Plagiarism Information

As stated in the Academic Misconduct/Plagiarism Policy, plagiarism can result from either deliberate dishonesty or ignorance of citation procedures. This page is intended to give College of St. Benedict/St. John's University faculty and students some guidance in dealing with both situations.


Teaching for Academic Integrity

There are numerous pedagogical strategies to discourage plagiarism in student writing. Some excellent practical ideas are suggested in the following readings, some of which also make good springboards to discussion with students.

What is the Price of Plagiarism?
Karoun Demirjian, The Christian Science Monitor.

Creating Plagiarism-Proof Assignments
Barbara Fister, Gustavus Adolphus College

How Teachers Can Reduce Cheating's Lure
Mark Clayton, The Christian Science Monitor, Monday October 27, 1997.

Princeton University Writing Center, 1999. Clear definitions and examples to use in the classroom. Also consider using Plagiarism: What It is and How to Recognize and Avoid It
Writing Tutorial Services, Indiana University.

Plagiarism and Anti-Plagiarism
Heyward Ehrlich, Department of English, Rutgers University.

Plagiarism PowerPoint Presentation
Created by David Arnott for the College of Saint Benedict/Saint John's University, this is a PowerPoint presentation and a teacher's guide for faculty.

Downloadable Term Papers: What's a Prof to Do?
Tom Rocklin , Department of Psychology, University of Iowa.

Anti-Plagiarism Strategies for Research Papers
Robert Harris, Vanguard University of Southern California.

Citing Sources
Plagiarism can occur when a student is ignorant of correct citational procedures. Students and faculty can consult our page for help with "generally-accepted" methods of citing electronic as well as print materials.

Plagiarism Tutorials

A number of universities have designed tutorials to help students understand the nature and implications of plagiarism:

Joining the Scholarly Conversation: Scholarly Research and Academic Integrity  (Georgetown University)

Bedford/St. Martin's Plagiarism Workshop (

Plagiarism: What it is and how to avoid it (Montgomery College, ML) (

Plagiarism Court: You Be the Judge. (Fairfield University, CT)

Looking for a Plagiarized Full-Text Document

Begin with the student's bibliography and search our most heavily used full-text databases:
EBSCOHost and LexisNexis Academic, both of which are comprised of several different databases.

EBSCOHost databases, including Academic Search Premier, the Business Source Premier, Regional Business News, MasterFILE Premier, and Catholic Periodical and Literature Index provide hundreds of thousands of full-text articles.  These databases are very user-friendly and popular with students.
To search for words in the text select the "Full Text" limit option, and look for unique words or phrases from the suspect text.

LexisNexis Academic
Go to "Guided News Search," select "full text" and type in the phrase you are seeking. Adjacent words (for example, cellular phone, automobile accident, etc.) are searched for as a phrase. The most popular resources used are the 50+ major newspapers (some of which are foreign) in the "Top News" and "General News" topics, but full text can also be found in the following sections:

  • Company News
  • Industry & Market News
  • Government & Political News
  • Legal News
  • Law Reviews
  • Biographical Information
  • Reference & Directories

Other library full-text databases currently include JSTOR, Project Muse, ProQuest Religion Databases, and Science Direct

In Basic Search mode, type in your phrase, without quotes, making sure that the drop-down menu says "full-text". In Advanced Search mode, you must put quotation marks (" ") around your phrase.

Project MUSE
To search a phrase  in Project Muse journals, you must use single quotes (' ').

Consider searching in other subscription databases in the appropriate subject area, Use the Find It! button to see if the libraries have full text access to a particular article.

Try searching a suspicious text string in Google Scholar or Google Book

Looking for a Plagiarized Web Page

You may try phrase searching for a certain unique phrase in your favorite search engine.

  • Google -  put the phrase in quotes (" ")
  • Alta Vista - put the phrase in quotes (" ")
  • HotBot - choose "exact phrase" on its drop-down menu
  • Yahoo - put the phrase in quotes (" ")
  • WebCrawler - put the phrase in quotes (" ")

Finding the Phrase on the Page If the phrase you are seeking appears in the web pages your search retrieves, it may be highlighted and easily found. If it is not, use the "find" function on the browser (click on "Edit" on the top line, then on "Find in Page") to go the exact point where the phrase appears.

Plagiarism From a Book

You may need check the items listed in the Works Cited list and visit the stacks. If the majority or most important sources the essay cites are not in MnPALS or at CSB/SJU, check to see what the student knows about Interlibrary Loan services.

Look for a MnPALS  option after the title.  Click it open to view the title online, and use the "search this eBook" box to look for a suspicious text string.  CSB/SJU currently have access to approximately 7000 eBooks. may allow you to "search inside this book."   Type your text string into the search box, using quotations.  If that exact phrase occurs in any of's 33+ million pages of searchable text, you will be be able to view that text online.

Term Paper Web Sites

The Paper Store
Also has an 800 number to order pre- or custom-written papers. Has a big disclaimer about academic honesty, and claims to exist only for educational purposes.
For $9.95 a year you get access to the database of 9500 essays, complete with the original author's age and type of institution, the original grade and teacher's comments.
Research Papers Online
Guarantees lowest prices, all-new papers never before circulated. Prices seem to run about $10.00 per page.
The Essay Depot
Claims to have thousands of pre-written papers contributed by students, available for free download.
Term Papers on File
$9.95 s per page for pre-written papers; custom research for $19.95 per page. Warns users that "No Document May Be Reprinted Without Proper Attribution To Our Company As The Original Source".

Electronic Term Papers

Examples of a wide array of privately posted student research collections:

CSB/SJU Libraries Annual Research Bibliography Awards
Previous winners have made excellent use of Alcuin and Clemens Libraries resources and services.

The Rutgers Scholar
an electronic bulletin of undergraduate research from Rutgers University

Student Research Papers
Actual papers submitted to a professor of English at Cal Poly.