Plagiarism in Educational Research: Ways to Solve This Problem

Blocksurvey blog author
Written by Larry Smith
May 9, 2023 · 5 mins read

Plagiarism has always been present in the educational system. There have always been students that take shortcuts and submit papers they didn’t fully write on their own – or even papers that are entirely stolen from others. Now that students can do their educational research online, this is easier than ever. As a result, plagiarism in educational research is a bigger problem than it’s ever been. However, there are ways for teachers to solve this problem and find the students that use this approach to writing. Let’s take a look at some of them.

The Ultimate Solution: Run It through a Plagiarism Scanner

Finding copied content in academic papers was not easy a few decades back. Now thanks to technology, students have access to more materials and with it – more opportunities to copy content. However, technology also brought a plagiarism checker for teachers, a way to get the papers checked for plagiarism against all online databases and find even the smallest portion of stolen content. The ultimate all-in-one tool provides almost instant results and comes with no check limit, so teachers can check every student’s paper before they grade it.

Now that such tools are available, you don’t have to scour books to see if students copied the author work. You can use technology to find the things they’ve stolen, as well as check the sources they used to see if their bibliography is accurate. This offers fast results and helps professors find the students that wrote their papers unfairly – and grade them accordingly. It’s also a great way to learn where and how students are using plagiarism unintentionally to teach them to avoid this in the future.

Show Some Understanding

Plagiarism is intentional in the majority of cases, but not always. There’s such a thing as unintentional plagiarism where students don’t acknowledge that they’re making a big mistake. This can happen when the student is unfamiliar with the rules, doesn’t know how to paraphrase, or forgets to cite a source.

So, when you come across some plagiarism, don’t jump at the conclusion that the student tried to trick you. According to a study, 80% of college students cheat, but what about the ones that don’t realize this? They can have the best of intentions and try really hard to write a good paper, but still show up on your ‘plagiarized’ list because they made a mistake.

When you discover plagiarism in a student’s paper, talk to them about it. You can instantly recognize a student that’s been caught in the act – and one that didn’t do this intentionally. If the latter happens, this is an opportunity to teach them how to avoid it in future.

Teach Your Students How to Do Research

If you want to reduce plagiarism in your students’ papers, this is a very important step. You need to tell your students how to do research the right way, how to cite their sources and avoid being flagged in your plagiarism reports. Generally speaking, these are the guidelines you should give to them:

  • Give yourself tons of time for research. Almost half – if not more of the time spent on writing academic content should be dedicated to educational research. Guide your students to give themselves ample time to do this. Many think that a short Google search and the first results in the search engine will give them all they need for the paper. Show them that lack of research leads to low paper quality, and that they need to re-check every source to confirm its credibility.

  • Teach them to paraphrase. Unfortunately, there’s no official subject or a part of the curriculum that teaches students this. Add it to your teaching – it is a vital skill for students for when they write their academic papers. Students must know how to paraphrase the work they find in their own words to avoid plagiarizing. Of course, tell them that they need to cite the source even if they do this.

  • Teach them proper citation. It would be wrong of you to expect that the students will go online and learn about different citation styles and requirements. If you want to avoid plagiarism and mistakes, tell them how to do this the right way. Using the papers they’ve written is a great tool for this. You can anonymously discuss the mistakes and help them improve.

Are you checking for plagiarism? When you find copied content in students’ work, do you instantly go for punishing that student with a low grade or something else? There’s a better approach to it. Use the 5 steps from this list to reduce the occurrence of plagiarism in your students’ papers.

Plagiarism in Educational Research: Ways to Solve This Problem FAQ

What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism is the practice of using someone else’s ideas or words without giving them credit.

How can I avoid plagiarizing in my research?

Make sure that all of your sources are properly cited and referenced, and that you provide your own analysis and interpretation of the material.

What is the best way to check for plagiarism?

You can use a plagiarism checker to scan your work for any instances of plagiarism.

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blog author description

Larry Smith

Larry Smith is a content writer and blogger. He loves writing on topics such as psychology, mental health, research, and productivity. Larry’s dream is to become a scholar and create campaigns to raise awareness on mental health topics and illnesses.


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