Are college and university graduates learning how to write or are they plagiarizing prior works to get through their courses? There is some thought by instructors that students don’t understand what plagiarism is (Taken from a dictionary program WordPro™. A piece of writing that has been copied from someone else and is presented as being your own work.) Never Plagiarize.

As a sexagenarian, the term computer meant a large room filled with wires, tubes, and air conditioning to keep the room habitable for people. The idea of something sitting on a desk or portable was only a thought of the future; a period, when students of higher math, and engineers used slide rules, to make needed calculations.

The first handheld calculator didn’t arrive on the scene until 1967; Texas Instruments was first because an engineer was able to invent the printed circuit board, which ushered in small devices.

Before 1967, a calculator would need desk space. In 2012, a personal computer can do more than the earliest computer.

In 2012, there is software to help write, correct grammar, even software that converts speech into written words. Is this the way to do it? Who says the software is correct for other than academic writing? There is also ethics.

An article states that as high as 60 percent of college freshmen are not ready for college-level writing, Students are ill-prepared for college-level writing.

These students are the future of businesses, and government. They are possibly future authors.

Readers would not want to read something written by a semi-literate person who is incapable of writing a simple sentence without gross errors.

It’s obvious that the educational system is not working, as it should. One study online by OCED in Figures 2009 the United States ranks 33rd when tested against other countries.

If people aren’t able to read at the proper level, their ability to write clearly and correctly will suffer. As an avid reader, writer, and book reviewer, Readers don’t wish subjection to books, articles, and other copy with errors in grammar. People should spend their time and check resources to ensure that what they write is clear, concise, and as error free as possible.

Plagiarism is for lazy, unethical writers. There are sites online where both writers and students can find academic papers. The question is what is ethical for each individual.

If the writer is unsure of something, there are resources both on and offline available. For working offline, a good dictionary and thesaurus should be within reach. For one online source, try the Guide to Grammar & Writing , also try Copyscape® to test web content against the Internet for any duplication. Web content should be free of anything on another web site. If something does come up using Copyscape®, correct the copy you’re working on.

Parents need to work with their children on reading and writing skills to insure their ability for future tasks and higher education. Not reading at the proper level to understanding requirements for erection of equipment and safety requirements at work could be dangerous.

Part of life is communication; communication comes in two flavors, written and oral. If a person is incapable of communicating well, the chance for upward mobility or of finding readers is diminished.

It’s time for children and parents to read to each other to improve literacy.

We need to speak to Boards of Education and ask them to make reading and writing a priority.

Robert Medak

Freelance Writer/Blogger/Editor/Proofreader/Reviewer/Marketer

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