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How can instructors prevent and react to plagiarism?

In a nationwide survey of plagiarism and cheating in universities:

  • Nearly 3/4 of faculty surveyed provide information about plagiarism on their syllabi, change exams regularly, and discuss the importance of academic integrity
  • Faculty talk about policies in the following areas — plagiarism (66% do it in the syllabus and 33% on individual assignments), group work/attribution (44% do it in the syllabus and 54% on individual assignments), proper attribution of sources (39% do it in the syllabus and 59% on individual assignments), and attribution of Internet sources (30% do it in the syllabus and 55% on individual assignments)
  • 55% of faculty fail the student on the assignment or exam, 37% report student to chair/director, 37% reprimand or warn the student, 33% fail the student for the class

43% of WSU faculty acknowledge that they have ignored cheating


Here’s what other readers of this website have to say about plagiarism at WSU:

  • “Instructors should take more time to teach students how to cite because I never learned how to cite properly in high school. Intentional plagiarism should be dealt with severely. Accidents involving problems with citing should be pointed out to the student and be corrected.”
  • “Instructors can provide detailed assignments that require evaluation of the material”
  • “1. tell students they check for it, 2. do the checking and follow through”
  • “Instructors can plan assignments that are more difficult to plagiarize. Instead of giving an assignment like ‘Write a paper about Brown vs. the Board of Education,’ students can be asked to write an argument about a specific aspect of that case and use the readings from their class to support the argument. That makes it harder to borrow or buy a generic paper.”

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