Friday, September 9, 2011

Plagiarism by International Students

Professors who deal with international students are well aware that many of these students hail from cultures where they are expected to engage in what we consider plagiarism. This article from Canada’s Globe and Mail discusses the problem, but goes into a bit more depth than typical articles on the subject. It explains the perspectives of some of the students. For example:

After arriving at U of T from Taiwan, Hannah Liu found she and her friends often felt they lacked the vocabulary and writing skills to be confident paraphrasing research material.

“If [students] don’t know how to rewrite the sentence, they probably think, ‘I’ll just copy and paste it,’” she said.

Legal Writing Profs may note the quote from Danielle Istl, Windsor University’s Academic Integrity Officer. She formerly taught in the Legal Writing program at Detroit-Mercy’s law school.

The comments following the article are worth reading. Most of them are critical of the offending international students, arguing that Western schools make very clear what their plagiarism policies are, thus leaving no excuses for violations.


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