Before we hang that highwayman – The LAS advisers’ perspective on plagiarism

While universities typically regard plagiarism as cheating, Language and Academic Skills (LAS) advisers have found that much of it is inadvertent. From our involvement in the writing processes of students who consult us, we learn that students are confused by differences between the practices of quoting and attribution at high school and at university; by apparent contradictions in the advice they get at university; and by differences between the practices of their home cultures (in the case of international students) and those of the Australian academic culture. At a time when universities are turning to electronic methods of detecting plagiarism, this paper argues that institutional policies should also be informed by the insights gained in LAS advising; recognise that ways of using sources are culturally constructed; and include systemic efforts to clarify the requirements and teach the skills of using sources in writing. The paper concludes with practical suggestions as to how this can be done.

Publication Source Information
Kate Chanock
Year of publication: 
Place of publication; Publisher: 
Adelaide; University of South Australia
Title of Journal, Edited book or Conference and Page numbers: 
Educational integrity: Plagiarism and other perplexities. Refereed Precedings of the Inaugural Educational Integrity Conference 21-22 November 2003 (pp. 21-29)
Helen Marsden
Margaret Hicks
Contact details