English Composition II
11 September 2011
Plagiarism and Its Effects
As the World Wide Web as grown and become more popular, so has the problem of plagiarism. With unlimited access to thousands of databases and no boundaries to explorations, students have begun to use the Internet as an integral tool for research and writing papers. Unfortunately, sometimes, writing papers can become overwhelming to any student and lead to intentional or unintentional dishonest acts, on behalf of the student, including plagiarism. Plagiarism occurs often. It also occurs more often today as students strive towards academic success. According to the website Plagiarism.org, 54% of students openly admitted to plagiarizing (Plagiarism.org). The Internet has negative and positive effects on plagiarism today. When used properly, the internet as a resource can generally benefit students. When used improperly, it can help create a big problem where the problem is not just being dishonest. The question is not just why students plagiarize, but also, what are the effects of plagiarism?
In a nutshell, plagiarism is theft. As defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, plagiarism is “to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own” or to “use (another's production) without crediting the source” (2011). Basically, it is stealing, and not all thieves lurk around at night dressed in black. Literary thieves can be found sitting behind a computer at your local coffee shop hard at work copying and pasting. One of the big effects of plagiarism is that is not helping the student. It is not the case of wrong or right, but whether the student is learning. With plagiarism in effect, a student cannot learn and does not fully comprehend the task or assignment. As David Pritchard told New York Times journalist, Brent Staples, “The big sleeping dog here is not the moral issue. The problem is that kids don't learn if they don’t do the work” (“Cutting and...