The Pros And Cons Of The Internet

1219 words - 5 pages

The computer has had a tremendous impact on society as we know it. It gives a voice to those who cannot speak and those who cannot breathe on their own receive mechanically computerized help. The computer has given us many wonderful things used for wonderful purposes, but there are vast ways in which these things have been misused by our people. One of these things is the internet and a common way it is misused is by way of plagiarism.

Plagiarism is an act in which one person, in essence, steals the work of another and uses it for their own purposes (Cafferty, Serwer). It is an ugly act used these days for many purposes. Many students use the internet to get pre-written essays. Writers will use the internet for source purposes and forget to cite them or use parts of pre-written information.

A student uses the internet to surf, looking for sources to cite in an essay. While looking, he comes upon an essay on the subject that holds a wealth of information. It is too much work to print it out, read it through, pick out the parts that can be used, incorporate it into their own essay in their own words, and then cite the work that the information came from. Instead, he decides that no one will notice if he simply prints off the whole essay, putting his own name in place of the author’s.

A researcher is paging through the internet in search of information to use in her new article. In her searching, she comes upon a likely looking source and prints it out

After going through it with a highlighter, she transforms most of the information she wants into her own words, but leaves a few alone to use as quotes. In writing her article, she uses the information, both the summaries and the quotes. She forgets to cite the summaries as well as the quotes and forgets to put quotation marks around the quotes. It is an honest mistake, but the damage is already done.

The internet makes plagiarism quite simple to do. It appeals very much to lazier people who have something they must get done. There is almost no writing involved, depending on how the paper is plagiarized. If the entire article is run off and used as one’s own, there is obviously no writing or thought involved. All a person really has to do is find an enticing article on their subject and print it out. Of course they could use only certain, little phrases of it in a majority of their own work, but that is still considered plagiarism. The internet makes the idea and the act way too simple.
In many cases, the average reader respects the integrity of the author enough to trust what they say. If the author forgets to cite his source, many readers will not notice. There are a few, however, who might. Some may have read the information somewhere before reading the article and become suspicious.

The internet has a good aspect, though. It makes it much easier to catch plagiarism where it exists. The internet holds all kinds of sources from books to...

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