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Is social media making plagiarism more common?

Plagiarism is a concern in every school across Florida. Unfortunately, the issue doesn't seem to be improving. In fact, students today can be far more likely to engage in plagiarism than older generations thanks, in large part, to social media.

As discussed inĀ this article on the EdSurge website, students today are very familiar with social media sites and an internet environment where people can share, retweet and copy anything and pass it off as their own. As a result, the author notes, plagiarism is increasing.

Schools faced with challenges

Schools face more difficult challenges than ever, with regard to addressing plagiarism. Tools to prevent plagiarism can include having better discussions with students about what is and is not acceptable as well as redesigning assignments that make it more difficult (or less tempting) to use other people's content.

But there is more to addressing plagiarism than preventing it. Schools also need to think carefully about how to set and enforce penalties.

Establishing fair plagiarism policies

Plagiarism is a serious offense that can derail a student's education. As such, it is vital that schools take seriously their responsibility to have appropriate plagiarism policies in place.

Every situation is different and each one demands fair treatment. This means properly investigating plagiarism allegations to assess whether the claim is legitimate and what factors beyond a student's actions may have played a role.

Schools might immediately suspend or expel a student accused of plagiarism, but students and parents should understand that they have the right to defend themselves to protect a student's academic record. Seeking an appeal or negotiating an adjusted punishment with the help of an attorney can help resolve the situation fairly and without causing unnecessarily harsh damage to a student's future.

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