6 Tips for Professors to Detect Academic Plagiarism

Do you think teaching is a very easy task and anybody can do it? If your answer is ‘Yes,’ then think again!

Teaching a class of around 50 students daily is not an easy task.

A teacher encounters various kind of students. For instance, some students are keen on learning about new concepts, and there are some who do not even bother to listen to the teacher and instead keep on disturbing the entire class. So, to handle such students and teaching at the same time is certainly not as easy as it seems.

And, when the teachers provide their students with assignments, some of the students complete the assignment but does every student make an effort to write original answers?

There has been a steady rise of plagiarism cases in the last decade. Plagiarism is the act of copying someone else’s work and passing it off as your own. Some blame the Internet for this, but it’s baseless blame. Ultimately, the intent of the student matters.

Given the rise of academic plagiarism, it is essential for professors to become aware of various plagiarism practices and sources, and arm themselves with tools to detect plagiarism.

Below are five actionable tips that any professor can follow to check assignments for academic plagiarism.

#1 Improper Citation Style

It is possible that the papers are copied from some sources if the entire paper has mixed citation styles. A genuine paper will never have more than one style of citation, but the plagiarized paper will always have. For example, if some paper requires a specific type of citation like APA and the paper submitted has MLA and other citations, that simply means it is completely plagiarized.

#2 Unusual Formatting

An authentic paper will lack mixed formatting styles like unusual font sizes and grayish color of texts and many more. If a paper consists of such improper formatting, then it is certain that it is plagiarized. This happens when students copy texts from somewhere and forget to fix the formatting style.

#3 Outdated Data

The plagiarized papers will have information that is out of date or no longer a fact at present. A student who is writing their assignments with all honesty will never cite old data or statistics in his paper. So, paper consisting old data is surely a plagiarized one in most of the cases.

#4 Unusual Writing Style

A student who is not even good in the subject and writes such a good assignment using jargons and exceptionally well-writing style is highly suspicious. There is no way that below average students write their assignments in such an excellent way. So, what does it mean then? Exactly! It means that it is a plagiarized paper.

Also, sometimes you will notice that a single assignment consists of multiple writing styles – there is a lack of uniform writing style. While some paragraphs read easily, others are tough, and yet others have poor grammar, or there is a mixture of US/UK English. Flag such assignments immediately.

#5 Irrelevant Topics

The teacher may notice that there are some parts of the assignment which does not match the subject of the same. It happens because many students do not even pay attention to what they are copying and pasting. Instead, they just copy all of the material and paste it as it is without realizing that few of the materials do not correspond to the topic of the assignment. This helps the teachers to find out that the paper has been completely plagiarized.

#6 Use Plagiarism Checkers

The above five methods concern your cognitive ability to detect academic plagiarism. You also have algorithmically enhanced tools where you just need to create an account, upload the assignment, and the tool scans it for possibly plagiarised content.

You can use a reliable tool such as Plagiarism Check, which is widely by a lot of professors or teachers to detect plagiarism. It helps to detect even those content which is loosely rephrased. Other than that, it also helps in checking the grammatical errors in the papers. The tool detects plagiarism by verifying the entire paper through the countless professional database, live and cached internet sources, books, magazines, academic journals, to name a few.

This tool also assures that the privacy of the checker is not disturbed and their personal information is kept completely secret, and they prohibit providing such information to any third-party as well.


Being a proactive professor will help to ensure that all the assignments are graded accurately, and plagiarism is kept out of the academic space.