College students are working harder than ever before and it's just not academically - cheating is nearly everywhere on campus. More and more students have admitted that they've cheated at least once in their academic career. To combat the growing plagiarism problem, college professors are finding they need to get creative to check for plagiarism.
How Students Cheat
Gone are the days where students could only cheat by passing papers around between friends in student housing. The Internet has made sharing research papers easier than ever - even between students in different parts of the country who've never even met.
Students can now go online to any of a number of web sites dedicated to helping students share homework. These sites are free databases where it's easy for students to find and download research papers on nearly every possible subject.
How Professors Used To Check For Plagiarism
Professors and their teaching assistants used to be limited to their own brains when they would check for plagiarism. They had to have read the paper before and remember it. If the student changed just a few words every few sentences, chances were that it wouldn't be caught.
Since professors and teaching assistants typically read hundreds of papers every semester, it was nearly impossible to check for plagiarism and chances were good that the students would get away with a little plagiarism.
How A Plagiarism Detector Works
While the Internet has made cheating easier, it's also created plagiarism checking software. Professors can hire a company to act as a plagiarism detector, easing their workload. Professors can upload any submitted work to an online server. The paper is then checked against the database of the plagiarism checking software.
A plagiarism detector needs to have a large database in order to be effective. The software should check against works published in magazines, journals and books, academic, legal and medical databases, as well as writings published online in blogs and message boards. After scanning the database, the plagiarism detector then sends a report to the professor.
A good plagiarism detector should be able to tell the difference between an intentional copy and an unintentional one. Some even have a setting to uncover if the student has taken an already used paper and changed a few words using a thesaurus. Some plagiarism checking software is even available for foreign language classes. Common languages like Spanish, German, French and Italian can be found.
Of course, the best software can't check for plagiarism if it isn't affordable for professors. It's important to do a little research on the different services available and find one that's affordable and effective.
Cheating is a growing problem, but it doesn't have to be. Even the best professor can't read everything ever published and that's where a plagiarism detector becomes useful. The software allows colleges to check for plagiarism quickly, easily and inexpensively.