Given that the term ‘plagiarism’ is open to multiple interpretations, resulting in confusion among students and teachers alike, research that investigates the current state of empirical evidence and sheds light on students’ ability to define and detect this notion has important pedagogical implications. This study examines undergraduate English Language Teaching (ELT) students’ understanding of plagiarism in academic writing through qualitative data collection methods. After the focus group filled in the openended questionnaire, they were exposed to two sets of texts each containing an original, a plagiarized and non-plagiarized copy. The copy in the first set featured mainly word-for-word plagiarism while the copy in the second set was plagiarized in terms of illicit paraphrasing. The students were asked to identify whether there is any plagiarism in each copy and assess the texts regarding their acceptability in the format of an interview and think-aloud protocols. The results of the open-ended questionnaire and interviews were compared revealing that although all the students were able to define plagiarism correctly, most of them failed to identify it in the written text. The study also uncovered discrepancies in how the students view the aforementioned types of plagiarism. © 2018 EJAL & the Authors. Published by Eurasian Journal of Applied Linguistics (EJAL). This is an open-access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license (CC BY-NC-ND) (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
BavaHarji, M., Chetty, T. N., Ismail, Z. B., Letchumanan, K. (2016). A Comparison of the Act and Frequency of Plagiarism between Technical and Non-Technical Programme Undergraduates. English Language Teaching, 9(4), 106-118.
Brown, B. S. (1995). The academic ethics of graduate business students: a survey, Journal of Education for Business, 70(3), 151–156.
Buckley, M. R., Wiese, D. S., Harvey, M. G. (1998). An investigation into the dimensions of unethical behavior. Journal of Education for Business, 73(5), 284-290.
Creswell, J. W. (2007). Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design: Choosing Among Five Traditions (2nd edition). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Creswell, J.W. (2012). Educational Research: Planning, Conducting and Evaluating Quantitative and Qualitative Research (4th edition). Boston: Pearson.
Decoo, W. (2008). Substantial, verbatim, unattributed, misleading: Applying criteria to assess textual plagiarism. In Student plagiarism in an online world: Problems and solutions. IGI Global. 228-243
Fishman, T. (2009). We know it when we see it is not good enough: Toward a standard definition of plagiarism that transcends theft, fraud, and copyright. Proceedings of 4th Asia Pacific Conference on Educational Integrity (4APCEI) (pp. 1-5). Wollongong, Australia: University of Wollongong NSW Australia.
Gerdeman, R. D. (2000). Academic Dishonesty and the Community College. ERIC Digest. Gu, Q., Brooks, J. (2008). Beyond the accusation of plagiarism. System, 36(3), 337-352.
Gullifer, J., Tyson, G. A. (2010). Exploring university students' perceptions of plagiarism: A focus group study. Studies in Higher Education, 35(4), 463-481.
Hansen, B. (2003). Combating plagiarism. The CQ Researcher, 13(32), 775-792.
Hayes, N. (2003). Alienation and plagiarism: Coping with otherness in our assessment practice. Working Paper. The Department of Organisation, Work and Technology, Lancaster University. Retrieved from http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/48693/
Hayes, N., Introna, L. D. (2005). Cultural values, plagiarism, and fairness: When plagiarism gets in the way of learning. Ethics & Behavior, 15(3), 213-231.
Harvard Guide to Using Sources (n.d). Retrieved from https://usingsources.fas.harvard.edu/
Ivanic, R. (2004). Intertextual practices in the construction of multimodal texts in inquirybased learning. Uses of intertextuality in classroom and educational research, 279-314.
Jackson, P. A. (2006). Plagiarism instruction online: Assessing undergraduate students’ ability to avoid plagiarism. College & Research Libraries, 67(5), 418-428.
Karlins, M., Michaels, C., Podlogar, S. (1988). An empirical investigation of actual cheating in a large sample of undergraduates. Research in Higher Education, 29(4), 359-364.
Kibler, W. L. (1994). Addressing academic dishonesty: What are institutions of higher education doing and not doing? NASPA Journal, 31(2), 92-101.
Lei, J., & Hu, G. (2015). Chinese university EFL teachers’ perceptions of plagiarism. Higher Education, 70(3), 551-565.
Maxwell, A., Curtis, G. J., & Vardanega, L. (2008). Does culture influence understanding and perceived seriousness of plagiarism?. International Journal for Educational Integrity, 4(2).
Meade, J. (1992) Cheating: is academic dishonesty par for the course? Prism, 1(7), 30–32. METU Honour Code (n.d.). Retrieved from http://fbe.metu.edu.tr/metu-honour-code/
Pecorari, D. (2003). Good and original: Plagiarism and patchwriting in academic secondlanguage writing. Journal of second language writing, 12(4), 317-345.
Roig, M. (2001). Plagiarism and paraphrasing criteria of college and university professors. Ethics & Behavior, 11(3), 307-323.
Sivasubramaniam, S. D. (2004). Plagiarism amongst bio-medical science undergraduates – concerned academics versus ignorant students. Proceeding of 1st International Conference on Plagiarism. JISC, 205-224.
Straw, D. (2002) The plagiarism of generation ‘why not?’, Community College Week, 8 July, 14(24), 4–7.
Sutherland-Smith, W. (2005). Pandora's box: Academic perceptions of student plagiarism in writing. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 4(1), 83-95.
Walker, J. (1998). Student plagiarism in universities: What are we doing about it? Higher Education Research & Development, 17(1), 89-106.
Wilkinson, J. (2009). Staff and student perceptions of plagiarism and cheating. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 20(2), 98-105.
Yazici, A., Yazici, S., & Erdem, M. S. (2011). Faculty and student perceptions on college cheating: Evidence from Turkey. Educational Studies, 37(2), 221-231.