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Academic Integrity & Plagiarism

Tips to prevent possible academic misconduct

  • Provide class time to discuss plagiarism with examples.
  • Get to know your students' writing style by having in-class writing exercises and/or scaffolding writing assignments.
  • Use UCQ LC guides on how to cite and reference in APA and or/ a citation management system.
  • Ask for drafts to be submitted with finished product.
  • Offer individualized and formative feedback on drafts.
  • Make writing assignments four or less pages in length. Paper mills require five or more.
  • Change writing assignments every term.
  • Allow students to choose a topic of interest when possible.
  • Provide positive feedback when students use correct reference style.
  • Model best practices and ensure your class resources are accurate and do not violate copyright.
  • Recognize the signs of student stress and try to reduce pressure with flexible deadlines.
  • Caution students about sharing course work within and beyond your course.
  • Promote education and prevention! Inform students that learning is process, not just a product.
  • When proctoring exams, circulate among the students to monitor.
  • If you have suspicions about assignment submissions, present details to UCQ's Associate Dean of Academics.

Adapted from Eaton, S. (2019). 25 Strategies to Prevent Plagiarism. [Blog post].


How to detect contract cheating? Check the following:

  • The Microsoft word properties for the writer/author.
  • To ensure students are not using excerpted works in their citation, require the URL or DOI be hyperlinked.
  • A mismatch in the in-text citations and references.
  • The references are generic, irrelevant, or unrelated to the topic.
  • Compliance to assignment instructions. Paper mills do not focus on details.
  • A broadening of the topic and lack of depth are characteristics of ghost writing.
  • Dramatic change in writing quality and/or style beyond expectations with poor or inaccurate research.
  • Out-of-print references.


Adapted from Eaton, S. (2018). 15 Strategies to Detect Contract Cheating [Blog Post]


Watch this 8-minute video for tips to help your students avoid academic dishonesty.

Click here or on the image to view the video.

Dukewich, K. R. (2020, March 19). How to help students avoid violating academic integrity [Video].


Watch this 46-minute video on teaching international students about academic integrity.

UB Curriculum, Assessment, Teaching Transformation. (2016, September 22). Teaching international students: Academic integrity [Video]. YouTube.


Click here to download "The Fundamental Values of Academic Integrity" from the International Center for Academic Integrity.

Download "25 Strategies to Prevent Plagiarism" by Sarah Elaine Eaton from the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary by clicking on the file below.

Download "Student Academic Integrity: A Handbook for Academic Staff and Teaching Assistants" by Sarah Elaine Eaton from the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning at the University of Calgary by clicking on the file below.