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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Plagiarism and the "Google" generation

I was reading an story at the BBC and came across this article about plagiarism today. One thing I found interesting was the use of the term "Google generation", this is the first I've ever heard that term before.

The issue at the heart of the article is that widespread availability of information on the net makes it very easy for a student to copy and paste documents and pass them off as their own. I have both seen and heard about this but had no idea that it was so widespread. An official on the subject says that students of the "Google generation" often don't understand what plagiarism is. Even if they know what it is, they don't see anything wrong with copying other people's work and are often misinformed as to the punishment for it.

Plagiarism has always been an issue and will continue to be one (it would be naive of anyone to assume they could prevent it completely), but the problem at hand is how easy it is for students to get away with it and how widespread the cheating is. This could potentially be a big problem for this generation as they mature and they lack the skills necessary to develop their own ideas and content.

The way educators believe they can overcome this is by putting more emphasis on the original or personal aspects of assignments. The teachers need to make the students do work that they won't be able to find answers to on the web. If anything, teachers need to be more aware of what their students are doing and play a more proactive role in squashing plagiarism. One example of rampant plagiarism is the web and plethora of blogs which simply copy and past posts and claim them as their own.


  • At 6/20/2006 10:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This doesn't seem that bad when you read this article about students in Japan who go very far to cheat to get ahead in the system.

    Talk about cut-throat! Some kids go so far that they have to have surgery following cheating to remove the devices.

    The link to the story is here.


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