Are there blurring lines between plagiarism and digital information? The article Plagiarism Lines Blur for Students in Digital Age indicates this is so. The concern involves the distance of information found on the web opposed to information in an actual book or article. One of the reasons is that you can easily attest to the fact that you do not own the book, therefore, anything in it belongs to the author and publisher and must be cited if used. Technology allows instant access to information which sometimes does not include an origin or author. Does this make it yours to use as you desire? Whether in a school paper, an email, or even shared on social media? This article brings light to a growing problem among current students and suggests that learning the importance of author ownership and source identification in earlier education may help in the future.
The next article How to not get caught plagiarizing sounds like a guide to cheating, but it is actually a great article on how to organize your “copy/paste” notes with [brackets] or other identifying marks so as not to include them in your final paper and also to help recognize the information to cite.
I believe that plagiarism amounts not only to laziness but lack of creativity. It is easier to repeat existing work than it is to discover something brand new and unique. Sometimes is may be difficult to understand a topic you are working on, therefore, making it tempting to say – “yeah, what he said,” but it is more beneficial (and ethical) to do a little more research on the subject and form your own opinions. This is also why I think it is so important to cite sources, because they have done their research and used their creativity to make something their own.
Very little was taught about plagiarism in high school and the rules in college are “Don’t do it.” I have never intentionally plagiarized and as far as I know have not accidentally done so either.