Annotated Links: Plagiarism

Help us grow this resource! These pages contain links to web resources that many find useful in bringing 21st Century Information Fluency skills into the classroom. If you have suggestions for additional sites (or if any of these sites are not working) please write us:

Detecting Plagiarism

Plagiarist steals ideas

If they can find it... so can you!

The Internet makes it easy to steal. Just copy and paste and you're done right? Unfortunately some students take this attitude.

The Internet also makes it easy to detect web based plagiarism. Try copying an off voice phrase into a search engine. Do you find a match out there on the net? Often an Internet search with an unusual phrase is enough to find evidence of plagiarism.

If you have the funds and need a more in-depth detection service try This system is specifically designed to uncover plagiarism by comparing student work to an ever growing database of information. (Be forewarned that all student work is added to that database when it is submitted for a check.) Many schools are now using these types of services. However these kinds of tools are becoming controversial. (See Andy Calvin's column below.)

Annotated Resources

Adobe Communications Team. Preventing plagiarism: a guide for students and educators [website] November 24, 2021 [cited 11 January 2022] Available from Internet:

Definitions of plagiarism (direct, complete, misleading, self- and mosaic-plagiarism, aggregating plagiarism and more) as well as ways to detect plagiarism, using detection tools, recognizing common detection-avoidance techniques, understanding gray areas and more.

Maryville University Online. College Guide to Preventing Plagiarism [website] November 11, 2019 [cited 14 November 2019] Available from Internet:

Examples of plagiarism (accidental, direct, complete, self-plagiarism, paraphrasing, source-based and inaccurate authorship) as well as the consequences, how to avoid plagiarism and plagiarism protection tools.

Purdue University Online. Plagiarism and Paraphrasing [website] November 19, 2019 [cited 19 November 2019] Available from Internet:

Information on proper citations and credibility, how to avoid plagiarism and plagiarism protection tools available to Purdue Online students (Global Writing Center).

Calvin, Andy. PBS Teachers | Learning.Now. The Politics of Plagiarism Detection Services [blog] September 22, 2006 [cited 17 March 2007] Available from Internet:

Does the use of make a presumption of guilt? When student papers are uploaded and kept in a private commercial database does it violate rights of privacy and Intellectual property? These questions are being raised in high schools and universities around the country. Andy Calvin's blog post provides details of an argument that has been brewing for some time and may be boiling over into lawsuits in the near future.

Guide to Preventing Plagiarism [website]. Available from Internet: [cited 6 Jan, 2016]. Available from Internet: resources/preventing-plagiarism/.

This page defines what is plagiarism, intentional vs. accidental, discusses academic integrity and the consequences of plagiarism, provides examples to help identify plagiarism, has extensive FAQs and links to citation resources for students as well as teachers.

Online Plagiarism Checkers:

Copyscape (Free and Fee based system.) (Fee based. Currently the most popular system.)

Glatt Plagiarism Services (Fee based)

Glatt Self-Detection Test (Free!) (Fee based)

The Plagiarism Resource Site (Free! Windows and Linux based software.)

Consider the pros and cons of using a plagiarism checking system:


Students are less likely to plagiarize when they know technology can check their papers.

It is a convenient way quickly to check material against a large database of Internet sources.

Provides authoritative evidence for the assertion that work has been plagiarized.

If provided to students as an editing tool for self-assessment, empowers the writing process.


Commercial plagiarism software costs money.

No system is fool proof. Checking systems can't check every source.

Original student work winds up in a private company's database.

This can be seen as placing intellectual property and student privacy at risk.

Plagiarism systems highlight correctly cited passages as well as 'suspected' passages.

previous page