Introduction and Rationale

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Introduction and Rationale Plagiarism is a commonplace concern in both academic and professional contexts. Media coverage in recent years provides examples of prominent writers (Jaquith, 2009; Marshall, 2009) and educators (Associated Press, 2009; Jaschik, 2009; Stripling, 2008) whose work has been accused of plagiarism. These reports are not kind to the accused plagiarists, and feedback from readers online suggests that the general public is likewise offended by plagiarist acts. It is evident that plagiarism is considered egregious behavior by the North American public. This societal aversion to plagiarism is especially strong in academic communities. For example, many English-medium universities have strict anti-plagiarism policies that carry penalties as severe as institutional expulsion. Even so, student understanding regarding plagiarism and writing citation is not always clear (Wolfersberger, 2007). Such has been my own experience as a university instructor and writing teacher. Over the past several years I have worked as a university writing instructor: first as a part-time graduate student, and then as a full-time program coordinator and teacher trainer. During that time, I have witnessed a range of issues related to plagiarism in student work. Although I have encountered the occasional case of intentional plagiarism, the majority of plagiarism in university writing courses results from a misunderstanding of citation standards or from a lack of language skills. Both types of inadvertent plagiarism can happen to native English-speaking (NES) and English as a Second Language (ESL) students alike (see Johns and Mayes, 1990; Mateos, Martin, Villalon, & Luna, 2008; Shi, 2004 and Wheeler, 2008); however, research suggests t... ... middle of paper ... ...71-200. Singh, G. (2006). Summarisation skills: An analysis in text comprehension and production. In V. Narang (Ed.), Contemporary Themes and Issues in Language Pedagogy (pp. 17-32). Delhi, India: Nagri Printers. Song, M-Y. (2009). Do divisible subskills exists in second language (L2) comprehension? A structural equation modeling approach. Language Testing, 25 (4), 435-464. Stripling, J. (2008). UF professor Twitchell admits he plagiarized in several of his books. The Gainesville Sun. Retrieved from http://www.gainesville.com/article/20080426/ NEWS/757517854 Wolfersberger, M. A. (2007). Second language writing from sources: An ethnographic study of an argument essay task. Unpublished doctoral thesis, University of Auckland, Auckland, NZ. Yu, G. (2008). Reading to summarize in English and Chinese: A tale of two languages? Language Testing, 25 (4), 521-551.
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