male teacher teaches students in elementary school class
  • 8 Tips for Teachers to Detect Plagiarism in Students’ Assignments

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  • Category: Education
  • Published Date: October 20, 2022
  • Modified Date: October 20, 2022
  • Reading Time: 4 Minutes

Featured Image Caption: Male Teacher Teaches Students in Elementary School Class

As a teacher, issues you’re bound to encounter include finding out that some of your students have submitted plagiarized work. If an assignment is plagiarized, you’ll notice that it sounds different compared to tasks handed in by the student. It is easy to detect such issues when handling a small group of students. It may be challenging for teachers with a large group of students, which is why we’re going to look into different tips that will allow teachers to detect plagiarism easily in their students’ assignments.

Some of the Tips Teachers Should Consider Include:

Run a Google Search to Check Small Sections of the Assignment

If you come across paragraphs or sentences that appear to be plagiarized, you can check them out using Google. Copy and paste the sections that appear plagiarized and conduct a Google search. You can put quotation marks at the beginning and the end of the sentence or paragraph to ensure the search will showcase the exact wording.

You can save the link to the website where you found the initial source for reference purposes.

Sudden Change in a Student’s Writing Style

When you read a paper by one of your students and are already accustomed to their writing style, you can easily notice when something is off. Using structures, comparative sentences, and language is what you’re supposed to see in an English paper (English as a subject is an example in this case).

You need to reconsider if you notice some changes in the composition style. Is it possible for a student to change their writing style abruptly? It is unthinkable, which means the student is not the one who wrote the composition.

Compare Writing Styles

The writing style varies from one author to the next. As you read a paper, you’re supposed to hear one voice. It is a red flag if the assignment appears to have different writing styles, and you should check the paper for plagiarism. If the student has used plain phrases and has made some mistakes in their past assignments and they have perfect grammar, all of a sudden is a reason to be suspicious.

Use of Different Font Types

One of the ways to check for plagiarism includes paying attention to changes in the size, type, and text style. The main reason is that such a suspicious arrangement can be grounds for plagiarism.

Behind such mistakes, there will be others, and that should serve as a warning. Why? Some students are lazy and may fail to change the duplicated sentences or passages. Instead of retyping the content using their own words, they have confidence they have good fortune, yet a teacher should reject such an assignment.

Unusual Shifts in Tenses

The majority of academic assignments are written in first person plural. If you notice some abnormal changes in a student’s assignment, there is a likelihood the assignment was composed by another person. In such an instance, you should proceed with caution.

Citations and Quotation Marks

Suppose a student includes inappropriate citations in an assignment without somebody else’s input; that constitutes plagiarism. The lack of proper citations results in an undeniable case of plagiarism. If the student changes the reference style, as a teacher, you should determine whether the student submitted copied material.

Use Advanced Plagiarism Checkers

You can use a plagiarism checker for teachers. Here, the main focus is on an ‘advanced’ plagiarism checker. Some of the preferred plagiarism checkers include Turnitin.

Advanced plagiarism checkers usually use advanced algorithms to search for duplicate content, and they can easily scan different sources on the Internet, including academic texts and books. Such services also enable you to check different pages at a go. When checking bulky research papers such as a thesis or a dissertation, such tools come in handy.

Use Free Plagiarism Checkers

There are free plagiarism checkers; however, they’re not as accurate as the ‘advanced’ ones. Nonetheless, they still work. You can go ahead and check assignments for plagiarism even without registration. The only issue is that a free plagiarism checker is unsuitable if you want to check long papers since you’ll have to subdivide the assignment into bits, which will take more time. The main advantage is that you’ll get accurate results, but ‘advanced’ plagiarism checkers are a more viable option.

Final Thoughts

If you’re a teacher and you were struggling with how to detect plagiarism in your students’ assignments, the tips listed above will come in handy. These tips have been tried and tested, so you can easily notice when a student has submitted a plagiarized assignment.

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