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Faculty Toolkit for Teaching Information Literacy: Plagiarism for faculty

Books in the SCC Library

cover of My Word!: plagiarism and college culture  

My Word!: plagiarism and college culture (808 BLUM)


cover of Plagiarism: why it happens, how to prevent it

Plagiarism: why it happens, how to prevent it (808 GILMORE)


 Here's an inexpensive 74 page book that you may want your students to purchase:

cover of Avoiding Plagiarism

What Every Student Should Know About Avoiding Plagiarism (808 STERN)

Plagiarism Tutorial

Plagiarism: the act of presenting another's work or ideas as your own

Plagiarism: What Every Student Needs to Know

IRIS interactive tutorials
(created by Clark College, WA) covers:

  • definition & overview of plagiarism
  • what needs to be acknowledged
  • using style manuals to cite sources
  • practice identifying plagiarism
  • final quiz

Need help creating research assignments that minimize the risk of plagiarism?

Contact us any time!  Librarians are eager to help.


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What is plagiarism?


A definition: "Plagiarism is using some else's work - words, ideas, or illustrations; published or unpublished - without giving the creator of that work sufficient credit. A serious breach of scholarly ethics, plagiarism can have severe consequences: Academic professionals can face public disgrace or even be forced out of a position. In the business world, plagiarism leads to distrust and can significantly damage careers. Students risk a failing grade or possible disciplinary action ranging from suspension to expulsion."

Source citation: Stern, Linda. What Every Student Should Know about Avoiding Plagiarism. New York: Pearson Longman, 2009. Print.

Plagiarism is Against the Law

Committing plagiarism is a violation of the SCC Student Code of Conduct and Washington State Law.


The Washington Administrative Code (WAC 132Q-10-210, Academic Dishonesty and Ethical Violations) defines plagiarism.


A humorous video from York College with strategies for preventing plagiarism.

Strategies for Preventing Plagiarism

Start by Educating Students

  • Provide an explicit definition (see example above).
  • Explain why it's wrong. (It shows disrespect for the creators of ideas. Students are cheating themselves by losing an opportunity to develop useful skills - writing, thinking, analyzing, organizing).
  • Note the benefits of citing.
  • Make the penalties clear.
  • See the "Recommended Websites for Your Students" box (left column) to find many excellent tutorials.  Some of these have assessments or final documents that students can print to show you that they have completed the tutorial.

Preemptive Strategies

  • Create a learning environment where investigation and analysis are valued.
  • Discuss problems students may encounter in the research/writing process and offer methods for dealing with them.
  • Give students time to explore their topics thoroughly
  • Require process steps (topic, preliminary bibliography, rough draft, final annotated bibliography, final draft)
  • Support each step of the process (how to refine a topic, how to evaluate sources, planning guides, in-class activities, portfolios, annotated photocopies, reflective progress reports)
  • Provide list of specific topics to choose from
  • Use unusual topics or topics with a twist
  • Change topics regularly
  • Require specific components (specific mix of sources, one or more sources from past year, one or more sources that you specify, personal interview)
  • Require an annotated bibliography (summary, location, evaluation of usefulness/credibility)
  • Require oral reports of papers or a one-on-one office meeting
  • Require an in-class essay on what they learned from the assignment, problems encountered, research strategy used
  • Tell students that you will randomly check sources in bibliography
  • Have students hand in a copy of sources used.

Recommended Websites for Faculty

The following sites have been developed with faculty in mind.  If you would like online plagiarism tutorials for your students, see the box below.

Faculty Handouts

The SCC Library offers lots of resources to help you teach students about avoiding plagiarism including:

  • online tutorials which teach students what plagiarism is and how to avoid it
  • a sharable course in Canvas Commons that we created for you to embed in your Canvas shell (includes a quiz)
  • quarterly Student Success Workshops on citation: what it is, why we use it, and the basics of proper citing (on-ground and ITV)
  • books, ebooks, articles, videos, and other media to aid in student learning

Browse the content below and contact an SCC librarian to chat about learning resources. Librarians will collaborate with you to create something that works best for you and your students. [Image citation: Detroit, Michigan: January 30, 1934.Two Women Apply Their Thinking Power to the New Fad, the Imp Puzzle Game. 2015. Photograph. Encyclopædia Britannica ImageQuest. Web. 10 Dec. 2015.]