Thursday, September 2, 2010

Plagiarism and The Electronic Generation

Now is a time where practically all of the world's information is literally sitting right in front of us on our laptops and in our phones. Often the information is even too much, so weeding through it all is definitely most difficult. However when the right information is found what is it that students in most recent times are do with it? Many point out that due to increased ease of access the boundaries that surround what is another's are becoming almost indistinguishable. Once upon a time copying directly from a book was clearly theft and even far more difficult. Today the simple copy and paste aspect makes the use of another's intellectual property far too easy.

But the bottom line is; rules are rules. "The central issue is not that students are becoming intellectual criminals, but that we have to make sure that as things change, the guidelines for proper crediting of sources of information are drilled into people's heads." says MSU-Billings English Professor Deborah Schaffer. For too long teachers have been trying to instill the proper process of writing and citing sources. But the increasing information makes it unclear to students that online information is not public and not common knowledge. So, with the use of programs like "turn it in" and with strong effort of the instructor, plagiarism will soon grow to be taken far more seriously.

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