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How to Stop Essay Plagiarism in Schools

Avoiding Plagiarism

Over the years, academic dishonesty has been an issue of concern in institutions of higher learning. Students have been suspended and denied the chance to graduate with their respective courses because of engaging in acts of plagiarism. While most of the information for the assignments offered in class can be found from multiple sources, putting that information in a student’s paper without plagiarizing is sometimes challenging. As such, many students tend to copy ideas directly and thus presenting plagiarized work. This amounts to academic dishonesty, and it violates the policies of academic institutions. There are various ways to prevent academic dishonesty and plagiarism.

Paraphrasing is one of the ways in which plagiarism can be prevented. Students should read information that they find and put it in their words. The use of a student’s words implies that the information will not be presented as copy pasted. Through paraphrasing, it means that students should introduce their ideas and avoid the use of the author’s direct words. The original meaning and content should remain the same with the use of a student’s words. Therefore, students should not introduce new ideas that do not fall within the information in the source of information.

Plagiarism can also be prevented by citing the source of information. Students should acknowledge the authors from whom they got the information and not present the ideas as if it is their own. Proper citations should accompany any academic paper with the correct date when the sources were published and the authors who wrote the publication. While citing, students should adhere the correct citation styles recommended by their instructors. Another way in which plagiarism can be prevented is by the use of quotes in the paper. Students can use the exact words of the author in order to represent the original idea as presented in the source. The citations in the text should be accompanied by properly referenced sources in the references page. Sources can be acknowledged by the use of either endnotes, footnotes or parenthetical citations.

The use of trusted sources can also be used as a way of avoiding plagiarism. Students may opt to use internet sources and supplement them with library materials. Not all online sources can be trusted since some websites do not provide the correct information about a certain topic. Trusted sources should indicate where the authors of an online page got their information from, as well as when the information was written. Sources used by students should be credible enough in that they provide accurate information with ideas that are properly supported by facts. Students can also prevent plagiarism and academic dishonesty by distinguishing the ideas of various authors who have been cited in the text. When mixing the ideas of different authors in the text, it is always appropriate to clearly state who said what. Disguising the actual author of the information can result of plagiarism.

Proper planning of the paper can also be used to prevent plagiarism. Since various sources of information are used in the paper, it is advisable for students to plan how they will use these sources. The use of plagiarism software can also be used to prevent plagiarism. There are computer software that are specifically designed to check for plagiarism in a paper. Such software highlights the unoriginal text in the paper and allows students to replace the highlighted text with original ideas. Students can prevent academic dishonesty by ensuring that they do not borrow ideas from past essays, term papers, and assignments with a topic similar to that provided by their instructors. Such papers should be avoided as they are submissions of other students and copying from them can result to plagiarism.


The Consequences of Plagiarism in the College Setting. Online Resource:

Lipson, C. Doing Honest Work in College: How to Prepare Citations, Avoid Plagiarism, and Achieve Real Academic Success. Chicago, Ill: Chicago University Press.

Neville, C. The complete guide to referencing and avoiding plagiarism. Maidenhead: Open University Press/McGraw Hill.