It is my first year teaching, recently I have discovered that a student had copied part of an essay from online sources.
Is it a big problem at your school? How do you teach academic integrity and handle cheating cases? How to fight plagiarism in the classroom?
I had firm intentions to stop cheating in my classes and tried different methods. I checked those websites, popular among students, where they download already written essays. I tried inserting parts of their works into the search bar of search engines. Every time I found coincidences and wrote “Plagiarized” with a red pencil on my student works. But the problem was that I was spending way too much time checking homework assignments than before – sometimes two to three times more. It wasn’t sustainable. That’s when I realized what I needed to do: I needed to automate checking. I tried a number of different kinds of software and chose Unicheck plagiarism checker. There are lots of different features to like about this software.
Additionally, I organized extra classes dedicated to the discussion of plagiarism. I had a long conversation with my students about the plagiarism issue and explained why it’s wrong and how it can damage their reputation. Yes, I’ve destroyed their copy-and-paste plans and forced them to be original. Some time has passed, and now they understand there’s nothing left to do but put their effort into writing unique works. Now I give them high grades because they write amazing works where I hear their own voice, not a plagiarized one. It was worth the effort.
Give them warnings and tell them to redo the essay. It is a big problem in all schools I bet. As the students grow older and older, they will figure out the importance of plagiarism. They will figure out that there will be serious consequences on their own. Start by giving warning and asking them to re-do the essay until the work is not plagiarized.