The consequences of academic dishonesty – cheating, plagiarism and other misconduct – are far reaching. The result can follow a student through his or her academic career, so it’s important to educate students about it early, particularly plagiarism.
Studies about its frequency may surprise you. Nearly 60 percent of high school students in a recent survey performed by Josephson Institute Center for Youth Ethics admitted to cheating in the past year, according to Plagiarism.org. The site says the same study found one out of three reported using the internet to plagiarize an assignment.
If you’re looking to educate your child about how to avoid plagiarism, Plagiarism.org is a good place to start. It identifies some of the most common mistakes made by students, such as not placing quoted material in quotation marks and misattributing the source of quoted material.
Harvard University offers a few of its own practical tips: Don’t cut and paste from a source directly into your own work while writing and make sure you don’t read another student’s work while trying to finish your own assignment.
Unclear on when you need to cite a source? The Writing Center at the University of Wisconsin offers some concise descriptions on what types of information need to be cited.
When your child has finished an assignment, you can take an extra precaution to check the paper online for plagiarism using websites like Grammarly and PlagTracker.
Grammarly says it checks writing against 8 billion web pages and will point out if your writing matches other material. Its service also generates citations you can use in your paper and checks grammar. The site also has a grammar checker.
While Grammarly is a paid service, PlagTracker offers a free version of a similar plagiarism checker.