Addressing Plagiarism at School

If you are the head of a section or division, or maybe even the principal, this article is for you. How do you as an influencer set up standards for your school to adopt and communicate them to the students? How can you take a strong stand against plagiarism? Here are a few tips.

  • Explain it loud. Get your school’s policy on plagiarism out there on the website, school handbook, student handbook etc.
  • Explain it all. Do not just say that you have taken a stand against plagiarism and share a definition of plagiarism. Go on and spread awareness of the types of plagiarism, intentional and accidental, and detail how your school plans to deal with each of these. Provide examples and also share the consequences for each kind. An assumption that teachers will take care of such issues as they arise is bad strategy. Ensure that every teacher and student is made aware of these and encouraged to acknowledge their understanding.
  • Explain it straight.  Provide a policy that is well written, with a clearly defined objective, scope and desired goals. Put systems and processes in place to convey the essence of the policy and make it enforceable. Identify procedures to follow if a plagiarism incident occurs and communicate the same to all teachers.
  • Explain how it works. Include details on whether your school will be using plagiarism detection tools and how they work. Often such information can deter plagiarism as the student is made aware that this behavior is taken seriously and will be discovered.
  • Explain it to the guardians. Parents and guardians are an integral part of a student’s life and major influencers. It is to your advantage to share the anti-plagiarism policy and consequences with them so that they can advise their Children accordingly. Responsible behavior originates from home and if parents are advised to encourage honesty in academic work, it will go a long way in deterring plagiarism at your school.
  • Explain it and then do it. You must enforce what you have stated in your schools’ anti-plagiarism policy. If an incident occurs and you do not apply consequences consistently, the policy will fail and your efforts in raising awareness will be wasted. 
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