Plagiarism Norms and Practices in Coursework Assignments

By Ting, Su-Hie; Musa, Muriatul Khusmah et al. | International Journal of Education, January 1, 2014 | Go to article overview

Plagiarism Norms and Practices in Coursework Assignments


Ting, Su-Hie, Musa, Muriatul Khusmah, Mah, Florence Sau-Fong, International Journal of Education


Abstract

The study compared the plagiarism norms and practices among pre-university, diploma and degree students. The specific aspects examined were perceived necessity to include citations in assignments, preferred penalties for plagiarism, and academic writing practices. The questionnaire responses of 263 students from three levels of university education were analysed. The results showed that the perceived necessity for attribution in assignments is the highest for the degree students but the norm to require citations and to penalise omission of citations is not extensive at all three levels. A majority of the students felt that plagiarism should be penalised but preferred warning from their lecturer, assignment resubmission and counselling. Mosaic plagiarism is the most common whereby students combine texts from the same source or different sources without proper citation and referencing. The most common unethical help-seeking behaviour is copying another student's work. The findings suggest that while lack of knowledge on citation and referencing may lead to improper or non-attribution of sources, plagiarism cannot be dealt with by instruction on citation and referencing alone as respect for intellectual property can only be inculcated by treating plagiarism as a serious academic misdemeanour.

Keywords: plagiarism; academic writing; attribution; citation; referencing

1. Introduction

University education encompasses learning ethical practices in academic writing and recognition of intellectual property through attribution. Plagiarism is "the theftof words or ideas, beyond what would normally be regarded as general knowledge" (Park, 2003, p. 472; Rezanejad & Rezaei, 2013). An example of a definition of plagiarism presented to students is "submitting or presenting work in a course as if it were the student's own work done expressly for that particular course when, in fact, it is not" (University of Calgary, n.d.; see also Pecorari, 2010). This includes passing offideas and words which are not the student's own work without acknowledging the source through citation and referencing. However, when students are taught citation and referencing conventions in academic writing courses, the emphasis is often on rules for the use of punctuation marks and elliptical information to show author's names, title of research article, journal or book, volume, issue and page numbers as well as publisher information (Mah & Ting, 2013). The mechanics get more attention than respect for intellectual property of others and plagiarism as a theftof words and ideas. Students should be taught "what academic integrity involves, why professors value it, and how exactly to carry it out" (Blum, 2009, A35). The number of articles that are published on plagiarism in academic writing shows that academics and researchers are concerned about unethical practices in academic writing.

Studies have shown that prevailing norms on attribution in academic writing influence use of writing strategies that constitute plagiarism. Top-down university policies on plagiarism influence prevalence of plagiarism. For example, Sheard, Dick, Markham, Macdonald, and Walsh (2002) conducted a survey on 287 first year information technology students in two Australian universities, Monash and Swinburne, and found that the Swinburne students were more aware of plagiarism regulations at their university because of the recent crackdown on plagiarism. When students and academics who plagiarise are not penalised, this creates the environment for more unethical practices in academic writing. When the university ignores claims of plagiarism by academics and even promotes the lecturer in question without a proper investigation, it sends the message that plagiarism is acceptable (e.g., Malaysia Kini, 2013). When cheaters go unpunished, this sets up a situation which rewards cheaters and disadvantages those who maintain academic integrity (Callahan, 2006; Jones, 2014; O'Neill & Pfeiffer, 2012). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Plagiarism Norms and Practices in Coursework Assignments
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.