Essay on Cyber-plagiarism

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Cyber-plagiarism It's two o'clock in the morning, you're just one page into a 10-page term paper that's due at eight o'clock. A few years ago, that would have been it: You would have submitted the paper late, if at all, and dealt with the consequences. But this is 2005, and so, in your most desperate hour, you try a desperate ploy. You log on to the Internet, enter "term papers" into an online search engine, and find your way to www.termpaper.com. There you find a paper that fits the assignment, enter your credit card number, and then wait until the file shows up in your e-mail account. You feel a little ashamed, but, hey, the course was just a distribution requirement, anyway. You put your own name on the title page, print it out,…show more content…
According to Anthony Krier, a research librarian at Franklin Pierce College in Rindge, New Hampshire, and a widely quoted source on Internet plagiarism (he maintains a database of term-paper websites), the number of term-paper sites has swelled from 28 in the beginning of 1997 to 72 today. "Does the increase in the number of sites translate into an increase in cheating? Certainly," says Krier. "There's no doubt about it. People have got to realize the problem is not going away until they start taking it seriously." At least one school, Boston University, is. Last year, it became sufficiently worried about online plagiarism that it launched a sting operation, in which a law student posed as an undergraduate in search of a paper on Toni Morrison's Beloved. In October, the university--which has been dogging term-paper mills for 25 years--filed suit against eight of the companies it claims to have snagged in the ruse, charging them with mail and wire fraud, racketeering, and breaking a Massachusetts law against term-paper sales. But B.U. is the exception. Harvard University's Thurston Smith, secretary to the administrative board, is serenely confident that Internet plagiarism is not a problem at Harvard. "I'm sure it's going on somewhere," he says. "I just have to believe Harvard students would have too much respect for the faculty." Just as sanguine are administrators at Bucknell, Dartmouth, and Yale. Terri Barbuto, secretary of the executive
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