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Cut ‘n’ paste plagiarism

In-class oral exams and essay writing are replacing term papers as a way of assessing student knowledge, the Los Angeles Times reports. Why? I’m sure you guessed: the Internet makes it so easy for students to plagiarize or purchase ready-made papers. Term papers still exist, of course, but “teachers who still assign long papers — 10 pages or more with footnotes and bibliographies — often require students to attach companion essays that describe every step of their research and writing.” Even so, teachers still do their own Web research for “borrowed” phrases and use plagiarism-detection software to dig them up. Such software indicates that “about 30% of papers are plagiarized, either totally or in part,” according to the L.A. Times, which adds that one such program, Turn It In, “evaluates 60,000 submissions a day.”

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