Strategies to Prevent Academic Misconduct

1.  Modeling – Practice what you preach!

a. Using sources varies by field and program, so demonstrating, in the work presented to students, such as PowerPoint slide or handouts, how primary & secondary information can be integrated will be helpful for students when they are asked to do so.

2. Clarity & Expectations

a. At the beginning of every course verbalize to your class your particular expectations regarding their academic conduct in your course. Sometimes, you need to clearly spell out precisely what you expect to avoid any assumptions or misinformation.

3.“Scaffolding” assignments

a. Staggering when assignments are due

b. Encourage students to do their research, and a comprehensive outline before they start writing can help guide the student in differentiating between the works they draw upon and their own ideas.

4. Annotated bibliography & Research Logs

a. Smaller assignments that build into larger ones can also help eliminate the last-minute writing flurry that can lead desperate students astray.

5. Cover the specific citation guidelines in class.

a. It is easy, especially later in a student’s career, that they “ought to know” how it cite properly. It can be more productive to reinforce the conventions of citation—both in a text as well in a works cited page—to ensure proper use of sources. After all, as often as not, questions regarding plagiarism revolve around conformity to citation guidelines rather than intent on the part of the student.

6. Varying the types of writing assignments in your courses.

a. Rather than the ubiquitous and often misunderstood “essay,” it might be more productive to vary genre by having students write a different type of text. The expectations on information and content can be the same, but the genre of the assignment can reduce instances of plagiarism.

7.  Variety in assignment developed.

a. One of the easier ways for students to potentially to use someone else’s work is to repeat assignments. Slight variations in expectations or the goals of the assignment may be helpful in encouraging academic integrity. (can all of the sub topics on this page be a “read more” type thing so as not to bog the page down in text?)

8. One on One Meetings

a. If your course has a medium to large research paper, setting mandatory individual meetings with the student (even if it is just once at the beginning of the project) may help students realize that you are invested in their work and that you intend on following their progress which may help to avoid poor panicky decision making that may lead to plagiarism.

Last Modified: May 18, 2017