None-Native University Students’ Perception of Plagiarism

Ummul Khair Ahmad, Kobra Mansourizadeh, Grace Koh Ming Ai


Plagiarism is a complex issue especially among non-native students and it has received a lot of attention from researchers and scholars of academic writing. Some scholars attribute this problem to cultural perceptions and different attitudes toward texts. This study evaluates student perception of different aspects of plagiarism. A small group of postgraduate students in a Malaysian university were asked to categorize ten cases of plagiarism instances. They were also asked to identify plagiarized paraphrased versions of five excerpts of different source texts provided. The findings showed that students had misconceptions about different aspect of plagiarism including citation conventions, collusion, using another writer’s idea, and style of writing. Further analysis has shown that students were aware that plagiarism is wrong but they could not correctly identify the multiple forms in which plagiarism could happen. These findings indicate that students need to be taught and exposed to various forms and layers of plagiarism so that they would know how best to avoid it in their own writing.

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