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(Based on Robert Harris's Anti-Plagiarism Strategies)

  • Jargon or advanced vocabulary that seems out of place
  • Papers that appear to be of elementary school quality
  • Anachronisms
  • Strange layout or formats in the paper
  • Web addresses printed at the top or bottom of the page
  • Papers that are only on topic for the first and last paragraphs, with seemingly incongruous material in between
  • Works Cited pages and Bibliographies with a mix of citation styles or sources all from a previous year

Best detection strategy: Get to know students' writing style before they turn in their research papers. Anything way beyond or below a student's typical level of writing should be suspect.

Collect Proof

Library staff are available to help with this process.

Free Resources:

  • Type a suspect string of five or six words from the paper into Google or another search engine. Be sure to put quotation marks around the phrase so that the search engine will look for your exact string of words.
  • Be familiar with paper mill websites. For examples, see Penn State's Brief Paper Mill Tour.
  • Be aware that Wikipedia and sites like it are among the most frequently plagiarized sources.

Paid Services:

Glatt Plagiarism Services: Program eliminates every fifth word of student's paper. The student is asked to supply the missing words. The number of correct responses, the amount of time intervening, and various other factors are considered in assessing the final Plagiarism Probability Score.

EVE2: Download this software on site. Performs complex searches of Internet Sites. Generates a comparison report.