International Students: A Conceptual Framework for Dealing with Unintentional Plagiarism

International Students: A Conceptual Framework for Dealing with Unintentional Plagiarism

Ursula McGowan (The University of Adelaide, Australia)
Copyright: © 2008 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-801-7.ch007
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Abstract

This chapter addresses the incidence of unintentional plagiarism among international students whose native language is not English. Terminology widely used in plagiarism policies and in the literature indicates an overriding view of plagiarism as an offence. I have developed a conceptual framework to present an alternative position. The framework provides a matrix for tracing the progress of an international student’s induction into the culture and language of academic research. Based on insights from this framework, undergraduate students would be regarded as apprentice researchers who require guidance in developing skills and language for scholarly writing. During the early phases of their apprenticeship, students would be shown the use of genre analysis for ‘harvesting’ genre-specific language. Feedback on instances of inadvertent plagiarism would be non-judgmental, constructive and formative. I suggest that this approach should be adopted in the core curriculum so that all students can benefit from an academic apprenticeship and so avoid unintentional plagiarism.

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