Plagiarism and the Internet

The widespread popularity of the internet has increased incidences of plagiarism. Students are able to search the internet to find a wide range of topics. Once found they can cut-and-paste this information into their work with very little effort. The size of the internet makes it difficult for teachers to trace the source of the plagiarized work.

There are many websites which offer complete essays for students to download for a fee. They provide subject specific databases with some even providing custom made essays on any topic.

The internet can also be used to combat plagiarism. Teachers can use search engines for parts of suspicious essays. However, most teachers do not have the time to individually search specific section of students papers. For this many teachers have turned to plagiarism prevention services such as Turnitin automates the search process and checks essays for plagiarized material by comparing the paper with millions of other online sources by using a string search algorithm. Despite, the overall effect of the internet is to increase plagiarism.