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Title: Explanatory variables for derivative L2 English academic writing : perceptions and conceptualisations of plagiarism interpreted in relation to case studies of presumed plagiarism in the English academic writing of ESL students in British institutions of higher education
Author: Lesko, J. P.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1998
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Plagiarism and derivative writing are L2 writing problems which are misunderstood to an extent that ESL students are frequently perceived to be persistent plagiarists. A proper perspective on plagiarism and derivative L2 writing (DL2W) is needed to provide a valid foundation for L2 writing practice and pedagogy, and to replace mere anecdote with solid theory and empirical research. This thesis is an attempt to put DL2W into perspective within postmodernity, within what has been called the "modern age of plunder." DL2W is distinguishable from the many other forms of appropriation occurring in the post-modern world. A brief history of referencing and citation, as well as a summary of current widespread appropriation activities (in music videos, in journalism and the news media, in literature, and in academia), serve as a preface to the presentation of the DL2W theory which was developed after investigating the explanatory variables involved in appropriation of text by non-native writers. The explanatory variables were investigated by conducting a student questionnaire among 135 ESL students enrolled in pre-sessional EAP courses (followed by informal interviews and discussion sessions), by conducting questionnaires among 53 MSc course co-ordinators and 27 EAP specialists from language centres across the UK, and by analysing particular cases of plagiarism and DL2W and the texts involved in those cases. These questionnaires and case study results are presented in separate appendices. They are the basis for the proposed DL2W theory within the thesis itself. L2 proficiency was found to be the key explanatory variable in DL2W, while the related sub-variables of time-constraints and lack of confidence were also important. Instructional background and lack of knowledge of L2 writing conventions were also important variables, but these variables might also be involved in DL1W cases. The perception of ESL students as persistent plagiarists was determined to be an invalid one based on the more obvious recontextualisation difficulties faced by ESL students.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available