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Academic Integrity: An Overview: Resources for Faculty

The objective of this guide is to provide JMU students clear definitions and resources related to academic integrity with a focus on plagiarism.

JMU Resources

Citation Resources

Helping Your Students Avoid Plagiarism

It is important to proactively discourage plagiarism.  Many students attribute their plagiarism to ignorance or helplessness.  Accordingly, it is imperative to engage your students on the topic of academic integrity and provide them with campus and online resources.  The following are some recommended practices:

  • Include a definition of plagiarism in your syllabus and require students to sign off on the definition before submitting any written assignments.
  • Design assignments that discourage plagiarism.
  • Provide students with links to campus resources on citation and writing help.
  • Make use of the library's instruction program in order to help students learn how to find and use appropriate sources.

Several best practice documents will help you design assignments, including:


Identifying Plagiarism

James Madison University has a license agreement with Turnitin.

JMU Libraries provides helpful instructions on Turnitin and integration into Canvas. 

The following also provide helpful ways to informally evaluate a student's work for instances of plagiarism:

  • Pay attention to the formatting, style, and language used. Use a search engine (like Google) to search any phrases that are inconsistent with the student's writing or knowledge.
  • Note any inaccuracies that date a paper. For example, Madeleine Albright is no longer Secretary of State. If outdated information is included in a paper, the paper is likely not original.
  • Confirm the sources cited available to students. 
  • Check the citations.  If citation styles are mixed, they may have been taken from another source.

The Turnitin Educator Network Blog provides perspectives and strategies on plagiarism.

Content Credit

Credit for the compilation of select lists of resources is given to the University of Memphis.