If you suspect plagiarism, there are several steps you can take.
Check the work against Google.
Choose a distinctive sentence or phrase and enter it into the search engine, making sure to enclose the phrase in quotes.
Check some of the Library's proprietary full text databases.
Students use JSTOR quite heavily and may, intentionally or not, borrow from material they find there. Suggested full text databases, depending on the topic, are available in our Research Guides and include JSTOR, ProQuest, Project Muse, and LexisNexis Academic
Check the bibliography.
Check Tripod to see if the items listed in the bibliography are available to the students. If they are not available, it could indicate that the students are savvy users of InterLibrary Loan services or that they have not actually researched that subject.
Submit the paper to Turnitin.com.
Swarthmore College subscribes to Turnitin, a plagiarism detection service. This service enables you to submit a whole, or portion of a, suspected plagiarized work and checks that work against their database of term papers for matching content. It then generates a customized report highlighting any unoriginal material. Contact ITS to set up an account with Turnitin.