Tips for Faculty

  1. At the beginning of the semester explain to students what plagiarism is and outline penalties.
  2. Include a statement on academic honesty or the college plagiarism policy in the course syllabus.
  3. Assign papers in steps: require students to submit drafts, an annotated bibliography, and photocopies of sources cited.
  4. Teach proper citation techniques or have students attend a library class.
  5. Avoid using the same topic year after year.
  6. Assign narrowly focused topics.
  7. If students select their own topics, make sure they are not too narrow.

BMCC is member of the Center for Academic Integrity. The Center offers tips for faculty on how to prevent cheating.

Paper Mills

There are dozens of pages on the Web, so-called paper mills, where students can copy complete term papers either for free or for a charge. A quick study of some of those sites shows, that most of them offer papers on typical topics. For example popular topics for literature essays that are for sale are:

  • Comparisons of: characters / two works / styles / themes / symbols
  • Biography and writing of authors such as Langston Hughes, Kate Chopin, and Arthur Miller
  • Analysis of racial and social issues in a work
  • The role of women as portrayed in a work
  • The Harlem Renaissance
  • The importance of a work in literary history


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