To College Division Homepage Writing Online: A Student's Guide to the Internet and World Wide Web
 CROSSLINKS: Chapter 13—Exploring Online

Chapter 13 of Writing Online covers a range of topics about exploring online, including source quality, authority, plagiarism, and search engines. The Crosslinks for this chapter lead to more advice on plagiarism, sites that detect plagiarized papers, search engines, starting points for discipline-specific searching, online evaluation guides, and scholarly sites and online journals.


| Plagiarism Advice and Detection | Search Engines and Discipline-based Searches | Evaluation Guides | Scholarly Sites/Journals | Crosslinks by Chapter |
Plagiarism Advice and Detection
  • Reflections on The Internet Paper Mills by William K. McHenry describes the extent and ways online papermills work. One key point McHenry notes is that most of the papers are mediocre. (In fact, they're so bad, they're very good for teaching students how to critique writing.) Essay includes links to some of the papermills.
  • Cut-and-Plaste Plagiarsim offers advice to teachers from Lisa Hinchliffe on how to search the WWW when you suspect plagiarism. For students, it's worth knowing that it's fairly easy for teachers to find the same sources you may have used.
  • Plagiarism in Colleges in USA discusses plagiarism as a legal issue. The author, Ronald B. Standler, a lawyer from Massachusetts, contends that plagiarism needs to be distinguished from fraud—simply stealing another person's words or passing off their work as your own. By citing case law, he also points out that colleges legally can revoke degrees and issue other punishments if plagiarism is discovered.
  • Plagiarism and the Web by Bruce Leland offers practical advice to teachers on designing unique assignments for which there are likely to be few stock papers and working with writers at all stages of the research project. Students can follow the same advice—on uniqueness and working early with teachers—when they choose their own topics. 
  • Avoiding Plagiarism by Sharon Williams offers practical advice for avoiding accidental plagiarism during notetaking and drafting. 

| Plagiarism Advice and Detection | Search Engines and Discipline-based Searches | Evaluation Guides | Scholarly Sites/Journals | Crosslinks by Chapter |
Search Engines and Discipline-based Searches 
  • The Search Engine Watch, edited by Danny Sullivan, puts all your search engine needs in one place: tips on better searching, links to hundreds of search engines, explanations of how search engines work, and more.
  • InfoMine, a site compiled by 20 college-level librarians in California, offers browsing and searching by subject, title, author, and keywords within subject areas for most academic disciplines. Well-organized pages include links to databases, scholarly journals, and other useful resources. One of the best places to start.

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| Plagiarism Advice and Detection | Search Engines and Discipline-based Searches | Evaluation Guides | Scholarly Sites/Journals | Crosslinks by Chapter |
Evaluation Guides 
  • Bibliography on Evaluating Internet Resources by Nicole Auer contains links to web sites that offer evaluation guides, articles that suggest principles for evaluating sources, a bibliography of print resources, and a list of email discussion groups that focus on assessing Internet information.
  • Evaluating Internet Research Resources by Robert Harris offers some of the wisest advice on judging sources. Harris's easy-to-read essay reminds you to consider the information rhetorically, in light of the purpose and context of your research and the purpose and context of the source itself. He offers good suggestions for learning more about a source's context and how others use it and view it. For any teacher, this piece makes a great handout.
  • Biases Affecting Information Processing by Robert Harris explains some of the biases we bring with us when we encounter information and ideas. Read this and keep a mental checklist to make sure you don't dismiss some ideas too soon or accept others too readily.
  • The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly or Why It's a Good Idea to Evaluate Web Sources by Susan E. Beck offers four units: Suggestions for successful Internet assignments, a bibliography, criteria for evaluating sources, and links to example web sites. You can view the criteria and then use the sample sites to apply them.

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| Plagiarism Advice and Detection | Search Engines and Discipline-based Searches | Evaluation Guides | Scholarly Sites/Journals | Crosslinks by Chapter |
Scholarly Sites/Journals 
  • The Directory of Scholarly and Professional E-Conferences. Diane Kovacs and her directory team created a site that in their words "evaluates and organizes discussion lists, newsgroups, MUDs, MOOs, MUCKs, MUSHs, mailing lists, interactive web chat groups etc. (e-conferences) on topics of interest to scholars and professionals for use in their scholarly, pedagological, and professional activities." Many of these resources will feature useful homepages that will lead you to good links to scholarly and professional organizations.
  • The Scholarly Societies Project is a directory (with search abilities) of over 1,600 scholarly societies.
  • Ejournal SiteGuide: A MetaSource is produced and maintained by Joseph Jones. It offers "a selected and annotated set of links to sites for ejournals, which in turn provide links to individual titles and/or to other collections of links." In essence, the site collects and describes many other sites that offer direct links to journals.

| Plagiarism Advice and Detection | Search Engines and Discipline-based Searches | Evaluation Guides | Scholarly Sites/Journals | Crosslinks by Chapter |

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