Plagiarism 2.0

Plagiarism is rampant on the internet, mostly as a result of “content farms” who pay writers a small fee to write tiny little fluff articles on “How to Lose Weight” or “The Antioxidant Properties of Blueberries.”   These content farms do not have academic standards, meaning that no one cares whether there is solid research backing up the claims made by the author; whether the language in the article was borrowed from another author; or whether the ideas stated in the article are grounded in the ideas of another person.   Content farms simply pay a small fee (~$50) for a freelance writer to create a newsy piece that sounds good, but the primary emphasis of the piece is not to transmit sound information, but to write articles that will show up on search engines.

Read “The Answer Factory: Demand Media and the Fast, Disposable, and Profitable as Hell Media Model” by Daniel Roth of Wired Magazine on why much of the so called “information” you find on the internet isn’t driven by academic truth, but by profit.

What this means for you is that you must understand the difference between reliably gathered, ethically presented information and profit-driven, anonymous articles.

In order to avoid plagiarism in the academic world we use a “citation style” specific to the discipline. Citation styles are systematic methods of telling your reader the source of your ideas, statistics, and language when you borrow these things from another writer.   Plagiarism is the act of either intentionally or unintentionally borrowing the ideas, facts, or specific language of another writer without giving credit where credit is due. You are required to use MLA citation styles for this course.


Academic Integrity

Just like in real life, if you get caught cheating, you will fail this course… and possibly worse.   Please review UAF’s policy on Academic Integrity. Scroll down to the Student Code of Conduct bit. It’s serious business. The basic idea is that you have to behave like a decent person.

Your instructor has Zero Tolerance for plagiarism.


An Infographic to Help You Understand



with Megan Bush