Is the Internet to Blame for Student Plagiarism?

Carol’s Summary:
Several colleges and universities nationwide are dealing with an increase of problems associated with plagiarism—the act of using information without giving credit to the source, largely due to students’ use of the internet while doing research for essays. Students at schools like DePaul and the University of Maryland have recently been caught plagiarizing, after their professors noticed that their text was copied verbatim for websites like Wikipedia.

A professor at Rutgers University found that 40 percent of 14,000 undergraduate students surveyed from 2006 to 2010 admitted to copying a few sentences from sources when writing essays for school. Only about 29 percent students today feel that taking information from the internet is a serious offense and should be considered “serious cheating”. Some professors believe that plagiarism inhibits student’s creativity and writing skills.

In education, plagiarism is a serious offense, and students who are caught “stealing” information usually have to take a failing grade for the classes in which they plagiarized, and some may even be suspended from school altogether. Although it may be a tedious process, professors must be more aware than ever of plagiarism. Many colleges nationwide utilize computer software that tracks plagiarism attempts from students when they turn in their essays.

Our book, Study Skills for High School Students, talks about plagiarism and how serious of an offense it is. Plagiarism not only robs the original source of the credit they deserve but also takes creativity and credibility away from the student who plagiarizes. For more information about Study Skills for High School Students and other LifeBound books, visit

Plagiarism Lines Blur for Students in Digital Age

At DePaul University, the tip-off to one student’s copying was the purple shade of several paragraphs he had lifted from the Web; when confronted by a writing tutor his professor had sent him to, he was not defensive — he just wanted to know how to change purple text to black.

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