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Net Plagiarism threatens whole generation of UK students

A survey carried (opens in new tab) out amongst the Association of Teachers and Lecturers showed that nearly sixty percent of those interviewed considered plagiarism from the internet as a problem.

The Internet has allowed an immense amount of information to be readily available to students, some of whom are so lazy that they copied and pasted text in assignments and essays regardless whether the text copied actually answered the question.

Teachers found that some assignments even contained web adverts which are often integrated in the text body.

Mary Bousted, general secretary of the ATL, said: "Teachers are struggling under a mountain of cut-and-pasting to spot whether work was the student's own or plagiarism."

Plagiarism affects both secondary and university institutions with an increasing number of techniques - such as Turnitin (opens in new tab) - being used to identify whether work has been copied or not.

As the ATL writes, plagiarism will affect the students’ long term skills when it comes to creating content and disserting around subjects and themes as well as understanding the subject being studied.

One teacher said that getting students to understand what plagiarism is would help alleviate the problem although it might do little to stem the growing number of online paid-for essay (opens in new tab) services which can deliver genuine quality essays for a fee.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.