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Detecting Plagiarism

Look for Signs of Plagiarism

  • mixed citation styles
  • lack of references or quotations
  • unusual formatting (indicative of a purchased paper)
  • off-topic material or a mix of off-topic and on-topic material
  • dated information (indicative of a paper written by students in previous sections of the course)
  • anomalies of style and diction, or widely varying style and diction

Other Strategies

  • Check local availability of the student’s sources. For instance, does Albertson’s Library own copies of the books the student has cited?
  • Search paper-mill web sites that buy and sell academic papers:
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  • Use SafeAssign in Blackboard. SafeAssign compares submitted assignments against a set of academic papers to identify areas of overlap between the submitted assignment and existing works. SafeAssign then provides a report that estimates the likelihood that some or all of the assignment has been plagiarized, along with a list of existing sources containing similar material.