Fight Educational Plagiarism

Plagiarism at university and school campuses is a growing problem and each university can choose how to deal with the consequences. With Copyleaks, teachers and professors can easily find where the plagiarized content originated from.

In this article:

Plagiarism in the Education World

Cheating and plagiarism is nothing new to the education world. The difference is now it is much harder for students to get away with copying text either from a fellow student, their textbook, or an online resource. Teachers used to rely on reading each student work and trying to decipher if parts that were written were in the voice of their student or belonged to another author. Now, teachers are able to focus on the quality of their student writing and not waste time thinking if the work is original or not.

Our mission at Copyleaks is to help teachers save time and feel confident that their students’ work is authentic. We understand that teachers and administrators want to focus on teaching the students and having a tool that can easily check if there is plagiarism in their work.

According to Plagiarism.org, one in three high school students stated they plagiarized an assignment using the internet. In another survey taken with 24,000 high school students, 58% admitted to plagiarizing, and 95% admitted to cheating in some form including a test or copying homework.

How to Scan Educational Documents for Plagiarism

The first step is to have Copyleaks for Education in place to routinely monitor and scan submitted student work.

Our database scans against the internet, academic journals, as well as our internal database with user-uploaded content from students and teachers around the world. Teachers also have the ability to upload 100 files to scan so they can save time while checking for plagiarism.

How to Document Plagiarism in School Work

  1. Scan the work in question. This can be done with plain text, any file format, or even a specific URL.
  2. Results will appear in a report with similar content and the link so you can look at the source and the suspect text together.
  3. Share with fellow teachers or the student whose work you think contains plagiarism.

What if there is Plagiarism Found in Education Works?

Finding plagiarism in an academic paper is very common, but depending on how the school or university deals with plagiarism is the next step in preventing further cases from happening. Students can receive a failing grade, be suspended, or even expelled.

Another tip for teachers who believe students may have plagiarized from other students work is to look into the metadata of the Word document that was used. There is information stored like when the document was created, which computer, when the document was edited and saved, and more. This can be helpful in cases where it isn’t clear if a student took passages from another student’s paper that could have been written at an earlier time.

What if I was Wrongly Accused of Plagiarizing?

Students can be wrongly accused of plagiarizing work from another student, a book, or online. When writing assignments are given, teachers also give a percentage of content that is allowed to be used from other resources. Many times teachers “have a hunch” but in fact they don’t have anything to base it off of. Running a scan of your work allows you to show the teacher that you were at or under the given “similar content” rate.

In the case that the teacher believes there was a specific document that looks similar, the Compare Documents Tool will be very helpful to see exactly how much text is the same. You can then share the URL with the teacher to see the results.

Another way to prove you did not plagiarize is use previous drafts of your paper as or thesis as evidence to show how your paper evolved into the final product.

Someone Copied my Academic Research - what should I do?

As a researcher and publisher of public online content, it is possible your work can be used elsewhere. The first step you should take in order to remove the duplicate content is create sufficient evidence.

The more forms of evidence you have, the easier it will be to prove your case. As soon as you recognize your work has been plagiarized, before you let the siteowner or publisher of the actual content know, follow these steps:

  • Capture a screenshot of the suspected webpage
  • Download the source code while on the page by clicking File, then Save Page as
  • Visit Archive.org and enter in the URL in question to find the version with your content included
  • Contact the siteowner on your own. If the website is small enough, you can normally find the contact information. Another option is to utilize WHO-IS service that can provide the relevant person’s information that will be able to remove the content.

We are happy to answer any questions about copyright infringement and what next steps you should take.
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