The Problem of Plagiarism Essay

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Problem
As American education enters a time when the ability to use technology becomes imperative, a time when students will become expected to communicate and work via the Internet, and a time when students will need to be able to find and interpret information efficiently and correctly, secondary school teachers are searching for ways to provide their students with assessments that mirror the expectations those students will face in the workforce. One way to do this is to have students research topics and create position papers, presentations, and various other forms of written expression that require students to synthesize and analyze information. However, in the midst of researching topics and sharing ideas, these same students are
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Instead, according to the results of a Rutgers University survey reported by Slobogin (2002), over 50% of students surveyed have plagiarized all or part of an essay and 50% do not believe that copying answers on a test is cheating. When asked for their reasoning, these students attribute their lack of morality on the subject to the pressure to get good grades and the lack of guidance from an adult world that appears to condone a dearth of ethical behavior (Slobogin, 2002). This is especially evident in one student’s comment that reads, “I actually think cheating is good. A person who has an entirely honest life can't succeed these days" (Slobogin, 2002, sidebar). What students may not realize when they are plagiarizing material is that they are not only cheating themselves out of knowledge and cheating their teachers out of seeing what they’re truly able to do, but they are also participating in what could be illegal activity. Villano (2006) reminds students that any time material is used without proper citation, the perpetrator could face legal trouble. These problems typically do not stem simply from plagiarism, but from potential copyright infringement, which occurs when students “copy large sections of someone else's copyrighted work without permission, even if [they] give the original author credit” (Hom, 2006, para. 11). Students of any age are only allowed to borrow material through fair use, which indicates that only a small portion
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