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Internet Plagiarism Prevention Measures

The responsibility for preventing plagiarism and academic dishonesty falls on instructors across the disciplines and at all levels of the curriculum. At the Waterbury campus, students receive an introduction to academic integrity and related issues in their First-Year Experience course (FYE), although it is worth noting that FYE instructors do not address specific documentation practices here and neither are all students required to take FYE. Students receive more in-depth instruction in academic integrity in Freshman English (which most incoming students are required to take), but this instruction is primarily in MLA (Modern Language Association) documentation practices and guidelines. Therefore, it is crucial that instructors beyond these courses spend time teaching their students about the appropriate practices in their specific disciplines and remind students about UConn’s rules governing academic integrity.

There are a number of other proactive strategies faculty can take to lessen Internet-based plagiarism. A six point list is enumerated below. A comprehensive policy, “Defining and Avoiding Plagiarism: The WPA Statement on Best Practices,” has been developed by the Council of Writing Program Administrators.

  1. Statement on Course Syllabi–Faculty should include a statement on their course syllabi about academic misconduct. The University of Connecticut Student Code, under the heading, “Academic Integrity in Undergraduate Education and Research,” reads:

    “Academic misconduct is dishonest or unethical academic behavior that includes, but is not limited, to misrepresenting mastery in an academic area (e.g., cheating), intentionally or knowingly failing to properly credit information, research or ideas to their rightful originators or representing such information, research or ideas as your own (e.g., plagiarism).”

    Click here for sample statements about academic integrity from UConn-Waterbury faculty’s syllabi.

  2. In-Class Discussion–A quick “Plagiarism Quiz” developed by Karen Cajka, a former Freshman English Coordinator at the University of Connecticut, can be downloaded for use in the classroom.
  3. Crafting Assignments–Assignments can be designed to stem and discourage plagiarism.
  4. Citing Online Sources–Faculty are responsible for teaching their students how to cite and document sources. This can help prevent unintentional plagiarism.
  5. Utilize Library Services–
    • Librarians are available to collaborate on assignments and assist in creating meaningful research experiences for your students.
    • Schedule a tailored research session with a librarian for your class. Students overcome fears associated with research in these workshops. Sessions focus on selecting appropriate sources, searching library databases and the Web, or evaluating information.

    Contact Waterbury Campus Librarian Shelley Goldstein at Shelley.Goldstein@uconn.edu to schedule an in-class session.