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Internet as a Research Tool

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Internet as a Research Tool

Because of its speed and convenience, the Internet has quickly become one of the most-used resources for gathering information. The Internet allows people to have access to a lot of information in one place, and in the convenience of their own homes. However, many problems arise when students use the Internet as a research source for school assignments. Many students are typically under the false assumption that everything on the Internet is valid; if it’s written it must be true. Problems that emerge from using the Internet as a research tool are the quantity of information, the quality of the information, issues of plagiarism, and additional problems with general Internet usage. The issues discussed in this paper are mostly referring to the information found on the Internet when students used it to do research. Most of these problems mentioned often do not apply to publications that are found in both the print form and in an online form.

A misconception many students often have is the belief that everything can be found on the Internet if provided with the right tools to find it. In reality, however, Marylaine Block asserts in her article entitled “Getting Students Beyond The Net”, that “the Net represents, at most, perhaps 12% of the world’s accumulated store of information” (Block, 2003, What’s Not on the Net section, para. 1). Because of various circumstances, such as “the prohibitive cost of digitizing, lack of interest, and copyright issues”, the majority of this information is not and will not ever appear on the Internet (The Second Largest Source: Books section, para. 1). Very few periodicals earlier than 1980 have been digitized for these reasons. Therefore, most of the peri...

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