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What are Online Term Paper Mills?
Online term paper “mills” which sell finished research essays to students are surprisingly rampant. According to, the leading site in automatic plagiarism detection, 29% of students' essays contain "significant plagiarism" and 1% are fully plagiarized. The Kimbel Library at Coastal Carolina University lists over 250 online sites which sell or give away copies of research papers on all subjects. Owners of these websites report daily emails from students profusely thanking them for their "help." Of course cheating and plagiarism have always been problems in academic environments, but with the internet, it is so incredibly easy to simply grab a paper online when the due dates mount up.

Defining Plagiarism
Plagiarism is defined as copying someone else's words or ideas without giving them due credit. With the use of online term papers on the rise, it is imperative that teachers educate themselves and their students on what constitutes plagiarism and how to avoid it. For a good start, go here.

Why Students Plagiarize.
Most of us would agree that plagiarizing violates some basic rules of ethics, and furthermore, nobody would dispute the claim that handing in a paper downloaded from the internet (or copying significant portions of it) constitutes plagiarism. So how do students justify these actions to themselves? Well, many claim that the academic environment places an unreasonable emphasis on both "formal" assessment through writing that is somewhat artificial and not relevant outside academia. They also claim that our society as a whole relies too heavily on GPA and grades in determining one's potential, and many students, faced with a deadline that they feel they cannot meet, see no other way to get the grade without doing some cheating "here and there." For an essay defending these sites, go here.

Ethical Issues…...

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