How to Identify Plagiarism in a Paper

In simple words, the term plagiarism can be defined as copying language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions of another author. In almost all higher level courses, students are generally required to write unique research papers. This means that teachers and professors often find themselves in need of checking papers written by their students for plagiarism. The task can be easy if approached in the right manner. However, before you can attempt to identify plagiarism, you will have to get your own facts straight.

Things Required:

– Computer
– Internet connection


  • 1

    In order to be successful at identifying plagiarism in a paper, you will first need to perform an analysis of the writing and research skills of your students. It is very clear that excellent work fromĀ a student who is habitual at turning in only fairly or poorly written papers can be plagiarised in one way or the other.

  • 2

    During your first reading of a paper, you should focus more on looking for suspicious sections rather than your grading criteria. Papers with very few or no citations at all are often found to contain plagiarised content, mainly because some students simply fail at understanding the rules that should be followed when a source is to be cited.

  • 3

    While you are reading the paper, you may come across sentences that you think might have been written by someone other than the student. To check such sentences, go to a powerful search engine such as Google, Bing or Yahoo. In the search bar, type in the exact sentence as is written in the paper. If the search returns an exact match, the sentence you are checking is plagiarised.

  • 4

    You will have greater chances of finding plagiarised content in a paper if you make it a habit to search at least 3 to 4 sentences from each paper you mark in an online search engine. To improve your efficiency at finding plagiarism, it is always best to use more than one search engine for searching the same sentence.

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