The Internet Plagiarism Explosion Essay

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A great deal has been published in the media about the "explosion" of Internet plagiarism among high school and college students. Because the Internet is so young, there have been few studies conducted on the extent of Internet plagiarism. However, existing studies do show that the Internet is an extremely popular tool students use to cheat on written assignments. In any group of students, some will choose the path of academic dishonesty and copy the words or ideas of another person without giving credit to the author. The advent of the Internet has opened new ways for students to plagiarize written material. Not only can students copy material from individual Web sites, but they can use an online paper mill to pay for and receive an …show more content…
Some, including www.collegetermpapers.com, offer papers for free. (All of these sites were found in a search for "term papers" using the Google search engine.) Although papers are readily available for downloading from paper mills, the quality of those papers is usually poor. An investigative report conducted by U.S. News & World Report evaluated the quality of four papers purchased from Internet mills. University professors evaluated each of the papers and judged their quality to be mediocre at best (Kleiner, 1999, para. 4).

Studies reach conflicting conclusions on the extent of plagiarism and cheating in American high schools and colleges. An article in the Toronto Star cites a study conducted by "Who's Who Among American High School Students" that found that four-fifths of high school students surveyed reported cheating (Walker, 2001, para. 28). The Center for Academic Integrity found that 72 percent of high school students admit to "serious cheating on written assignments" and over 50 percent plagiarized material from the Internet (CAI Research, 2001, para. 7). The Los Angeles Times paraphrased the founder of the Center for Academic Integrity: "Although a majority of high school students admit cheating at one time or another, technological advances such as the Internet have not had a significant effect on the overall number of cheaters. Of students who admitted to
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