Teachers Despair at Web Plagiarism

The submission of school projects using text and images lifted wholesale from the internet is becoming an increasing problem for teachers. A survey by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers found that 58 per cent of teachers described web plagiarism as a problem. Some 28 per cent of these teachers estimated that at least half of the work returned by pupils included content simply copied and pasted from the internet. The survey polled 300 teachers at school sixth forms, sixth form colleges and further education colleges across the UK. A teacher from Leeds described one piece of work as "so blatantly cut and pasted that it still contained adverts from the web page".

Plagiarism is a problem for teachers because it can be difficult to spot, and time consuming to identify. Connie Robinson, a teacher at Stockton Riverside College, said: "With less able students it is easy to spot plagiarism as the writing style changes mid-assignment. But with more able students it is sometimes necessary for tutors to carry out internet research to identify the source of the plagiarism. This obviously adds to the tutors' workloads."

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