Professors used to deal with plagiarism by admonishing students to give
credit to others and to follow the style guide for citations, and pretty
much left it at that.
But these cases — typical ones, according to writing tutors and
officials responsible for discipline at the three schools who described
the plagiarism — suggest that many students simply do not grasp that
using words they did not write is a serious misdeed.
It is a disconnect that is growing in the Internet age as concepts of
intellectual property, copyright and originality are under assault in
the unbridled exchange of online information, say educators who study
Digital technology makes copying and pasting easy, of course. But that
is the least of it. The Internet may also be redefining how students —
who came of age with music file-sharing, Wikipedia and Web-linking — understand the concept of authorship and the singularity of any text or image.–Trip Gabriel, NY Times (registration)