Links to Internet Resources on
Plagiarism in Colleges in USA

Copyright 2000, 2007, 2010 by Ronald B. Standler

The following links are not a bibliography for my essay, Plagiarism in Colleges in USA, but are provided as either (1) alternative views or (2) resources for teaching students to avoid plagiarism.

Table of Contents:
  1. webpages describing plagiarism, generally posted by either a librarian, a writing instructor at a college, or a professor
  2. style in academic writing: especially citations and avoiding plagiarism, generally prepared by a writing instructor at a college
  3. rules about academic misconduct, generally posted by the college administration
  4. software that detects plagiarism

A. webpages about plagiarism

Margaret Fain and Peggy Bates at Coastal Carolina University have posted comments on Cheating 101: Paper Mills and You. They conclude: "Term paper mills are a fact of life. How we as faculty and teachers and librarians deal with them is up to us." That's exactly why I have posted my essay on ways that law can help shut down these term paper mills, as part of the legal aspects of plagiarism in colleges in the USA.

Professor Harris of the English Department at Vanguard University of Southern California has posted a very useful set of suggestions for detecting plagiarism.

Professor Ehrlich of the English Department at Rutgers University posted a useful set of suggestions for detecting plagiarism.

Professor Meyer at Rutgers at Camden posted an explanation of citations and quotations for use by students in Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice.

B. style in academic writing:
especially citations & how to avoid plagiarism

Judy Hunter at Grinnell College in Iowa has posted a collection of material on plagiarization, citation style, etc. The URL of Ms. Hunter's materials keeps changing, so I provide a link only to the homepage of the Writing Laboratory website. At that homepage, look for the Writing Forum, then for her pages on Scholarship and Citation, or look for her pages on Citation Guides.

The Writing Tutorial Services of Indiana Univ. at Bloomington posted a page titled "Plagiarism: What It Is and How to Recognize and Avoid It". This document shows some examples of acceptable and unacceptable paraphrases.

The Online Writing Laboratory at Purdue Univ. has many handouts, including advice about paraphrasing.

Many of these academic webpages stress teaching the process of writing a term paper, which is more than the submission of a final draft at the end of the semester. For example, students might be required, half-way through the semester, to submit a rough draft of their paper. As another example, students might be required to have a one-on-one conference with the professor about the sources that will be cited in the paper's bibliography. These are excellent suggestions, not only for teaching technique, but also for deterring plagiarism, since most people are honest when they know they are being watched. Nonetheless, plagiarism is not excusable, even if the professor does not do these additional supervisory steps.

My handout on Technical Writing at my personal website has some comments on style in citations, as well as other issues in scholarly writing.

C. university sites about academic misconduct or ethics

Johns Hopkins University Undergraduate Academic Ethics Board Homepage. Has information for professors at Johns Hopkins who need to report academic misconduct, plus links to websites at other universities on academic ethics, plagiarism, etc.

Georgetown University Honor Council has posted a long, detailed discussion of plagiarism for students. Instead of the strident, legalistic tone of many such discussions, the Georgetown document is persuasive and enjoyable reading.

University of Pennsylvania, a private university in Philadelphia, has posted its Code of Academic Integrity, definitions of kinds of misconduct, and advice to students and faculty.

Swarthmore College, tips for avoidance, deterrence, and detection, plus links to other websites.

Center for Academic Integrity, currently at Duke University.

University of Maryland University College's collection of links to plagiarism policies at colleges in the USA.

D. software that detects plagiarism

I have not evaluated any of these services, so I can not make any recommendations. By providing the following links, I simply note their existence. I receive neither income nor other consideration as a result of referrals or providing links to any entity.
Note that there are two distinct features of the above services: (1) compiling their database of source material from the Internet, term papers from commercial sources, and term papers previously submitted by students; and (2) developing software to find text in earlier documents that is identical to text in the document that is being examined.

Prof. Lou Bloomfield of the Physics Department at the University of Virginia teaches an elementary physics class in which a term paper is required. In the five semesters from Spring 1999 through Spring 2001, he received a number of papers at least partly identical to one or more other students' papers, leading to investigation of 130 students for honor code violations, out of a total of approximately 1850 students. This haul of plagiarists may not include all of those who plagiarized from books, magazines, or the Internet. Prof. Bloomfield then started The Plagiarism Resource Center, which distributes free detection software to compare papers. On 26 November 2002, the University of Virginia expelled 45 students and revoked three graduates' degrees for plagiarism.

Measure of Software Similarity (MOSS) is a service developed by Prof. Alex Aiken, formerly at the University of California at Berkeley, and now at Stanford University, to find plagiarism in students' computer programming assignments.

Copyright 2000, 2007, 2010 by Ronald B. Standler
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links updated 30 Oct 2010

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