/ Combat Plagiarism on Canvas: A Guide to the Canvas Plagiarism Checker

Combat Plagiarism on Canvas: A Guide to the Canvas Plagiarism Checker

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Manish Jindal

February 21, 2024


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Combat Plagiarism on Canvas: A Guide to the Canvas Plagiarism Checker

In the academic world, plagiarism is a serious offense that can have detrimental consequences for students.

With the rise of online learning platforms like Canvas, educators and institutions have access to tools and features to help detect and prevent plagiarism effectively.

In this guide, we will delve into the nuances of plagiarism, explore why it’s problematic, and provide detailed steps on how to check for plagiarism on Canvas.

What is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism, simply put, is the act of using someone else’s work or ideas without proper attribution.

It can manifest in various forms, including copying text verbatim, paraphrasing without citation, or using someone else’s ideas without acknowledgment.

Plagiarism can occur in academic papers, essays, assignments, or any other form of scholarly writing. It not only undermines the original author’s efforts but also violates academic integrity standards.

Plagiarism isn’t just about stealing words; it’s about stealing ideas, insights, and intellectual contributions without giving credit where it’s due.

Whether intentional or unintentional, plagiarism is unacceptable in academic settings and can lead to severe repercussions, including failing grades, academic probation, or even expulsion.

Why is Plagiarism a Problem?

Plagiarism poses several significant problems, both for individuals and the academic community as a whole. Here are some key reasons why plagiarism is a serious issue:

  • Undermines Academic Integrity: Plagiarism compromises the fundamental principles of honesty, integrity, and trustworthiness in academia. It diminishes the value of original research and erodes the credibility of academic institutions.
  • Violates Intellectual Property Rights: Plagiarism infringes upon the intellectual property rights of original authors, denying them recognition and rightful attribution for their work. It undermines the incentive for creators to innovate and contribute to knowledge dissemination.
  • Stifles Critical Thinking and Learning: When students engage in plagiarism, they bypass the critical thinking process essential for learning and academic growth. Instead of grappling with concepts, synthesising information, and formulating original insights, they resort to shortcuts that hinder their intellectual development.
  • Compromises Fair Evaluation: Plagiarism distorts the assessment process by presenting unearned or illegitimate work as genuine. It compromises the fairness and validity of academic evaluations, disadvantaging honest students and undermining the credibility of academic qualifications.

How to Check for Plagiarism on Canvas with Canvas Plagiarism Checker

Canvas, being a popular learning management system, offers robust features and integrations to detect and address plagiarism effectively.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to check for plagiarism on Canvas:

Step 1: Utilise Built-in Plagiarism Detection Tools

Canvas integrates with a plagiarism checker tool such as Turnitin, or PlagScan depending on your institution’s subscription.

These tools automatically compare submitted assignments against a vast database of academic and online sources to identify potential instances of plagiarism.

Step 2: Enable Plagiarism Detection Settings

Ensure that plagiarism detection settings are enabled for assignments within Canvas.

This typically involves selecting the appropriate options when creating or configuring assignments, such as enabling plagiarism review and specifying the similarity score threshold for flagging potential plagiarism.

Step 3: Review Plagiarism Reports

Once students submit their assignments, the plagiarism tool generates similarity reports that highlight any matching content found in external sources.

Review these reports thoroughly to identify passages or sections flagged for potential plagiarism.

Evaluate the severity of the matches and determine whether further investigation is warranted.

Step 4: Investigate and Verify Matches

For flagged instances of potential plagiarism, conduct a detailed investigation to verify the accuracy of the matches.

Examine the original sources cited in the plagiarism report to ascertain the extent of similarity and determine whether proper attribution was provided.

Consider factors such as quotation marks, citations, and paraphrasing techniques.

Step 5: Address Plagiarism Incidents Appropriately

If plagiarism is confirmed, follow your institution’s academic integrity policies and procedures for addressing such incidents.

This may involve notifying the student, providing feedback on the violation, imposing penalties or sanctions, and documenting the incident for future reference.

Encourage students to learn from their mistakes and emphasise the importance of academic honesty.

What Should You Do if Plagiarism is Detected on Canvas?

If plagiarism is detected on Canvas, it’s essential to take prompt and appropriate action to address the situation. Here’s what you should do:

  • Notify the Student: Inform the student promptly about the plagiarism detection results and provide them with an opportunity to respond or explain their actions.
  • Provide Educational Feedback: Offer constructive feedback to help the student understand the nature of the plagiarism and its consequences. Emphasise the importance of academic integrity and ethical writing practices.
  • Impose Penalties or Sanctions: Depending on the severity of the plagiarism and institutional policies, impose appropriate penalties or sanctions, such as resubmission with a penalty, deduction of marks, academic probation, or disciplinary action.
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    Document the Incident: Maintain detailed records of the plagiarism incident, including the plagiarism report, communication with the student, actions taken, and any follow-up steps. Documentation is crucial for ensuring transparency, accountability, and consistency in handling plagiarism cases.

How to Prevent Plagiarism on Canvas?

Preventing plagiarism requires a proactive approach that involves educating students, setting clear expectations, and implementing effective deterrents.

Here are some strategies to prevent plagiarism on Canvas:

  • Educate Students on Academic Integrity: Provide comprehensive guidance on what constitutes plagiarism, proper citation practices, and ethical writing standards. Offer resources, workshops, or tutorials to help students develop their research and writing skills.
  • Set Clear Expectations and Guidelines: Clearly communicate your expectations regarding originality, citation requirements, and permissible sources for assignments. Provide detailed instructions, rubrics, or examples to guide students in producing authentic work.
  • Promote Critical Thinking and Originality: Design assignments that encourage critical thinking, creativity, and originality. Focus on tasks that require synthesis, analysis, and interpretation of information rather than rote memorisation or regurgitation of content.
  • Use Diverse Assessment Methods: Incorporate a variety of assessment methods, such as essays, projects, presentations, quizzes, or discussions, to assess student learning. Rotate assessment formats regularly to minimise opportunities for plagiarism.
  • Employ Technology-Based Solutions: Leverage plagiarism detection tools integrated with Canvas to identify and deter plagiarism effectively. Configure assignment settings to enable plagiarism review and establish appropriate similarity score thresholds.

Key Takeaway

  • Educate students on the importance of academic integrity and proper citation practices.
  • Set clear expectations for assignments to guide students towards producing original work.
  • Utilise plagiarism detection tools within Canvas to identify and deter potential plagiarism.


Plagiarism challenges the core values of academic integrity, intellectual honesty, and equitable assessment within the educational sphere.

Educators bear the crucial duty of preparing students with the requisite knowledge, skills, and ethical principles to eschew plagiarism and adhere to academic norms.

Utilising similarity checkers like Bytescare’s plagiarism detector enables us to conduct thorough checks of papers for plagiarism, ensuring accurate plagiarism check results.

This proactive approach not only addresses questions from students about avoiding being accused of plagiarism but also enhances duplicate content detection, guaranteeing the creation and submission of original content.

By examining the entire paper, plagiarism detector aids in cultivating an environment where integrity and scholastic excellence thrive.


Can students unintentionally commit plagiarism on Canvas?

Yes, students can unintentionally commit plagiarism on Canvas, especially if they’re unfamiliar with proper citation practices or unaware of the consequences of improper referencing. It’s essential to educate students about plagiarism and provide clear guidelines for citing sources and avoiding unintentional plagiarism.

How can instructors differentiate between intentional and unintentional plagiarism?

Differentiating between intentional and unintentional plagiarism can be challenging but crucial for fair and equitable treatment of students. Instructors can assess factors such as the extent of similarity, the student’s academic history, their response to feedback, and the presence of mitigating circumstances to determine intent and appropriate consequences.

Are there any privacy concerns associated with using plagiarism detection tools on Canvas?

While plagiarism detector tools on Canvas can enhance academic integrity, they may raise privacy concerns related to student data and intellectual property rights. It’s essential for instructors and institutions to adhere to relevant data privacy regulations, obtain consent when necessary, and implement appropriate safeguards to protect student information and confidentiality.

How can I avoid plagiarism?

To avoid plagiarism, always cite your sources correctly, use quotation marks for direct quotes, paraphrase effectively by changing both the words and structure of the original text, and conduct original research. Utilising a plagiarism checker before submission can also help identify and correct any unintentional plagiarism.

Who should use a plagiarism checker?

Students, educators, writers, researchers, and professionals across various fields should use plagiarism checkers to ensure the originality of their work, avoid plagiarism, and maintain academic and professional integrity. 

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