Assisting the students to avoid plagiarism

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Published: 11.10.2018
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Paper about using formative workshops.


This study aims to investigate whether formative lectures alone would (a) enhance the students’ understanding of plagiarism and (b) improve their academic writing or avoid plagiarism.

Postgraduate student volunteers were used in this study. Their basic knowledge of plagiarism was established by a true/false test from ten scenarios. A discussion on possible ways to avoid plagiarism was given after test. This was followed by a different true/false test. Home students correctly identified 8 out of 10 sentences from part one whilst the international students correctly identified 7 out of 10 sentences. The correct identifications after the seminar increased to 9/10 and 8/10 for home and international students respectively. In contrast, their submitted articles included several incidences of ‘potential’ plagiarisms. Only 39% of the students produced good articles with little or no plagiarism. Most of the articles (46%) had at least a few occurrences of plagiarism. The study has also suggested that students’ knowledge of plagiarism does not necessarily mean that they are capable of good academic writing and avoiding plagiarism.

Key words: Plagiarism, deterrent, post-graduate students.

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