Saturday, January 1, 2011

A Plagiarism Hazard Online Papers and Essays

Did you know you can actually find almost any essay or paper topic online, and access it for a low fee if not for free? Students' workloads are heavier than ever. Tack on extracurricular activities and socializing, and homework time always seems to be crunched. We all love a good time-saving tip, but does going online to retrieve a pre-written paper take things a bit too far - especially when the service is not used properly?  How can teachers be sure a student actually wrote their submitted work?

There are a lot of online resources in this topic. Today we'll be featuring these 3. - "Free term papers and essays for all" is what the website's slogan says. Anyone can browse from over 250,000 essays and articles by simply typing in the content you are searching for. You get a 2 paragraph freebee and then purchase longer ones or essentially pay for a membership and have access. Standard membership is 30 day a month all-access for $19.95. The premise is this: they are providing you with information about these topics, serving as a research aid, and you are supposed to be responsible enough to cite the sources, take the initial jump-start they've provided and finish/elaborate your own work. Members are able to share and see each other's papers as well.

In addition to finding essays and papers, you can click on another tab that will take you to this site: - Here's what you do. Type in your paper's assignment and needs in full detail. Assign how many words you need it to be, how many sources, and how many pages. You can choose your deadline as to when you need WriteMyEssay to complete this project, and essentially pay by need. So if you need your paper in 5 days, it'll cost you $19.95 per page. For the procrastinator: if you need your paper within 8 hours, it'll cost you $79.95 per page.  The company provides a free bibliography, guaranteed completion, and free revision if the paper doesn't match what you needed.

Did you ever think 15 years ago you could get this kind of service!? And there are dozens more -,,, and on. These sites can be extremely useful. But in the wrong hands, extremely dangerous when it comes to plagiarism. Teachers need to be diligent and aware. The Internet is a world of resources at our fingertips, but at what cost when it comes to educating and training our children to become successful down the road.

There are sites that strive to ensure sites like these aren't abused. - Going on the mantra: "Prevent Plagiarism. Engage Students." This site offers wonderful tools to ensure students are working up to their potential and writing original pieces. It is specifically designed to prevent plagiarism by offering something called "originality check." Students must submit their writings using the Turnitin interface. Teachers can then compare the submission to over 130,000 student papers, and web pages. Instructors share papers with other students and peers can review and comment. When a teacher goes to grade the paper online, you can type in your feedback and revisions and also use colorful grade-marking and highlighting tools.

Now of course -- this is something your school would have to purchase. Quotes are given based on your school and your needs. But we wanted to point out the concept and the fact that there are methods of preventing plagiarism submissions. At the bare minimum, you are now informed of the free sites above, and can go online to search yourself if you want to compare writings in question.

And because we know not every school is equipped to purchase such software, here are some FREE teaching tactics to preventing plagiarism:

  • Give a very narrow criteria for your subject matter.
  • Vary the topics per class and year, and save submitted works.
  • Require students to turn in multiple rough drafts.
  • Students can be told to photocopy their sources.
  • Require the sources to be very specific - like something published in the last year, or from a specific book that you assign. Or you can even say all sources must have been published within the last 4 years.
  • Make your students give oral reports.
  • Have students email you copies of their work in addition to turning in a hard copy.
  • Be sure to discuss, define, and explain what plagiarism is.
  • Be stern and reiterate the consequences should plagiarism be discovered.

People will do what they want to do, and take shortcuts they want to take. So arm yourself with knowledge, continue the parental involvement and parent-teacher communication, and continue to encourage and show students they have the ability to complete tasks and meet goals all on their own.

No comments:

Post a Comment