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Avoiding Plagiarism: 4. How Do They Know?


In this game, you will be given a scenario where a student plagiarizes and gets caught.  You try to figure out how the instructor knew it was plagiarized.


Jason is not sure if his English is good enough, so he buys a paper online.  He reads it over to make sure it is suitable for the class assignment, and adds a few points from his class notes to show he was paying attention.  When he gets it back, he sees a grade of "F" and the note "see me after class."  How did this instructor know the majority of the paper was not Jason's own work?

Possible Answers (You only need one answer; Any of these would be correct):

  • The writing and English level in the purchased paper does not match the work Jason has been doing all semester
  • The paper uses sources not available at the college and it is not clear how Jason would have access to them
  • The places where Jason added his own work is very different in quality or style from the rest of the paper
  • The paper makes an argument that is not what Jason put forward in pre-work such as an outline or proposal he had to submit earlier
  • The instructor has read the paper before because previous students purchased the same paper

How Do They Know? Worksheet