Skip to content
Curtin University
Academic Integrity

Staff Guidelines for Dealing with Student Plagiarism



Flowchart for Staff Actions



Strategies for Preventing Cheating and Tools for Identifying Plagiarism

Strategies for Preventing Contract Cheating

Contract cheating can be defined as procuring work from another source and submitting the work as one's own without reference to the author (Clarke and Lancaster, 2006). The number of cases of contract cheating is rapidly increasing. Click here for strategies you can use to help prevent it in your unit.

Strategies for Preventing Cheating in Tests/Examinations

Invigilation is an important strategy for preventing and detecting cheating in tests/examinations. For school-based tests/examinations including in-class tests and lab tests the policy elements outlined in section 18 of the Assessment and Student Progression Manual should be followed.

Where direct invigilation is not possible/practical the focus should shift towards strategies to prevent cheating. Some suggested strategies are outlined in section 11 of the Assessment and Student Progression Manual. A key strategy is to clearly outline the desired conditions for the conduct of the test and the expected behaviours by students during the test, this can be achieved with the inclusion of a candidate agreement statement. Templates for candidate agreement statements for different types of tests are included below, these should be modified as required to reflect the required conditions and expected behaviours:

Tools for Detecting Plagiarism

Text Matching

There are a number of text matching tools and approaches available. Curtin currently licenses Turnitin for evaluating work submitted by students as part of the their coursework or HDR process. We are also evaluating SafeAssign which is a part of the Blackboard learning management system.


Currently there are no document level tools that check for image content that might be copied in the same way that text matching tools work. However, there are a couple of image search tools that can help you detect if an image has been copied from an internet source.

Computer Source Code

Although computer source code is essentially text, text-matching tools may not be useful as the code contains commonly used words and syntax. Consequently specific tools for evaluating copying or similarity within source code have been developed.