Helping Students Avoid Plagiarism

At Royal Roads University, we define plagiarism as:

The act of presenting the ideas or works of another as one's own. This applies to all materials including essays, work term reports or assignments, laboratory reports, seminar presentations, computer programs, research projects and results, postings in discussion groups, and statistical data. The use of such material either directly or indirectly without proper acknowledgment (i.e., footnotes or endnotes) is contrary to the norms of academic behaviour and is subject to severe penalty, up to and including expulsion from the university. (Source: RRU Academic Integrity and Misconduct Policy).

The RRU Academic Integrity and Misconduct Policy reminds us that "[i]ntentional improper citation may constitute plagiarism, such as not using quotation marks when required to indicate other’s work, not acknowledging significant concepts from other’s work even when you paraphrased it, and not actually looking at a source that you quote". 

Plagiarism is not always intentional, however, and is accepted in some cultures.  In

Asia and the Middle students are expected to quote or paraphrase the best known political or religious authorities without attribution because readers, especially professors, are expected to know what texts are being circulated. Indeed, it might be a serious insult to the teacher if the student writer formally cites the text being borrowed (Source: Cultural Perspectives on Plagiarism).

To help students avoid plagiarism, design your course in a way that makes it difficult for them to plagiarize.  Following are a few resources for your interest:

To learn more about plagiarism and how to help your students avoid it, see the Plagiarism resources at the RRU Library