White Paper - Plagiarism and the Web: Myths and Realities

An Analytical Study on Where Students Find Unoriginal Content on the Internet

The move to a digital culture is raising a new set of challenges for educators.

This study examines the Internet sources that students commonly use and provides educators with ideas to help students develop better citation and writing skills.

Key findings include:

  • Plagiarism is going social
  • Legitimate educational sites are more popular than cheat sites
  • 15 percent of content matches come directly from sites that promote and benefit from academic dishonesty
  • Wikipedia is the most popular site for matched content
  • Educators with the knowledge and tools can address the growing problem


"Turnitin does such a good job of not only telling you what's copied, but where it's copied from. It takes me right to the source. We have it on record, so there's very little resistance from the students or the parents." - Gil Rotblum, History Teacher, Brea Olinda High School, Brea, CA

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