Intellectual Honest and the Internet

Intellectual Honest and the Internet

With the invasion of the Internet into our life, people started using it as the main source of information. Everywhere we go we hear about the Internet. It is on television, in magazines, newspapers, and in schools. One might think that this network of millions of computers around the globe is as fast and captivating as television, but with more and more users logging on everyday and staying on longer and longer, this “Information Superhighway” could be perhaps more correctly referred to as an expressway of big city center at rush hour. It is estimated that thirty five to forty millions users currently are on the Internet and their number is growing annually. According to a recent statistics, an average Internet call last five times as longer as the average regular telephone call.
The Internet has surpassed all other communications in its popularity and remains the most widespread medium, which attaches people all over the world.
Being the largest source of any information of any kind, the Internet replaces the libraries we are used to and shows us the way to online libraries, which are more convenient and quicker. More and more people place their works, essays, and books in the Internet. Thus, the access to any kind of information on any topic becomes gradually easier and the temptation to take somebody’s thoughts and claim them as their own increases. Therefore, the phenomenon of plagiarism became extremely widespread today. The Internet changed the way students write their works.
Plagiarism means to use other people’s thoughts and ideas and do not present the source of the information used. Due to the amount of free information, the Internet is the primary source of plagiarism. On the one hand, Internet is just necessary for the academic integrity, because it gives an immediate access to numerous articles, books and editions and now students spend less time looking for the necessary source. On the other hand, students loose their creative abilities because of the Internet, as they can find any information and so do not have to analyze different phenomena and situations. The ability of thinking and making one’s own conclusions is being lost. In the process of education students’ own ideas and opinions are a significant part of the scholarly work, because they show the students’ academic integrity, their understanding of the material and their future potential.
However, today teachers should check the work on plagiarism before making conclusions about the genius of students. According to the Centre of Academic Integrity, the rate of plagiarism at large universities constitutes from 40 to 60 percent and about 70 percent of professors deal with at least one case of plagiarism a year. (Murray) In fact, plagiarism cases happen much oftener and are an acute issue nowadays.
The problem of stealing other authors’ works is one thing but another question, which should worry people most of al, is the degradation of students, their unwillingness to study and as a result inability to express their own thoughts. The attitude towards intellectual integrity has changed much with the rapid development of the Internet. Today students do not see the purpose of spending much time, working on this or that topic, because instead they can spend several minutes and take the necessary work from the Internet, not even reading it. Consequently, they lose the ability to analyze events and facts, to think over important problems of modern life, to perceive what is happening around them correctly.
Actually, because of plagiarism the purpose of education recedes into the background. The level of erudition decreases in direct proportion to the increasing prevalence of plagiarism.
Certainly, it is necessary to struggle with plagiarism, and here much depends on the professors, who should know how to detect plagiarism or to avoid such cases. It is also very important to have special talks with students; these talks can help students to understand, why their original work is so important and why it is necessary to avoid plagiarism. Professors should also praise students for their creative and original works. These are just common rules but they really help to deal with plagiarism and eliminate both inadvertent and deliberate plagiarism. Students, in their turn, should know that they can be punished for plagiarism and should also try to avoid it. “A charge of plagiarism can have severe consequences, including expulsion from a university or loss of a job, not to mention a writer’s loss of credibility and professional standing” (Avoiding Plagiarism).
There are a lot of methods, which can be used to avoid inadvertent and deliberate plagiarism. The first rule is to take into quotation marks all the direct citations and mention their author in brackets. Another method is to paraphrase someone’s opinion. In this case it is necessary to express the idea in your own words but in no case just to change one or two words in the original phrase. Paraphrasing someone’s ideas you must also put the author’s name in brackets. The next step is to compare your text with the original to make sure that you have not accidentally used the same phrases(Sutherland-Smit 156).
Plagiarism can be deliberate or inadvertent. Deliberate plagiarism consists in copying form sources without indicating the authors, or giving professor a paper written by another person. Inadvertent plagiarism, in its turn, can be characterized by the usage of too many the same words from the original source or the presentation of someone’s idea without mentioning the author. It is necessary to remember these typical kinds of plagiarism.
To make a conclusion, today the development of the Internet favors the increase of plagiarism, especially among students. Plagiarism has grave consequences as students get out of the habit of thinking, analyzing and making conclusions, thus the level of education lowers. The importance of encouraging students to write their own creative works is indisputable. Therefore, professors should take certain measures to stop the invasion of plagiarism into the educational process.

Works Cited
“Avoiding Plagiarism”. OWL at Purdue University and Purdue University. September, 2004.
March 14, 2008. <http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/print/research/r_plagiar.html>
Murray, Bridget. Keeping plagiarism at bay in the Internet age. February 2002. March 14, 2008.
<http://www.apa.org/monitor/feb02/plagiarism.html>
Sutherland-Smit. Plagiarism, the Internet and Student Learning: Improving Academic Integrity.
1st ed. Routledge, 2008.