In an attempt to answer that question, Turnitin, a company dedicated to uncovering plagiarism, looked at more than 40 million student papers. The firm concluded that the most popular website for plagiarism is the trusted source that millions of us Americans turn to to learn stuff: Wikipedia.
Interestingly enough, Turnitin said that the websites that are designed to assist cheaters by, for instance, selling papers represent only 15% of the potentially plagiarized content that the company detected.
In contrast, one third of the suspicious content that Turnitin uncovered was traced to social networks such as Facebook and question-and-answer sites where users contribute and share content.
Do Students Know They Are Cheating?There remains some question about whether cheaters actually know they are being dishonest. Students, who have grown up with the Internet and social media, are so used to sharing what they find on the Web that many won't necessarily understand that term papers and other writing assignments are supposed to be original work.
8 Top Sites for PlagiarismHere are the most popular websites for would-be cheaters:
- Yahoo! AnswersSocial & content sharing site
- Answers.com Social & content sharing site
- Slideshare Social and content sharing site
- OPPapers.comCheat site & paper mill
- ScribdSocial & content sharing site
- Course Hero Homework & academic site
- MedLibrary.org Homework & academic site
Plagiarismimage by Max Wolfe. CC 2.0.
Break the writing process up into manageable chunks; this helps you to excel at each stage and plan your time so that you hit your deadline. Follow these 7 stages to achieve optimal results from your writing:
Analyse the title: Work out properly in advance what the question is asking for. Note keywords and function words (for example ‘compare’, ‘analyse’ or ‘discuss’).
Make a timetable: Remember the 80:20 rule – 80 per cent on preparation (Stages 1–4) and 20 per cent on writing up and finishing (Stages 5–7). Make your essay timetable fit in realistically with your other commitments and put a copy up at your desk.
Gathering data: Keep in mind what do you need to know and where are you going to get this information from. Highlight key info in your notes and use online resources carefully and wisely.
Planning: Get your data down in the most helpful way you can and plan out the structure of your essay in detail before you start it.
Write the first draft: Remember to write for your reader, and guide them through your argument. Assume and maintain an academic voice and style.
Revise your draft: Print your draft out and read it through. Mark up any changes you need to make on the paper, then, back on computer make these changes to a copy of your original version and rename it.
Check and polish: Tidy up the finished version, paying attention to the main areas: content and presentation. Proofread your work carefully before submitting.