Plagiarism and the Internet

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Plagiarism and the Internet The Internet’s popularity has continued to grow since it first emerged, shocking the world with its never before seen technological capacities. It allowed for the communication of ideas and provided people with a wealth of information only a click away. More widely used now then ever before, the Internet supplies users with easy access to various kinds of information. With the unlimited availability of information on the web today, plagiarism has become a growing problem. The abundance of information available makes it easier and increases the temptation to steal other’s ideas. Plagiarism, which is taking credit for someone else’s ideas, is sometimes committed intentionally and other times accidentally. Often, copyrights are violated. In order to prevent this crime form being committed it is necessary that society is educated about copyright law and understands how to properly cite source material. If people understand what plagiarism is and the consequences they will face if detected, perhaps it is less likely that they will plagiarize. Today, 49% of people use the Internet as a reference source (“How” 1). It contains a plethora of information, and documents found on the web can be of great use when doing research. However, if ideas, concepts, or words are taken from another author’s work, they must be properly cited. If they are not properly cited this is plagiarism, which is considered to be unethical act by society; it also violates copyright law, and thus is punishable by law. Often people do not realize that even if they are only paraphrasing or summarizing someone else’s work, idea, or concept and not directly quoting it they are still plagiarizing. Borrowing another person’s idea is permissible if credit is given to whom it is due. However, stealing someone else’s work or idea and acting as if it were your own is not. Thus, it is pertinent that proper citation is always used. If one fails to use proper citation, one is guilty of plagiarism, and may face legal charges for copyright violations. Plagiarism is not always committed intentionally, but the people who purposely attempt to deceive others by stealing someone else’s ideas should take into account the seriousness of their actions and the consequences they may face if caught. For those people who are guilty of plagiarism, but did so unintentionally and were simply unaware of what they were doing should also take into consideration their actions to try to prevent this act from occurring again in the future.

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