Internet cheats

These days lots of students use the Internet for help with their homework and assignments, and there is no doubt that the Web has become a valuable academic tool. But now that cutting and pasting is so easy, there can often be a fine dividing line between using the Net for research and plagiarising material directly from it. There are even some unscrupulous sites (often called paper mills') that offer students ready-made downloadable essays on a number of popular topics - usually for a payment. But most teachers are now aware of Internet plagiarism, and there is even a variety of software that schools can use to detect it. But teachers can often spot plagiarists simply by following their own suspicions. For example:
  • a high-school student oturns in an essay using language and ideas more suitable for a university student. 
  • a weak student suddenly turns in an outstanding essay. the same work occurs in a number of different students' assignments. 
  • the essay doesn't quite fit the question or title that the teacher has set the class. 
  • American students produce essays written in British English or vice versa. 
The price of plagiarism can be high, especially in the USA, where it is not uncommon for students to be expelled, particularly at the college level.

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