citation concerns

9. Use specific rather than broad topics for class essays.

The more focused you make your class essay topics, the less likely your students will be able to find paper mill resources on them. You might even consider having student discuss current events within their papers to reduce their reliance on previously written materials.

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