Planned service outage for Holland/Terrell Libraries: Wednesday, September 17th, from approximately 4:00 am to 6:00 am

ITS is performing systems/network maintenance and the following services will be unavailable during that time: Phone service, WiFi, and all WSU Pullman Libraries websites. Additionally, Search It functionality will be limited during that time.

We anticipate these services will return to full functionality no later than 6:00 am.

 

Finding Evidence

If you see any of the above features that lead you to suspect plagiarism, the next step is to find evidence to support or refute your suspicion. Your search for evidence may:

  1. lead you to the original source(s) for all or part of the paper thereby indicating intentional plagiarism has occurred
  2. demonstrate that the student has unintentionally plagiarized all or part of the paper by incorrectly paraphrasing or patchwriting information into their paper
  3. be unfruitful. If you still suspect plagiarism, you should take the next step to searching hard copy or print resources.

Electronic Resources

Because the Internet is an easily-available medium (students don't have to leave their homes to access it and many students are more comfortable with their computer than they are in the library), it is often a good place to begin your search for evidence.

To search the Internet, you need to use a search engine. There are several listed below. In the area provided for search criteria, enter the information you are looking for. You cannot enter the entire paper (there is a word limit that the engine can handle at one time), so it is best to search for distinctive phrases. Most search engines automatically do not search for such words as "a" and "the," along with other very common words, so you do not need to enter those.

Unless you specify otherwise, a search engine may search for web pages that contain all of your search criteria, but in no particular order--the phrase you entered may be seen as a series of unrelated words to the search engine. If you would like to search for the words or a phrase in a specific order, put them in quotes.

  • Search particularly suspect passages or the title of their essay
  • Remember to search multiple passages to find plagiarized material from multiple sources
  • Print out the source material you find-be sure to include the web address
  • Visit the online sources they list in their Works Cited page

Google (www.google.com) seems to be especially useful, but most search engines will work fine. Here are a few other search engines you could try. Often results are the same from engine to engine, but sometimes using a different search engine can give you different results.

Students also have the option of buying papers online. Here are a few places that claim to provide such a service.

Hard Copy Resources

Because of the ease of finding plagiarized sources online, some students choose to take what they perceive to be an avenue of less risk by plagiarizing from traditional printed materials. Clearly, you will not be able to search the entire library on your quest for academic integrity, but the works listed in the paper's Work Cited page is a good place to begin. Look up these sources to try to find information to support or refute your suspicion. Remember, students may be looking beyond books and magazines, so look to textbooks, published lecture notes, etc.

As before, your search for evidence may:

  1. lead you to the original source(s) for all or part of the paper thereby indicating intentional plagiarism has occurred
  2. demonstrate that the student has unintentionally plagiarized all or part of the paper by incorrectly paraphrasing or patchwriting information into their paper
  3. be unfruitful.

There are some kinds of plagiarism that are not readily searchable. These sources include file papers, papers from friends or acquaintances, or intellectual property stemming from discussions with other parties. If you have worked through each of these steps and have not found concrete proof or disproof to support your suspicions, you should consider discussing your concerns with your student.