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Writing it right: Web aids spread of plagiarism, but also the means to spot it

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In his Holt Hall office, Dr. Thomas P. Balázs, literature professor at UTC, views a passage highlighted for possible plagiarism with "Safe Assign," an online program. Photo by Tim Barber/Times Free Press In his Holt Hall office, Dr. Thomas P. Balázs, literature professor at UTC, views a passage highlighted for possible plagiarism with "Safe Assign," an online program. Photo by Tim Barber/Times Free Press

As the Internet has made researching a point-and-click breeze — and plagiarizing even easier — the stakes have never been higher for instructors to maintain classroom integrity.

According to a Pew Research Center survey, 89 percent of college professors say the Internet and new technology in the classroom are making plagiarism easier and more common.

Students are being introduced to classroom technology at ever-earlier ages. And 68 percent of Pew's 2,400 surveyed middle- and high-school teachers say the advances also threaten to make students more likely to "take shortcuts and put no effort into their writing."

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga professor Tom Balázs is among the countless instructors taking a zero-tolerance stand. He continues to find ethics violations in his classes. One plagiarizing student got the boot during the second week of class.

Read more from our news partners at the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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