The top 10 ways college students plagiarize

Data reveals the ten most common forms of plagiarism in higher education


When it comes to plagiarizing, students who use the unethical shortcut seem to be all in: Copying and pasting a research paper word for word is now the most common form of plagiarism.

Those findings, along with the ten most common forms of plagiarism in higher education, were detailed in a national ranking of plagiarism incidents released this month by Turnitin, an online company that makes software designed to detect cheating in homework assignments and research papers.

Myriad more subtle forms of plagiarizing made the list—carefully replacing key words and phrases, for instance—but turning in completely plagiarized work is the most common and most troubling form of cheating, according to respondents to Turnitin’s survey.

And the barefaced plagiarism has persisted in higher education despite campus-wide policies that explicitly tell students what constitutes cheating and the range of consequences for breaking the school’s rules.

(Next page: The other most common forms of plagiarism)

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