I remember typing on a machine with great big keys, needing a strong stroke to push down each letter, bringing up the hammer that struck the ribbon that imprinted a letter onto a page.
To make a copy, you turned to carbon paper, and layered a purple piece in between two regular pieces of white paper. You had to be ever so careful, lining up the edges. (And avoiding purple fingers in the process.)
And if you made an error? No “delete” button in those days. You had to pull out a trusty bottle of White Out, carefully paint away your error, blow on it until it was dry, and then type the originally intended letter in the exact spot. This was tricky, because if you did it before the White Out was completely dry, or if you painted the White Out on too thick, your correction would be a pale letter embedded in a gooey mass of white glop.
Students today have all this computer technology, taking term-paper writing in a whole new direction. Word processing, spell-checks, grammar-checks, and an internet full of resources.
However, it is the “internet full of resources” that can cause trouble. It is so easy for students to find material that can easily be ‘added’ to their own. Plagiarism is awfully easy at the end of 2012.
Or is it?
For my older readers, I thought you would find this interesting….
Today, in most colleges and universities, students don’t hand in paper copies of their papers, ever. Instead they submit them electronically. Zap. From their machine directly to the professor.
Actually, these papers take a bit of a detour. They leave the computer of the student, and on their way to the professor, they pass through a filter of some sort that ‘reads’ the paper and matches any content to anything on the internet.
When the professors receive the papers, they learn at once (even before reading it) whether the students have written it themselves or if they ‘borrowed’ much of it off of the internet.
How about that.
Technology, which originally made plagiarism easier, is now thwarting it in it’s tracks.