A major source of frustration for teachers is students who plagiarize assignments. There are many questions to consider about how to handle academic dishonesty.
1. How do you provide a logical and meaningful consequence for the student?
2. How do you give the student a pathway to redo the original assignment, and thus learn what you wanted him or her to learn and do in the first place?
3. How do you inform and communicate with parents about the plagiarism?
In this listing, you will find the resources I use when a student plagiarizes an assignment. All resources are furnished in MS Word so that you can edit them as you like.
1. EXPLANATION & AGREEMENT HANDOUT: A two-page handout that explains exactly what plagiarism is, various forms of plagiarism, how to avoid plagiarism, and the negative things that can happen when you plagiarize. There is a place for both student and parent to sign on the bottom acknowledging they have read and understood the agreement.
2. CONSEQUENCE ASSIGNMENT: As a consequence for plagiarizing, I require students to write a one-page essay about plagiarism, based on the handout I give them. They must do this assignment before I will allow them to redo the original assignment.
3. PARENT LETTER: A form letter that outlines what happened, what the student needs to do as a consequence, and how he/she can regain credit for the original assignment. There are blanks built into the letter for you to fill in the particular student's name, information about the assignment, your name, etc.
By using this resource you will have a fair and consistent way to deal with the potentially contentious issue of student plagiarism. It will teach the student a valuable lesson while also creating a pathway for them to redo the original assignment, which is what you wanted them to do in the first place!