In elementary and high school, the most effective way of dealing with plagiarism is to model good practices when using the work of others. Also, incidents of plagiarism should be used as teachable moments where transgressors are given the opportunity to correct and learn from their mistakes. Obviously, as students get older there are some things you may decide to penalize such as copying from a website or a book without any attempt to paraphrase and cite the source.
An efficient way to avoid plagiarism is to use inquiry-based questioning assignments that require students to internalize the information they find and come up with their own work. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Don’t use yes-no questions
- Avoid questions that can be “Googled” or that Siri can answer…
- Aim for higher-order thinking type questions that require analysis and evaluation
- Pose questions that allow the students to pursue individual interests
- Pose/use questions that require a person’s reflection on the matter.