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Critical Information Literacy: Anti-Plagiarism

Navigating Academic Integrity, Anti-Plagiarism, AI Language Models, Critical Thinking, and Referencing Styles


Welcome to the Anti-Plagiarism Guide! This guide is designed to help students, researchers, and educators understand plagiarism and learn about various tools and techniques to prevent it. Plagiarism is a serious academic offense that can have severe consequences. By following the guidelines and utilizing the resources provided in this guide, you can ensure academic integrity and produce original work.

Plagiarism is a serious offense that undermines the principles of academic integrity and originality. By understanding what plagiarism is, learning how to cite sources properly, and utilizing the available tools and resources, you can ensure that your work is authentic and respectful of others' intellectual property. Remember, maintaining academic honesty is crucial for your own growth and success. If you have any further questions, don't hesitate to reach out to your instructors or librarians for assistance.

Note: This Anti-Plagiarism LibGuide serves as a general template, and you can modify and expand it based on the specific needs and resources available at your institution.

Library Resources for Avoiding Plagiarism

  1. Plagiarism Detection Software:  Turnitin, Grammarly, Copyscape, and Plagscan.

  2. Citation Management Tools: Citation management tools like EndNote, Zotero, Mendeley, and RefWorks 

  1. Text Comparison Tools: include Diff Checker, Plagium, and Urkund.

  2. Authorship Identification Tools: Examples of authorship identification tools include JGAAP (Java Graphical Authorship Attribution Program) and Anonymouth.

Internet Search Engines: like Google can be used to identify potential instances of plagiarism by searching for specific phrases or sentences from a document. By copying and pasting suspicious text into a search engine, you can see if it matches existing online content.

  1. Select Suspicious Text: Copy a specific phrase, sentence, or paragraph from the document you suspect may be plagiarized.

  2. Paste and Search: Go to a search engine like Google and paste the selected text into the search bar. Enclose the text within quotation marks to search for an exact match.

  3. Review Search Results: Examine the search results to see if the text appears elsewhere on the internet. If you find exact matches, it could indicate that the text has been plagiarized.

  4. Explore Similar Content: Additionally, you can browse the search results for similar content or paraphrased versions of the text. While not necessarily plagiarism, finding similar content could prompt further investigation to ensure proper citation and attribution.

  5. Check Multiple Search Engines

How to Avoid Plagiarism

Paraphrasing and summarizing techniques

  1. Read and Understand the Source Material 
  2. Use Different Wording and Sentence Structure 
  3. Focus on the Main Ideas 
  4. Maintain the Author's Intended Meaning
  5. Attribute the Source
  6. Use Quotation Marks for Direct Quotes 
  7. Revise and Edit

Quoting effectively and correctly

Quoting effectively and correctly is an essential skill in academic writing. When quoting, you are using someone else's exact words within your own work. Here are some guidelines to help you quote effectively and ensure proper citation:

  1. Select Relevant Quotes
  2. Use Quotation Marks ("")
  3. Provide Attribution: (e.g., APA, MLA, Chicago).
  4. Maintain Accuracy
  5. Integrate Quotes Smoothly
  6. Paraphrase Instead of Quoting
  7. Block Quotes for Lengthy Text
  8. Maintain Academic Integrity
  9. Check Citation Style Guides

Avoiding accidental plagiarism is crucial for maintaining academic integrity.

  1. Understand Plagiarism: Familiarize yourself with what constitutes plagiarism @Unisa. 
  2. Start Early and Manage Your Time
  3. Take Detailed Notes: Note down the necessary information for citations, including author names, publication dates, page numbers, and URLs.
  4. Use Quotation Marks and Citations: Ensure that you place them within quotation marks and include in-text citations for paraphrased information.
  5. Paraphrase Effectively: When paraphrasing, restate the information in your own words while maintaining the original meaning. 
  6. Credit Ideas and Concepts: Properly attribute ideas, concepts, and theories that are not common knowledge. 
  7. Consult Citation Style Guides: Refer to the specific citation style guides recommended by your department / professor like APA. 
  8. Use Plagiarism Detection Tools: like Turnitin.
  9. Seek Guidance from Instructors or Librarians: If you have questions or uncertainties about proper citation practices or avoiding plagiarism, don't hesitate to reach out to your instructors or Research Commons librarians for guidance. 
  10. Proofread and Edit Carefully:  Double-check your reference list or bibliography to ensure that all sources are included and properly cited.


Anti-Plagiarism Tools and Software

Anti-plagiarism tools and software are designed to help detect and prevent plagiarism in academic and professional settings. These tools utilize various methods, algorithms, and databases to compare submitted content against a vast collection of existing texts to identify potential instances of plagiarism. Here are some common types of anti-plagiarism tools and software:

Google Web Search


Grammarly is an AI-powered writing assistant that helps users improve their writing by providing grammar, spelling, punctuation, and style suggestions. It is available as a web-based application, browser extension, and as a desktop application. Grammarly offers both free and premium subscription plans, each with its own set of features and benefits.

Key features and functionalities of Grammarly include: 

  1. Grammar and Spelling Checks

  2. Punctuation and Style Improvements

  3. Plagiarism Detection

  4. Vocabulary Enhancement

  5. Writing Goals and Insights



Instructors/Lecturers require students to submit their written assignments to Turnitin. The system then checks the submitted document for non-originality (possible plagiarism) by comparing submitted papers to several databases/repositories on the world wide web. Instructors/Lecturers are then able to monitor a student's similarity index.

follow this link for more information regarding Turnitin @Unisa

Events regarding Plagiarism Detection PAN


PAN, or "Plagiarism Detection PAN," is an online authorship attribution system. It is designed to detect and analyze instances of plagiarism by comparing texts and identifying similarities or patterns that indicate potential cases of copying or unauthorized use of content. PAN uses various techniques and algorithms to assess the similarity between documents and determine the likelihood of plagiarism. It is commonly used in academic and publishing settings to promote originality and ensure the integrity of written work.

PAN is an annual international competition and series of workshops focused on text-based plagiarism detection and authorship identification. PAN provides a platform for researchers to evaluate and compare different authorship identification algorithms. It offers datasets and evaluation measures to assess the performance of various methods in identifying the authors of anonymous texts.