Plagiarism and the Internet



Since the advent of the Internet, plagiarism has become an exponentially more difficult problem for teachers to combat. Students can now draw from literally millions of possible sources and even purchase complete essays and research papers online. Fortunately, many books detail tactics teachers and students can employ to detect and prevent plagiarism.

“What Every Student Should Know About Avoiding Plagiarism”

Preventing plagiarism begins with all students becoming aware of what exactly constitutes plagiarism. “What Every Student Should Know About Avoiding Plagiarism”, by Linda Stern, offers students a primer on common types, as well as how to correctly quote material, cite sources and summarize material without committing an offense.

“Preventing Plagiarism and Cheating: An Instructor’s Manual”

“Preventing Plagiarism and Cheating: An Instructor’s Manual”, by Gary K. Clabaugh, provides a useful overview for teachers by outlining common plagiarism tactics and strategies for detecting, deterring and tracing plagiarized material. It also offers a useful bibliography of text references, giving teachers further material to consult.

“Student Plagiarism in an Online World”

In “Student Plagiarism in an Online World: Problems and Solutions”, a 300-page treatise by Tim. S. Roberts, the author attempts to come to grips with how access to the Internet has changed the nature of plagiarism for both students and teachers. Roberts offers case studies both of student plagiarism and of successful teacher countermeasures.

“Library Plagiarism Policies”

“Library Plagiarism Policies”, compiled by Vera Stepchyshyn and Robert S. Nelson, is a compilation of plagiarism policies from various college and university libraries. Rather than detail specific methods for detecting plagiarism, the policies focus instead on punishments meant to deter potential offenders.

“Plagiarism, the Internet, and Student Learning”

Aimed at teachers and policymakers in higher education, “Plagiarism, the Internet, and Student Learning” by Wendy Sutherland-Smith, offers an historical overview of plagiarism, providing a useful context for understanding modern plagiarism. Sutherland-Smith also offers a comprehensive framework for dealing with plagiarism at the individual and institutional level.

“Preventing Plagiarism: Tips and Techniques”

“Preventing Plagiarism: Tips and Techniques”, by Laura Hennessey DeSena, published by the National Council of Teachers of English, is squarely aimed at teachers for whom trying to detect plagiarism is a frustrating process. This book offers tips both on creating plagiarism-proof assignments and on checking student work with a minimum of time and headache.

“Plagiarism: Why It Happens And How to Prevent It”

In “Plagiarism: Why It Happens And How to Prevent It”, Barry Gilmore provides a study guide for teachers that demonstrates classroom-tested strategies for preventing students from even attempting to plagiarize work. The author, a former president of the Tennessee Council of Teachers of English, places an emphasis on pre-emptive dissuasion rather than after-the-fact punishment.

“Guiding Students from Cheating and Plagiarism”

In “Guiding Students from Cheating and Plagiarism”, Ann Lathrop and Kathleen Foss argue that the best way to prevent plagiarism is to foster a change in culture that encourages children to eschew cheating and act honestly in both work and school.

“The Complete Guide to Referencing and Avoiding Plagiarism”

Similar in substance to “What Every Student Should Know About Avoiding Plagiarism” by Linda Stern, “The Complete Guide to Referencing and Avoiding Plagiarism”, by Colin Neville, is especially useful in its guide to evaluating online sources. In some cases, by using illegitimate online sources, students can end up committing a form of inadvertent plagiarism.

Although plagiarism is a problem that will likely never be solved, these books show that there are measures teachers can take to prevent the problem before it occurs.

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