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Title: Plagiarism and international students : an investigation in the British higher education context
Author: Yakovchuk, Nadezhda
ISNI:       0000 0001 3574 1165
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2007
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The continuing salience and exacerbation of the plagiarism problem within UK higher education provokes concern that current strategies for dealing with student plagiarism have not been adequate. This thesis aims to contribute to the debate and research in the area of plagiarism in the academic writing ofNNS (non-native speaker) students in three main ways. . Firstly, it presents a comprehensive theoretical discussion of the concept and contexts of plagiarism and its historical evolution in the West. This is critical to safeguarding against rigid beliefs and simplistic conceptualisation of plagiarism which are increasingly seen as some of the major culprits in the failure to solve the plagiarism problem to date. Secondly, this thesis offers a critique of on-line student-oriented plagiarism prevention guidelines provided by British higher education institutioris. This is particularly beneficial in alerting the academic community to its plagiarism-related assumptions which, as shown in this work, can be problematic. . Thirdly, this doctoral work seeks to develop our understanding on NNS students~ plagiarism by addressing two Research Questions. The first one concerned an investigation into NNS students' reasons for plagiarism. This was accomplished through conducting an open-ended questionnaire survey among 140 participants. The three major findings of this survey were, firstly, the prominent status of the 'Content problems' category in relation to other groups of reasons, secondly, almost non-existent references to the deliberate nature of plagiarism (which suggests that most plagiarism might happen without students consciously intending to transgresslilCademic conventions), and thirdly, the fact that culture did not appear to be a determining factor in NNS students' plagiarism. The second Research Question posed in this doctoral work concerned identification of plagiaristic practices that occur in NNS students' academic writing. In order to achieve this, an original Plagiarism Identification Model was developed and applied to authentic NNS student writing samples. The results signalled a large amount of plagiarism present in the analysed samples (this plagiarism had not been identified by an electronic plagiarism detection tool used . prior to the application of the model). Another key observation emerging from this study was the extent of inaccurate source documentation which, although not constituting plagiarism, still represents poor academic practice which requires pedagogical attention. Alth~ugh further work needs to be undertaken to establish whether the results of these studies would be consistent across larger student populations, the value of empirical research undertaken in this doctoral work cannot be denied. In terms of practical implications, this thesis provides valuable suggestions and concrete advice for the higher education community (EAP teachers, subject tutors and lecturers, and education authorities) regarding plagiarism and its prevention, with a special focus on helping NNS students meet the expectations of the academic community. It is hoped that theoretical and empirical research in this doctoral work will help increasingly cul~rally diverse UK HE institutions to become truly internationally minded.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available