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Writing an Argument

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Writing an Argument

The amazing success of the Internet is that students are using it for educational purposes. Educators know that when it comes to information, students may not be able to distinguish between reliable or unreliable sources. Students will come across inaccurate information and may believe everything they read is truthful. They need to understand the penalties of plagiarism, citation and respecting the copyrights of others.

The Internet is a great place for students to get information but it also has false information. "With more than fifty percent of the United State population having Internet access, the World Wide Web has become an important channel for providing information and services." (How Do People Evaluate a Web Site's Credibility?). If students are not able to evaluate the credibility of the sites they visit students will end up accepting bad information and unreliable sources. I don't mean to indict that all the information that is on Wikipedia is not factual. Wikipedia website is set up so that when items are posted by volunteers onto the website there needs to be a source of the information. When information is posted the site alerts everyone that the site is a credible site. A respectable Internet source comes from a reliable place. A source is more trustworthy if the author is someone who has credentials or with a degree. If the writer does not have a name, the student's paper is not considered as a valuable research paper. "When students are constantly surrounded by information, and it is not always easy to know which sources to trust." (How to Evaluate the Credibility of a Source).

In order to evaluate information sources need to be evaluated consistently. A reliable source contains a bibliography for every article.

I am not arguing that students should stay away from Internet sources but they need to trust the author. What I am questioning is the validity of Wikipedia's content since no author is responsible for the information. "While a scientific study showed that Wikipedia is as accurate as professionally generated encyclopedias, it is generally considered not credible enough for articles where accuracy is extremely important." (How to Evaluate the Credibility of a Source). Students should be able to tell a reliable Web source from an unreliable website. Even though information of Wikipedia is well written, there are arguments about the original author. When students are evaluating a website for research, they should gauge how reliable the source is for respect of the writer.

It may be unfair to separate opinions, facts or propaganda but information should be valid and properly research. When students are incorporating someone else's work into an academic paper it is important that they give credit where credit is due. If students are using sources of someone else's words or ideas without acknowledging the author it is considered plagiarism. This is



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