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Preventing Plagiarism: Guidelines for Lecturers

Plagiarism undermines trust between lecturers and students and wastes valuable University resources. Lecturers are primarily responsible for teaching students the attitudes, skills and behaviours which will prevent plagiarism. Following is a list of tactics which may assist you.


  • Discuss the issue of plagiarism regularly with students - at least at the start of each term.
  • Make sure students understand the main concepts of plagiarism, intellectual property, copyright and fair dealing.
  • Make them aware of the UP, faculty and departmental policies and regulations stress the connection between the Warn students about the seriousness of the offence and the consequences of plagiarism for their academic and professional careers. Spell out the penalties which may be incurred.
  • Make them aware of all available help.
  • Make it compulsory for them to attend the anti-plagiarism training in the library or arrange for group sessions.
  • Place copyright and plagiarism warnings prominently in study guides.
  • Include an anti-plagiarism slide in every MS PowerPoint presentation used for lecturing.
  • Refer students to available resources.


  • Be a positive role model: provide proper references to your lecture notes.
  • Discuss the issue in terms of values: 1) Plagiarism is theft of words and ideas and simply not done by a decent and honest person. 2) Plagiarism violates our values of trust and academic integrity. Academic integrity, a cornerstone of scholarship, may be a new concept to them. It is defined as respecting the work of other scholars in return for their respect for your work.
  • Discuss the issue in terms of intellectual property, fair use and the role that referencing (citing) plays in the advancement of science.
  • Explain the reasons for referencing (citing).
  • Discuss the benefits of proper citation: it shows you have read about the subject, that your views are tied to that of experts and it helps the reader to locate the sources.
  • Teach them the skills of academic writing, especially quoting, paraphrasing, summarizing and citing, and make sure they observe it.
  • "Cyberplagiarism" (plagiarizing the Internet) is a particular problem at the moment: familiarize yourself with the citing of web sources and teach the correct style to your students.
  • Stress the importance of original and critical thinking.
  • Make sure students are information literate by forcing them to attending training sessions in the library.


  • Rethink the design and assessment of assignments:
       1. reconsider exactly what you want to assess,
       2. make sure everybody understands the assignment,
       3. make it relevant to future employment or research,
       4. integrate different elements of assessment,
       5. beware of broad, general topics,
       6. if possible, use current topics,
       7. change topics regularly,
       8. be specific about expectations: length, type of sources, currency, style, scope,
       9. provide citation standards and referencing guidelines with examples,
       10. spell out your interpretation of collaboration,
       11. allow enough time,
       12. check sources in bibliographies randomly,
       13. include some specific required reading for each assignment,
       14. require interaction and feedback by way of oral presentations or written feedback from other students.
  • Insist on a declaration of academic integrity to accompany each assignment. Click here for a printable copy of the University's official cover sheet.
  • Deal with detected plagiarism in a fair and consistent manner within the UP regulations.
  • Familiarise yourself with the phenomenoDo not turn a blind eye because it is painful and time-consuming.n of essay banks or paper mills.
  • Let your students know that you have a good grasp of plagiarism issues.
  • Use Turnitin as an electronic detection tool.
  • Do not turn a blind eye because it is painful and time-consuming.