Plagiarism, like other ethical problems, flourishes in atmospheres with few consequences. The finding by one survey that only 27% of college students thought cutting and pasting someone else's work was "serious cheating" is troubling evidence of student inclination to cut corners ethically. Papers are easily copied from the Internet, and adult role models in the larger world are equivocal. Academic settings themselves may subtly encourage such behaviors if they think of their students as customers and outsource teaching to adjuncts. Plagiarism detection software, though helpful, is not without its own problems. Colleges and universities that carefully outline consequences, particularly if these are part of an honor system collaboratively run by students and faculty, can reduce plagiarism.
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