Having just read the blog post, Readers Confess Online Sins, I was reminded about mind notes I had made some time back, to comment on a well-established industry within the internet: academic writing.
At the very start of undergrad school, students are given special instructions on what counts as plagiarism and what doesn't. They are required to quote in parentheses or blockquotes, place footnotes and compile bibliographies. If that isn't a drift enough from high-school assignments, there are different kinds of citation styles to adapt to. Some disciplines and/or teachers demand the APA style, others the MLA, and yet others, the Chicago style of referencing.
In the past, more excruciating for the freshman was not writing the 5000 odd words, not protecting the intellectual rights of others, but doing it in the acceptable manner. Then, came online tools like the citation machine. If students were fond researchers, these facilities made life very easy.
Come the present, for many students, it is not just the citations that are a piece of cake, but the researching too. All that needs to be done is to google phrases like "buy papers", click one of the thousand results, and order your paper online. As simple as that! Google prides itself on coming up with the right kinds of ads for ad-sense but don't be surprised if the keywords for this post are spidered effectively to generate Academic Writing offers on this page (I don't endorse those!). Say goodbye to plagiarism. Our kind service providers will make sure that they write ethically correct papers for you. Yes, they are very ethical and particular about that.
And coming back to that post I was reading, of the 220 readers who took the poll:
54 percent said they've downloaded pirated content;
36 percent admitted to misrepresenting themselves online;
22 percent said they plagiarized Web content;
16 percent said they hacked into a corporate network;
6 percent said they've stolen someone's identity.
Have I ever downloaded pirated content? Yes, guilty as charged. The rest, thankfully not! What about you? And have you or your kids ever ordered academic papers?
Copyright (c) 2008 Saadia Malik