16 How is Plagiarism Detected?
How do instructors know if a student plagiarized?
Instructors know because:
- they are subject specialists and familiar with literature in their field
- instructors will recognize ideas that have been discussed before and vocabulary, terms or jargon specific to their area of expertise, so if you don’t cite these, they will know
- if your assignment greatly exceeds the subject knowledge of other students in your class, your instructors will notice
- they can spot differences in writing styles
- you have your own distinct way of writing, and it will be easy for an instructor to identify what was written by someone else
- they will notice if your writing differs significantly from one assignment to another
- it takes time to develop your skills, so if you suddenly write like a pro, your instructor will notice
- they can judge if your writing exceeds your level of study
- writing well takes a lot of practice, so if you submit writing as eloquent as your instructors, this will raise a red flag
- they spot-check your sources
- for proper quoting, proper paraphrasing or for accuracy of the citation
- they can google too!
- if you copied something from the Internet, it will be easy for them to find it
- they may check online “tutoring” services for uploaded materials
- they may use a plagiarism detection service such as SafeAssign through Blackboard