Writing activity always seems discouraging to students and because of the lack of time, skills and effort to engage in creative writing, there is always a high temptation to present work that has been done by a different person before. With the advent of the internet, written sources are now available easily on the internet and because students are rushing to present their research, most of them do not have a clear understanding about what plagiarism entails. The lack of understanding comes as a result of little knowledge on the subject or because the knowledge they have about the concept mismatches what is not expected from them with reference to plagiarism. The fact that students have now become lazy and are not bothered by presenting works done by other people cannot be doubted. Other than presenting copied work, students who submit original assignments have disappointedly failed to also cite sources in which the information comes from. To have them not engage in plagiarism, it is vital that students are reminded about not only concentrating on how they will finish assignments but also on ways to avoid submitting plagiarized work.
Clear definition of the concept
In attempts to avoid plagiarism, instructors at the beginning of the semester should include a clear definition of what constitutes plagiarism in the syllabus or introduce it verbally. In as much as definitions may differ from one instructor to the other or in courses, it is very important to have students know what is expected of them clearly before teaching begins. This is a very effective way to prevent issues of plagiarism.
Committing the offense
Plagiarism is known as an academic offense and schools should not only define what is expected of students but also define consequences given to students upon committing the offense. Ideas only become better when they are tested against other people’s ideas. As part of coursework, instructors can ensure plagiarism is limited by having students know the punishments awaiting them when found guilty of plagiarism. Any student who is found committing plagiarism could be presented with a failing grade who the whole course and also be forwarded to the dean’s office for further actions of discipline.
Give examples for proper citation
Another effective way to minimize plagiarism is by presenting learners with instances of when and how they can avoid being found guilty of plagiarism. For instance, instructors can give students instances of how they should credit the work of other authors while developing their compositions. In giving examples, learners will have tangible cases that they could refer to in the event a question arises.
Have original assignments
Instructors can avoid plagiarism by presenting learners with assignments that need them to take a different perspective of a question and in this manner, students are likely not to find anything from other authors on the internet. This instance helps reduce submitting copied work.
Insist of submission of drafts before main assignment
Another milestone to a written assignment is where instructors ask students to submit a preliminary draft of what they have done so far and this could help minimize plagiarism. Submitting drafts of original work also helps spread the writing task of a student for a long period of time and so they are likely to take some time to engage in an assignment rather than finding an easy way out.
Have final copies of assignments passed through plagiarism checkers
In as much the widespread of information on the internet has caused students to be lazy, the internet has also come with a solution of checking whether a submission is copied from another development. A new software for checking plagiarism is Turnitin. Before submitting assignments, instructors can show students how to check for plagiarism in their own compositions from internet software. In the event certain parts of a document are highlighted, learners can revise these words accordingly before submitting the papers. Turnitin helps also to educate students on what is appropriate for submission and what is not.
Have students submit electronic copies
When instructors condone submission of physical papers of assignments, it is not very easy to tell whether work is plagiarized or not. An effective way of minimizing submission of copied work is by having students submit electronic copies. Because it is easier to find plagiarism in electronic copies, students might not be inclined to skipping some research steps and would avoid all ways that would lead to plagiarism.
Have students know about the existence of support services in school
The presence of academic development as support services allow students to be more effective in what they submit as academic work. Having students supported by this kind of development can help them focus on doing that which is right.
Because students and learning institutions are different, these options for reducing plagiarism can be applied in different measures depending on the culture, opinion, and views of the school and views about plagiarism. Above all, instructors should make sure that learners are informed about what is expected of them. Going deeper in instruction and information about the concept could effectively give students a broad perspective on the issue.