The World Wide Web and Plagiarism
In the recent past when computers were available to the public, users could easily type a document without having to retype a whole page to correct or add a part to a document. Shortly after that came the Internet where countless pages of documents and information became accessible to nearly everybody. The problem with plagiarism was much smaller and easier to detect before the Internet. Preceding the Internet, plagiarized materials used to originate from fraternity houses’ efforts to recycle earlier information, copied directly from books at a library, or purchased from local ghostwriters. Professors who were familiar with their materials easily detected plagiarism in these forms. The World Wide Web and electronic resources made it much more difficult for educators to cipher the difference between original and plagiarized material.
There are generally three factors for the drastic increase in cheating and plagiarizing today. The first of those is the unpredictable amount of information that is available online to students everywhere. Which in turn makes it more difficult for the guilty plagiarizers to be caught, making it easier for them to get away with cheating and willing to do it again. The third apparent reason for todays prevalent cheating and plagiarism is the fact that the environment for students alike has become very competitive.
In recent studies on plagiarism conducted on college students around the United States, the results came out quite shocking.
90% of students believe that cheaters are never caught or just aren’t punished in an appropriate manner. (US News and World Report poll.)
Almost 80% of college students have admitted to cheating at least one time. (The Center of Academic Integrity.)
36% of undergraduate students admit to plagiarizing some written material. (Psychological Record survey.)
30% of Berkley students were recently caught handing in plagiarized material from the Internet. (Turnitin.com test, April/May 2000)
55% of faculty members said they would not be willing to devote any strong effort to documenting suspected incidents plagiarism. (Study by Donald L. McCabe: Faculty Responses to Academic Dishonesty: The Influence of Honor Codes.)
257 chief student affairs officers across the country believe that colleges and universities have not addressed the cheating problem adequately. (Study by Ronald M. Aaron and Robert T. Georgia: Administrator Perceptions of Student Academic Dishonesty in Collegiate Institutions.)
The internet makes it possible to find documents that pertain to any subject, therefore the internet makes it possible for any student to find a document, copy it and paste it with some others into their own word processor to call their own. It gets even easier than that. There are even websites solely devoted to helping students have access to...