Faculty Resources

Helping Students Avoid Plagiarism

Plagiarism is a serious academic crime and can lead to serious consequences. There are many things you can do to help keep your students on the right track.

Prepare Students to Use Web-Based Materials

  • Inform them of UMUC policies on academic integrity and honesty.
  • Include a statement on plagiarism in your syllabus.
  • Explain the pitfalls of plagiarism as part of making your assignments.
  • Use written assignment prompts.

Coach Students in Research Practices

Advise students that the changeability of Web resources makes scrupulous note-taking absolutely necessary. Make sure they know that even transitory materials need proper documentation and that the writer should

  • Acknowledge sources of all evidence and all assistance from others.
  • Consider everything written as copyrighted.
  • Document sources of all written materials.

Help Students with Documentation Styles

  • Warn students that
    • Major style manuals have standard styles for only some electronic resources.
    • Even new editions lack standard forms for Web-based resources.
    • Help can be found in recent texts and on the Web itself.

Point Students to These Helpful Resources


  • Harnack, A. & Kleppinger, E. (1997). Online!: A reference guide to using internet sources. New York: St. Martin’s Press.
  • Li, X. & Crane, N. B. (1993). Electronic style: A guide to citing electronic information. Westport, CT: Meckler

Web Sites

Other Ways to Help Students Avoid Plagiarism

  • Fully integrate writing assignments into course design.
  • Vary the audience and purposes of writings assigned.
  • Exploit the stages of the writing process.
    • Assign summarizing and paraphrasing exercises as part of early homework. (It helps students practice essential skills and helps you anticipate problems they may face in managing sources.)
    • Require early reports of research findings.
    • Require that drafts be documented.
    • Critique use of source material in class.