Preventing Plagiarism: Guidelines for Lecturers
|Plagiarism undermines trust between lecturers and students and wastes
valuable University resources. Lecturers are primarily responsible for teaching students the attitudes,
skills and behaviours which will prevent plagiarism. Following is a list of tactics which may assist you.
- Discuss the issue of plagiarism regularly with students - at least at the start of each term.
- Make sure every student has a copy of the University's official plagiarism prevention brochure.
These can be obtained from all the libraries.
- Make sure students understand the main concepts of plagiarism, intellectual property, copyright and fair dealing.
- Make them aware of the UP, faculty and departmental policies and regulations (Afrikaans | English) -
stress the connection between the definition of plagiarism and the policies and regulations.
- Warn students about the seriousness of the offence and the consequences of plagiarism for their academic and
professional careers. Spell out the penalties which may be incurred.
- Make them aware of all available help.
- Place copyright and plagiarism warnings prominently in study guides.
- Include an anti-plagiarism slide in every MS PowerPoint presentation used for lecturing.
- Refer students to available resources.
- Be a positive role model: provide proper references to your lecture notes.
- Discuss the issue in terms of values: 1) Plagiarism is theft of words and ideas and simply not done by a decent and
honest person. 2) Plagiarism violates our values of trust and academic integrity. Academic integrity, a cornerstone
of scholarship, may be a new concept to them. It is defined as respecting the work of other scholars in return
for their respect for your work.
- Discuss the issue in terms of intellectual property, fair use and the role that referencing (citing) plays in
the advancement of science.
- Explain the reasons for referencing (citing).
- Discuss the benefits of proper citation: it shows you have read about the subject, that your views are tied to
that of experts and it helps the reader to locate the sources.
- Teach them the skills of academic writing, especially quoting, paraphrasing, summarizing and citating, and make sure they observe it.
- "Cyberplagiarism" (plagiarizing the Internet) is a particular problem at the moment: familiarize yourself
with the citing of web sources and teach the correct style to your students.
- Stress the need for original, critical thinking.
- Make sure students are information literate. Contact your
information specialist for help in this regard.
- Rethink the design and assessment of assignments:
exactly what you want to assess,
- make sure
everybody understands the assignment,
- make it
relevant to future employment or research,
different elements of assessment,
- beware of
broad, general topics,
- if possible,
use very current topics,
- change topics
- be specific
about expectations: length, type of
sources, currency, style, scope,
citation standards and examples,
- spell out your
interpretation of collaboration,
- allow enough
- check sources
in bibliographies randomly,
- include some
specific required reading for each
- require interaction and feedback by way of
oral presentations or written feedback from
- Insist on a
declaration of academic integrity to accompany
each assignment. Click here for a printable copy
of the University's official cover sheet.
- Deal with detected
plagiarism in a fair and consistent manner within
the UP regulations (Afrikaans | English).
- Familiarise yourself
with the phenomenon of essay banks or paper mills
(for an overview see http://www.jiscpas.ac.uk/apppage.cgi?USERPAGE=6250)
- Let your students
know that you have a good grasp of plagiarism
issues and have resources available for tracking
- Use electronic
detection tools if available in your faculty or
not turn a blind eye because it is painful and