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According to the internet article, Internet: A Way to Communicate-stated that the definition of communication as "having the ability to send messages or passing information from one person to another."
asked Aug 01 '12 at 01:31 Elder Louise North New member

2 answers


I have three observations to make about plagiarism and internet research.


First, students who plagiarise think we (their teachers) are stupid, that we will never discover their dishonesty. Thirty-plus years ago as a UC Berkeley graduate teaching associate, I was involved in a plagiarism scandal. It was remarkably easy to discover the culprits. We TAs did talk to each other, and we did remember the papers turned in last semester. If anything, the internet has made uncovering plagiarism easier. And we are not stupid. (The students caught cheating failed the course.)


Second, you have no guarantee that the information you find on the internet is correct. The internet has no editors, no fact-checkers, no peer review. Anybody can post anything, and it is likely to be wrong. While researching my book, I've discovered that about two-thirds of the historical information on the internet about my topic is wrong. Why do I know that it is wrong? I've dug up the original sources materials -- and the original deeds, contracts, eyewitness diaries, field notes, and government records (many handwritten) tell a different story. Who should I believe -- the real estate agent that posts a couple paragraphs about the local history or the original records? I trust nothing on the internet unless I can verify and trust the authors. Which is more likely to be accurate: an academic paper about agriculutral mechanization by two UC Davis professors that is posted on a UC Davis College of Agriculture website, or an anonymous Wikipedia article?


Third, despite what I just said above, internet research can be a good starting point. Internet research often leads me to better and more detailed materials. Online access to the Library of Congress catalog, the Online Archive of California, and OskiCat (the UC Berkeley library catalog) is a priceless resource. Many academic journals are now published only online, and access to is extremely useful. Finally, well-thought Google searches can link pieces of information where the connection may not have been obvious.


My book manuscript has several items of original scholarship that had eluded several generations of researchers. In one case, a Google search showed that a long-sought receipt from 1849 was actually catalogued (and boxed) in a different Bancroft Library collection, a collection that earlier researchers had not thought to link with my primary collection. Properly used, the internet can be a boon to research.

link edited Aug 01 '12 at 05:14 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow

During a graduate class, we were assigned a team paper as part of our final grade. One of my duties to the team was the final edit. One member sent her portion in the eleventh hour. Oddly, some of the words became links when the mouse passed over them. The links were to Wikipedia. It only took five minutes to discover the sources she lifted most of "her" writing from. I quickly contactes another member who had done some research that overlapped her portion and we rewrote it to the paper could be submitted in time. We notified her, the instructor, and the rest of the team what happened. She had put the whole team at risk of failing the class. She became furious with me, claimed she "forgot" to cite her sources, and made very public threats toward me. The funny part: the class was Business Law and the instructor had started the class with stronger than normal statements about the consequences for plagiarism.

Patty TAug 01 '12 at 12:39

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According to the internet article, "Internet: A Way to Communicate", the definition of communication is "having the ability to send messages or pass information from one person to another."

link comment answered Aug 01 '12 at 01:57 joanne New member

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