Internet Plagiarism Research Proposal

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Internet Plagiarism

One of the first lessons on which college students receive instruction and lecture about is a lesson of integrity: your work must be your own. If a student writes a paper, they must give credit to the originator of any ideas that you incorporate into your work in support of your ideas and theories. The lesson was one that students learned through hard work: research, writing, editing, rewriting, and burning the midnight oil to meet due dates and deadlines for work related to the course of study. Before the advent of the internet, a professor could be reasonably sure that a paper submitted to him or to her was indeed the work of the student if the paper contained the appropriate citations in support of the professor's assignment or the student's research thesis. Today, however, that level of confidence has been eroded by student's access to internet sites that sell students research papers written by people who work for sites. For a price, the student can order a paper on virtually any topic, and submit the work as his/her own. This is plagiarism; the utmost breach of student integrity and responsibility. Plagiarism is taken very seriously by colleges and universities, and is grounds for academic expulsion. It has become a prolific problem for colleges and universities today, and it is a problem that in this early age of the internet has perhaps not yet manifested itself in the bigger implication of the problem.Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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Research Proposal on Internet Plagiarism Assignment

Undergraduate students are required to complete courses in areas of study that are not necessarily consistent with their chosen major. For instance, at the undergraduate level, a student majoring in chemistry or science is often required to take courses in literature, history, and even business. The idea behind exposing the science or chemistry major to these courses is that it will help the student to gain a well-rounded academic experience, preparing the student for not just his chosen area of study, but for achieving a process of thinking that will prepare the student socially, politically, and even religiously so as to help the student develop a broad range of intellectual capacity and open mindedness by exposing him/her to a diverse classroom environment, exchange, reading, and research. This, it is believed, benefit the student not only in his chosen area of study and along his/her career path, but in all his/her life's pursuits and experiences beyond the specific chosen major course of study and experiences. Buying internet papers and submitting them as one's own is plagiarism, but it is also depriving the student of the opportunity to develop open minded and broad intellectualizing abilities that could enhance the student's professional and personal life. It also compromises the student's integrity, and establishes an unhealthy rationalizing process of consequences vs. reward that could be detrimental to the student in his/her career or professional life.

A Google search of the keywords: buy student papers, yields more than 200,000 sites related to the keywords (Google 2009). A quick glance of the first pages offers students free papers, instructions on buying "good" papers, and custom papers for sale to the student. The internet is a virtual buffet of plagiarism, enticing the student to partake, and to sell his/her academic soul for a quick fix to a deadline. Anne Lathrop and Kathleen Foss, in their book, Student Cheating and Plagiarism in the Internet Era: A Wake-Up Call, describe not just the enticement, but the clever ways in which students are enticed to the "paper mills (18)."

"Some sites offer all or a significant number of their papers for free; of these appear to receive income from advertisements for video games, magazines marketing to teenagers, sites selling college information or college entrance essays etc. About a third of the 50 sites listed in Chapter 17 offer some free papers but charge for the majority of them; others charge for all of their papers. Some sites require that a student submit a paper in exchange for one received. More than half the sites offer to write custom papers at a per page cost, usually at least $100 or more per paper (Lathrop and Foss 18)."

It is reasonable to believe that word-of-mouth is another great advertiser for the sites. One student who made an assignment deadline might offer the site information to a friend. While it is possible that many students do it as a one time fix, it is just as likely that many students are frequent and return customers to these sites. This is a problem that is eroding the basic foundation of academic training and education. It is a problem that, thus far, lacks remedy. So far, Lathrop and Foss say, lawsuits against the paper mills have been unsuccessful (18). The owners of sites demonstrate a lack of conscience or caring, defending their business this way:

"I help people, says Abe Korn, the man behind The Term Paper, School and Business Help Line . . . [explaining] that his clients say, 'Abe, help me, I don't know how to write a paper.' I write them one, as an example, and then they go and pass it in. Is this my fault? No. If I help you in Physics and work one problem, and you turn that problem in, am I to blame? No. I'm just a tutor (Hickman, par. 9) (Lathrop and Floss 18).'"

They protect their business with disclaimers that say:

"Our research papers are to be used only as references for your pap-er. We refuse to sell a research paper to any student whom we have reason to believe will submit our work, either in whole or part, for academia credit in their own name. If you choose to quote from our work you must cite our paper as one of your sources (Lathrop and Foss 18)."

Such disclaimers are a shield against lawsuits, but are without follow through by the companies to ensure that the papers they sell to the students comply with the terms of the sale and disclaimer.

In another book by Lathrop and Foss, Guiding Students from Plagiarism and Cheating to Honesty and Integrity (2005), the authors cite a study that say that 34% of students surveyed admit to copying almost word for word other written sources and submitting that work as their own; and 70% of students surveyed said that it is a serious problem (Lathrop and Foss 239). Another 60% admit to copying "a few sentences without citation (239)." Sixteen percent admit to purchasing papers through an internet paper mill or web site, and 74% say that it is a serious problem (239). Fifty-two percent admit to copying from a web site without citing the source, and 46% say that that practice is a serious problem (239). Based on these statistics, it would appear that the written word, ostensibly a books, magazines, etc. remain a bigger source of student plagiarism than are internet paper mills. Still, it would be expected that the 16% percent purchasing from internet paper mills vs. The 70% who copy from written sources (not defined by the authors) will in the near future exceed those copying from written sources such as books, magazines, etc.

Possible Solutions

Since lawsuits have proven unsuccessful (Lathrop and Foss 200 18), it becomes important, and perhaps more rational and socially beneficial, to instill in students incentives for resisting the opportunity plagiarize internet sources or buy papers from internet paper mills. Perhaps the solution is that the first class, a required class that might be taught to students in high school and in colleges and universities, is a class on personal ethics extolling the virtues and success of people with high ethical standards. One of the books used in the course should be a book by Ron Theodore Robin (2004), Scandals and Scoundrels: Seven Cases that Shook the Academy, which describes the very public academic downfall and public humiliation of students for the crime of plagiarism. It is interesting, as Robin notes, that the same source of the plagiarism, the internet, was the same means by which the students' public humiliation was quickly communicated to the public (Robin 7). If students understand that their crime for plagiarism carries with it public consequences, that would certainly be a deterrent. However, the best and most hopeful approach would be to exercise their sense of conscience, personal pride, and responsibility in their work.

Universities might begin by engaging in a campaign to give rewards and more public recognition for undergraduate papers. This would be useful in appealing to the student's sense of pride through accomplishment, originality, creativity and academic achievements as well as initiate the student to the rigors, and rewards, of graduate academic work. It might serve as a prelude to a graduate level dissertation, so-to-speak.

Many colleges and universities have resorted to the same means by which the students plagiarize work to combat it: electronic internet companies that specialize in electronically reviewing a student's papers for plagiarized phrases, and text. Gary Clabaugh (2001), in his book,… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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