Culture and plagiarism

Topics: University, Academia, Academic dishonesty Pages: 2 (621 words) Published: April 26, 2015
The concept of ownership has become important in academic writing, as university faculty members encourage students to study in collaboration with other students and take advantage of a vast range of electronic resources. I believe that such an ease of finding relevant academic writing has both its positives and negatives. A student who would require long hours in a library to find credible references for a research paper can now search and access the same on online library systems, but it has become equally as challenging for faculty members to keep a check on plagiarism, and universities invest a lot of resources to such checks i.e. turnitin.com, writecheck.com (C. P. Haviland & J. A. Mullineds. , 2009).

Different cultures perceive plagiarism in different light; the ‘western construct’ of plagiarism believes that plagiarism undermines academic integrity and standards. Plagiarism also negates the value of intellectual property rights. But even in the western world there are communities that see no problem in copying text from other sources. There is a lack of understanding that plagiarism is a concept created by society and not a universal concept, for example the Amish community in the United States, often teach students in schools to copy text from other sources and see no ethical issue with the same (Evering & Moorman, 2012).

According to McKay (2004), most of the international students are non-native speakers of English, usually as a second or third language and therefore do have communicating or rephrasing in English. Additionally, previous educational background with lack of understanding of western concept of plagiarism, are some of the primary cultural and ability-based factors behind the reasons some international students plagiarize (Lim and See, 2011).

According to Maxwell et al. (2008), the perspective of plagiarism in education is changing over the past decades, especially in the case of English as a Second Language (ESL) students. Many...

References: Evering, L.C. & Moorman, G. (2012). Rethinking Plagiarism in the Digital Age. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy. 56 (1). p.pp. 35–44. Available from: [Accessed: 16 March 2014].
C. P. Haviland & J. A. Mullin (eds.) (2009). Who owns this text?: plagiarism, authorship, and disciplinary cultures. Logan, Utah: Utah State University Press.
LIM, V. K. G. and SEE, S. K. B., 2001. Attitudes towards, and intentions to report academic cheating among students in Singapore, Ethics and Behaviour, 11 (3), pp. 261–275. [online]. Available from: http://eds.a.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.liv.ac.uk/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=5&sid=59c36c46-c6c6-4212-8b94-f9ed57610135%40sessionmgr4005&hid=4110 [Accessed: 16 March 2014].
Maxwell, A., Curtis, G.J. & Vardanega, L. (2008). Does culture influence understanding and perceived seriousness of plagiarism? International Journal for Educational Integrity. 4 (2). p.pp. 25–40. Available from: [Accessed: 16 March 2014].
McKAY, P., 2004. Literature on Non-Deliberate Plagiarism: Current Directions. School of Cultural and Language Studies in Education. Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia. [online]. Available from: http://clb.ed.qut.edu.au/events/projects/ndp/literaturereview2.jsp [Accessed 16 March 2014].
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