Building KU's Teaching and Learning Community

2-Minute Mentor: Responding to Plagiarism

Recognizing and responding to plagiarism

  • What are warning signs of plagiarism?
  • How are cases addressed at KU?
  • What’s the best way to approach a student who has plagiarized?

Click below to watch CTE’s 2-Minute Mentor video on this topic:

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Recognizing and Responding to Plagiarism video transcript (doc)

Responding to academic misconduct

Academic misconduct, as defined by the University Senate Rules and Regulations, can take myriad forms, including plagiarism, cheating on exams, forging signatures, and disrupting classes. Following are recommended steps to follow when dealing with plagiarism. (Although plagiarism-specific, the basic steps described here are generally applicable to all kinds of misconduct.)


Gather evidence

If the voice in the paper doesn’t seem quite right, check into it.

Conduct a Web search for distinctive phrases (e.g., “crime committed by neighbouring tribes“ or “war of vendetta and one of conquest“).

Check the report from SafeAssign, if you require students to use this Blackboard tool.

Talk to colleagues

Even with good evidence, academic misconduct cases often involve considerable gray area.

If you haven’t had to deal with much misconduct and aren’t sure what to make of the evidence you’ve collected, your fellow faculty members can likely offer helpful advice.

To proceed with a charge of academic misconduct, consult with your chair or course director, who can inform you about specific procedures to follow.

Talk to the student(s)

If you strongly suspect academic misconduct, you’ll need to notify the student.

Inform the student about the problem (e.g., “I have some concerns about the last paper you handed in. Could you stop by my office?”).

Talk about the questionable material.

  • Get the student’s side of the story.
  • Teach if necessary.
  • Present charges if warranted.
  • Emphasize the importance of academic integrity.

For more detailed information on filing charges of academic misconduct, check out the following example of procedures (pdf) from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

To learn more about preventing plagiarism, please check out the 2-Minute Mentor video below.

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Preventing Plagiarism video transcript (doc)

More academic integrity resources

Additional materials are available in CTE’s Essential Guide to Teaching.

These portfolios in the CTE Gallery show examples of effective course design, which promotes academic integrity:

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CTE has created a website for helping faculty create flexible courses that can shift between in-person and online. Visit the Flex Teaching site.