Plagiarism

Today in class we discussed plagiarism and its prevalence. I believe that plagiarism is still a large issue today and that it is getting more difficult to detect. I know many people who have plagiarized in minor ways, like omitting quotation marks or failing to accurately cite sources. Rebecca Moore Howard in her article “Forget About Plagiarism. Just Teach,” argues that there is a wave of plagiarism occurring in classrooms today, which involves many different types. Howard also argues that this epidemic is the fault of the teachers, which I do not agree with at all. Teachers definitely need to support students and give them thoughtfully developed assignments that will engage them, however they should not be blamed if students choose to cheat. Teachers could minimize the occurrences of plagiarism by getting more involved in the drafting process, but they can only do so much to interact with students. Howard also classifies plagiarism as either intentional or unintentional. I believe that unintentional plagiarism is on the rise due to rapidly available information on the Internet. Many students will paraphrase from Wikipedia or even from reputable sources without realizing what they are doing. Switching the arrangement of words from an alternate source is plagiarism, although many to not even consider that. Plagiarism is most definitely still a major problem in classrooms today and is becoming more difficult to define and detect, but it is not solely the teacher’s fault.

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