The definition of plagiarism that is used in university handbooks is a simple one, and policies along with tiers of disciplinary strategies are used by faculty members in higher education to deter students from committing a plagiarism infraction based on this simple definition. However, plagiarism still occurs on college campuses, and this may be a result of gray areas with regard to different aspects of plagiarism that are not contained in the definition. Because of these misunderstandings, students may commit accidental plagiarism or disagree about what constitutes plagiarism. This qualitative study attempted to discover what aspects of plagiarism are confusing for college students. The data collection method involved personal open-ended interviews with 15 college students of different ages, genders, years in college, and areas of study. The 9 different themes that were brought to the surface as a result of the interviews included findings in the reasons that students justify plagiarism, the levels of acceptability among students, the amount of prior education in plagiarism that students have when they enter college, and specific gray areas such as paraphrasing and common knowledge that the participants discussed as confusing. These findings could be used by faculty and administration in institutions of higher education to aid in formatting new policies and learning activities to help students learn about plagiarism from their own perspective and understand the concepts involved in a better way so that less unintentional plagiarism takes place.
|Commitee:||Rossman, Maxine, Widen, Jeanne|
|Department:||School of Education|
|School Location:||United States -- Minnesota|
|Source:||DAI-A 74/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Community college education, Intellectual Property, Higher education|
|Keywords:||Academic honesty, College students, Composition, Higher education, Plagiarism, Qualitative|
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