Don't Be A Hacker — Plagiarism

Don't Be A Hacker — Plagiarism

Lurking Temptation in Modern Research


            Young people today are placed under more direct temptation to plagiarize than any other generation.  Availability and ease make the matter seem almost a virtue.  Highlighting, copying and pasting entire paragraphs can quickly turn into printing out whole reports, ready-made.  Students used to have to visit a library, find and open books, locate appropriate subject matter and copy it down.  Now, excellent writing and correct answers are only a click away.  The wonderful new tool of internet research contains a snare.  Parents should be very watchful.

            The blessings of technology and the availability of information on the internet are laced with serious temptation.  This enticement is there for the taking and almost forced on our children as they do research for book reports, essays and other reports and papers.  A sinful lure almost as destructive as internet porn calls to students every day.

            It is hard to believe that our covenant children would do this.  If someone would accuse them of plagiarism, most parents would be irate.  There is always extreme difficulty in seeing accurately when it comes to our own dear children.  We want to think of them as having pure and honest motives.

            Tardiness, fear, worry and other distresses can increase the temptation even more.  The point here is that sharp parents should not be naïve.  They should be aware and candid about human nature.  Their own children will most likely fall to the excessive pull of the moment.  Today's students must work in an environment that is heavily laced with competition.  Young people often must study among the experts who know about every possible source for answers.  Underground web information is hot.  

            Fallen man always works most diligently for his own destruction.  He can be depended on to find every possibility for sin.  With internet research, though, we don't need to search very far.  It's all right there, waiting for someone to copy and paste.


What Covenant Home Must Do:  

            Our grade auditors are skillful in watching for signs of plagiarism.  In many cases it is fairly obvious.  They will contact parents with their concerns, when it is appropriate, seeking to work out the problem, recognizing the complete authority and responsibility of parents.  A common penalty, when plagiarism can be proven, is a grade of zero and subject reassignment, and submission to board scrutiny.   When the problem continues, a recommendation for course failure may be issued.


What Parents Can Do:

            Read your child's papers with care.  Note the tone of their copy.  Mark expression and vocabulary.  Does it sound like your son or daughter?  Ask about the facts presented.  Has something been learned and remembered?  Is new knowledge evident?  Challenge sentences or paragraphs that may sound too-good-to-be-true. 

            Clip internet temptation in the bud.  Accompany your child with on-line research as much as possible.  It is extremely important that this fantastic new tool be learned and used honestly.

DKDykema chc 8/05        

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