Is it cheating?

By: Alana Adams
By: Alana Adams

The most common form of cheating is actually "unintentional plagiarism," according to local educators.
It happens when a student uses the internet for research, and unintentionally or incorrectly identifies where the information was found.

James Covert is a teacher at The University of Phoenix.
He says the internet is a great addition to research, but it can hinder work as well.
"The internet is kind of a love-hate tool. There's a lot of garbage on the internet. And, we as instructors know which sites are credible, we call scholarly sources, and which ones aren't. I warn my students about that: use the internet, and use it carefully."

But, experts say the access and availability of the internet is teaching younger students how to cut corners.
Dozens of website will actually sell your child book reports, essays, and even college term papers.
Some are charging 10-dollars a page, and students are buying.

A national survey by Rutgers' Management Education Center found that half of those questioned did not consider copied work as cheating.
"As a teacher, we always have to face the prospect that students will plagiarize a paper. This tool allows the instructor and the student to get a reading on that paper."

The tool, called Turn-it-in-dot-com, is used at many campuses throughout the country to carefully check papers for proper citation and use of references.
Students at the University of Phoenix can use the site before turning in a paper, and teachers can check it later as well.

Lana Kopec is about to graduate from the University of Phoenix later this month.
She wants to continue her education in law school, and she says she understands the importance of accuracy in her work.
"Well, the internet is a great tool. If you use it wisely, it's a great, helpful tool. You get a lot of research done through the internet, you don't need the books anymore. But, you also have to be careful with internet."

Turnitin.com charges schools or individuals for access to it's site, but educators say they are relying more and more on this type of technology to compete with everything that's already available to students on the internet.


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