Skip to Main Content

Antidotes to Plagiarism: Pedagogical Preventions

Based on a LibGuide by Ludy Goodson and Shannon Johnson, Purdue University - Fort Wayne. Many thanks!

What Works?

What works?

"The best response to concerns about plagiarism is revised institutional plagiarism policies combined with authentic pedagogy that derives from an understanding of IText, intertextuality, and new media." (Howard, 2007)

"Teaching, not software, is the key to preventing plagiarism" (Howard, in Hansen, 2003)

"Forget about policing plagiarism, just teach!" (Howard, 2001).

In their 2012 study, Dee and Jacob found that taking the time to teach about plagiarism reduced rates.  Similiarily, Schuetze in 2004 found that using in class examples of papers with citations removed and asking students to identify where the missing citations were created a lower incident rate. McGowan and Lightbody (2008) found that a tutorial on plagiarism worked to eliminate plagiarism on an accounting assignment. 

Prof. Braile wrote: “On the plagiarism issue, I found a few years ago that there were several copy and paste term papers turned in. Now I have a section in the assignment and I go over this issue in class and there are many fewer plagiarized papers.”

From Are teachers part of the solution or part of the problem? Toward the Best in the Academy, Vol 15, No 1, 2003-2004, students need “well-crafted, carefully sequenced, and interesting assignments…”  

From Preventing Plagiarism with an Outcomes Approach and “AntiPlagiarism Strategies for Research Papers”, these strategies will decrease probability of plagiarism.

  • Provide detailed directions;
  • Include process focus steps;
  • Work with student on planning, ideas outline, note-taking;
  • Require “recent” and range of references;
  • Require a “report” on the work done;
  • Change list of topics;
  • Value original thought;
  • Ask questions about process;
  • Allow time needed to think;
  • Assess planning, notes, and process;
  • Require annotated bibliography noting usefulness of the source.
  • Use “Metalearning” essay – at moment of collecting paper - write “what they learned from the assignment” and “what problems did they face and how did they overcome…” 
From McKenzie, J. (1998). The new plagiarism. Available online at
  • Level one: just the facts
  • Level two: other people’s ideas
  • Level three: new ideas and synthesis 
  • Show how to take notes
  • Show how to use technology effectively
  • Show how to use different colors when taking notes
  • Include self-assessment
  • Reward originality

From McKenzie, J. (2001), From trivial pursuits to essential questions and standards based learning. Available online at, assignments should require:

  • Explanations
  • Problem-solving
  • Choices and Decision Making
  • Self-assessment
and should:
  • Emphasize Essential Questions
  • Ask questions worth asking
  • Touch upon basic human issues
  • Hold promise for making a difference in the quality of life

Howard vs McKenzie vs Citation Project & Project Information Literacy

One step in determining what assignments work can be to cross-match the areas of agreement among McKenzie, Howard, and The Citation Project.

Examples of Course Assignments That Use These Ideas

Tina Kazan's Bibliography

Bain, K. (2004). What the Best College Teachers Do. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press. Call number 378.12 B162W; also available as an ebook:

Martin, B. (1994). Plagiarism: A misplaced emphasis. Journal of Information Ethics, 3(2), 36-47. Retreved from

Nelms, G. (2012, Sept. 27). Plagiarism issues and faculty workshops? Council of Writing Program Administrators List. Retrieved from

Shor, I. (1977). Reinventing Daily Life: Self-Study and the Theme of "Work". College English, 39(4), 502-506. Retrieved from

Wilhoit, S. (1993). Critical thinking and the thematic writing course. Writing Instructor, 12(3), 125-33.