Research Paper Blog: What Plagiarism Looks like in Today’s Digital World

I chose to research plagiarism in the new digital world with a specific focus of plagiarism in the art room. I wanted to do this topic because I feel plagiarism is becoming a huge issue in our new digital world and our professors and teachers are not doing anything about it. Our teachers wonder why we cannot cite properly and as students, we always get frustrated when we try really hard to cite properly, but always become disappointed when our teachers return our papers. I think that the reason for this is there are two editions of APA formatting that teachers are requiring us to use, not specifying which one, and when we try to accomodate those styles, in my own experiences, it is the teachers that have their OWN styles on how APA should be done. For an example, last semester, I wrote two research papers, using the same style APA formatting. Both teachers had gone over the style prior to the paper being due, and I made sure to fit in their guidelines. When I got both papers back, I was very frustrated and upset to find that both of the teachers did not stick to what they had instructed us to do, and they both had opposite views on where the running head goes for example. 

I think it is instances like this that have students frustrated and not caring about citing, because sometimes, its worthless if you are going to get points off on a paper for it. In the art room, I wanted to focus on images that people are pulling from Google. most times people do not cite where they got their images from, and if in an art room students are using them as part of their projects, then this is for sure plagiarism, and teachers are allowing it. Students should be taking their own pictures or drawing out sketches, not using someone elses image from the Internet. Same thing goes for Microsoft Clip Art. Those are premade images and should either be cited as so, or teachers/students should make their own images to use, especially if related to the art field. 

There are various ways to avoid plagiarism but I think it should start number one with the teacher in the classroom going over very specific guidelines about exactly how and what to cite and sticking to it. Second students should be able to give a voice in their research papers. Yes, being able to research is important, but writing a paper based on other people’s findings and opinions is boring and irrelevant to students. We should all be able to write about something we feel is important and then research information and statistics, or whatever it may be to back our arguement up. In my findings, other authors backed me up with this idea, because it just makes sense that if students are interested in what they are writing about and have an opportunity to voice their opinion, they are more likely to do the research and give credit to the other sources, so as to show, yes this is who backs me up.

Ok I have said my peace…until next time….


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Stephen Ransom
    Mar 30, 2010 @ 19:28:30

    With the many new ways for students to create and demonstrate understanding, creativity, problem-solving, … the dry, meaningless research paper should become a thing of the past. There is no question that one can learn a great deal by personal research, reading synthesis, evaluation,… and then presenting that meaning-making quest in print form or in other forms. However, as you write, if the very essence of the task is neither interesting nor meaningful with the addition of very high stakes (grades), at best one gets hoop-jumping… just going through the motions to “get a grade” – one of the most detrimental notions in education. If plagiarism can ease the stress of such meaningless or high-stakes tasks, it is no wonder why some choose that path.


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