New Opportunities for Detecting and Preventing Plagiarism

FemaleStudentStudying.jpgAs we begin this new semester, we also begin a period of learning the writing styles of our new students. During this time, some of our more tech savvy and ethically-challenged students may take this opportunity to sneak one or two things by us. Then again, some might not even know they are doing it or that it’s even wrong… Though, they should have taken the Academic Honesty Tutorial by now.

To help with this, Richard Byrne, author of the Free Technology for Teachers blog has put together 7 Resources for Detecting and Preventing Plagiarism.

The first thing I do when I want to check a student’s work for plagiarism is to do a quick search on Google. If you notice that a student has strung together some phrases that you don’t think they’ve written, put the suspected phrase inside quotation marks and search. You may want to search on Google as well as on Google Scholar.

Richard Bryne also suggest using Plagiarism Checker, a web tool created as a project for the University of Maryland, an easy-to-use site for detecting plagiarism. Other free services are also highlighted. You can read the full list of 7 Resources for Detecting and Preventing Plagiarism on his blog, Free Technology for Teachers, at

I would also like to remind you about the availability of SafeAssign by BlackBoard. SafeAssign is a free plagiarism prevention tool integrated with Blackboard, our Learning Management System. SafeAssign does have some limitations that makes using it not as intuitive as just typing something into Google. If you need help, our would like to learn more, please contact Steve Snider, our Learning Management System Specialist.

About Ian Aberle

Ian Aberle is the IT Communications Specialist and Trainer for the Office of Information Technology (OIT) at Southern Methodist University (SMU). He started at SMU in 1996 and, for much of his career at the University, had managed the SMU STAR Program before joining the Training & Communications Team in 2015. In his free time, Ian enjoys photography and road trips with his family. You can see examples of when the two collide at
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