If you suspect plagiarism or if you notice that two students have copied each other's work, please send the teacher a message immediately and let them know which student(s) are involved, where the suspected plagiarism is located in their essay, and why you suspect writing was plagiarized or copied.
Teachers have their own procedures for handling plagiarism. Your job is simply to alert them, and by providing more detail, you help the teacher understand the extent of the issue or locate it in the student work to confirm.
Assume the best: In your feedback to the student, you should always assume the best of students: perhaps they don't yet know how to properly cite outside sources or don't realize they have not effectively made an argument their own.
Offer a friendly reminder to cite sources or include more of their own analysis around the content in question. In the case of copied work, perhaps students were allowed to work together. Since you don't know the context of the classroom or the extent of the student's knowledge, it's not fair to make assumptions.
Here are some potential signs of plagiarism, according to MIT’s Comparative Media Studies Writing Center:
- Unusual phrasings
- Noticeable unevenness of style (some very sophisticated sentences followed by some amateurish ones)
- Concepts that seem too sophisticated for the level of the class
- Unclear or incorrect sources listed in the bibliography
- A writing style or diction choice in a particular paper that seems inconsistent with that found in other samples of the student’s writing
Please note: It is NOT your responsibility as a Graider to identify the source of the plagiarism. Please do not copy and paste student work into free online plagiarism detectors. While this may seem like the diligent thing to do, you may not share student work with any third party - including services like these.