According to the New York Times today, plagiarism is on the rise on college campuses. Specifically, students seem to think it's okay to "cut and paste" information off websites without attribution. Let's let the article speak for itself:

"Thirty-eight percent of the undergraduate students surveyed said that in the last year they had engaged in one or more instances of 'cut-and-paste' plagiarism involving the Internet, paraphrasing or copying anywhere from a few sentences to a full paragraph from the Web without citing the source. Almost half the students said they considered such behavior trivial or not cheating at all."

Could this be a case of students copying the behavior of their elders? Gothamist thinks that it's just because we live in such an information saturated age that virtually nothing is original and everything needs a footnote and footnotes are annoying to do. Frankly, we can't even remember how to do formal attributions. Using a program like Word or Word Perfect makes adding footnotes easier, but how does one even handle citing a webpage (has anyone reread the Chicago Manual of Style lately)? Clearly the natural way, and the one endorsed by the site, is to use html to provide useful backup information without distracting from the main flow of text. But to do that for college papers would require tablet PCs to hand in. When, oh when will we finally get to use Star Trek PADDs?