This semester I’m asking you to do a number of assignments that are full of links, photos, and material gathered from places around the web. Be very careful to evaluate your sources. This is a skill you should have honed in English 111 and 211 or 213. You will be held responsible for the quality of your work, including properly citing your sources.
Plagiarism is rampant on the internet, mostly as a result of “content farms” who pay writers a small fee to write tiny little fluff articles on “How to Lose Weight” or “The Antioxidant Properties of Blueberries.” These content farms do not have academic standards, meaning that no one cares whether there is solid research backing up the claims made by the author; whether the language in the article was borrowed from another author; or whether the ideas stated in the article are grounded in the ideas of another person. Content farms simply pay a small fee (~$50) for a freelance writer to create a newsy piece that sounds good, but the primary emphasis of the piece is not to transmit sound information, but to write articles that will show up on search engines.
Read “The Answer Factory: Demand Media and the Fast, Disposable, and Profitable as Hell Media Model” by Daniel Roth of Wired Magazine on why much of the so called “information” you find on the internet isn’t driven by academic truth, but by profit.
What this means for you is that you must understand the difference between reliably gathered, ethically presented information and profit-driven, anonymous articles. Be sure to cite your references when you need to.
Just like in real life, if you get caught cheating, you will fail this course… and possibly worse. Please review UAF’s policy on Academic Integrity. Scroll down to the Student Code of Conduct bit. It’s serious business. The basic idea is that you have to behave like a decent person.
I have Zero Tolerance for plagiarism.