One aspect of starting a PhD program is that I will be responsible for working as a teaching assistant: teaching seminars, grading papers, and so on.
I am worried about the inevitable day when I discover that a student has committed plagiarism and when I am in the position of having to decide what to do about it.
So far, the best plan seems to be to issue a stern warning during my first session with each group of students. It could be something along the lines of:
Do not submit plagiarized work to me.
If you do, you will be reported to the appropriate disciplinary authorities without exception.
You are here to earn meaningful degrees. Plagiarism devalues all of the work you are doing, and I will not tolerate it.
It’s unfair to give some people second chances or the benefit of the doubt while denying it to others. Being consistent seems important, and it also seems plausible that a sufficiently strong warning could prevent the problem from ever coming up in the first place.