Academic Integrity

Deterring Plagiarism

Understand why your students may cheat so you can remove this ‘incentive’

Research into plagiarism and other forms of cheating by students has shown that an alarmingly high percentage of students indulge in these practices and that this behaviour does not start at university. Studies reported on the Turnitin site (see link below) indicate that:

  • high percentages (75-80%) of students may have cheated at least once
  • cheating starts in high school and
  • secondary school cheating appears to be increasing.

Reasons for cheating include:

  • running out of time
  • being unable to cope with the work
  • pressure to succeed
  • perceived lack of interest from lecturers
  • unable to reference
  • wanting to pass not learn.

(Reasons adapted from Chester (2001) Plagiarism detection and prevention)

Understanding why students cheat may help you to design out both the reasons and opportunities for cheating. Use information in Useful links when designing courses, assessment and information sessions for students on academic integrity.



Statistics compiled by Turnitin
Content adapted from a range of sources (see Useful References).


Academic Integrity, UELT, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent CT2 7NQ

Telephone: +44(0)1227 824016 or contact us

Last Updated: 29/10/2012