Skip to main content

Plagiarism- How to avoid: Maintaining drafts of your paper

tips for avoiding plagiarism
(content is from Best Practices for Research and Drafting section in Purdue University's Avoiding Plagiarism guide)

TurnItIn

Turnitin is software that the university subscribes to that detects potential plagiarism. It  will generate a “similarity” score that indicates the percentage of the student’s paper that matches the vast content in Turnitin’s database. Your professor can add a dropbox in Pilot for this tool so that you can use it.

More resources

Maintaining drafts of your paper

Sometimes innocent, hard-working students are accused of plagiarism because a dishonest student steals their work. This can happen in all kinds of ways, from a roommate copying files off of your computer, to someone finding files on a disk or on a pen drive left in a computer lab. Here are some practices to keep your own intellectual property safe:

  • Do not save your paper in the same file over and over again; use a numbering system and the Save As... function; E.g., you might have research_paper001.doc, research_paper002.doc, research_paper003.doc as you progress. Do the same thing for any HTML files you're writing for the Web. Having multiple draft versions may help prove that the work is yours (assuming you are being ethical in how you cite ideas in your work!).

  • Maintain copies of your drafts in numerous media, and different secure locations when possible; don't just rely on your hard drive, pen drive, or the cloud.

  • Password-protect your computer; if you have to leave a computer lab for a quick bathroom break, hold down the Windows key and L to lock your computer without logging out.

  • Password-protect your files; this is possible in all sorts of programs, from Adobe Acrobat to Microsoft word (just be sure not to forget the password!).

Questions?
Ask your librarian!

Ask a Librarian

JavaScript disabled or chat unavailable.