Plagiarism and student’s cultural differences

Plagiarism And Student’s Cultural Differences Are Not Directly Connected In Higher Education

Plagiarism is a serious issue to consider in higher education. Cultural values definitely play an important role while students attend university, but I do not think that the mere fact of being educated in a country with different cultural values may lead to a higher occurrence of plagiarism amongst the papers of foreign students. This idea leads me to the conclusion that the cultural differences between Western and Eastern traditons of study are obvious; however, dealing with the case of plagiarism is considered very seriously in both types of education.

Plagiarism is unacceptable at all the universities worldwide; therefore, particular educational methods and systems within insitutions can not be blamed as students’ reason for plagiarising. The most common view of plagiarism in China is exactly the same what Wang and Yang ( 1988 ) state, „ Plagiarism and copying are immortal acts and should be opposed.” Another example of avoiding plagiarism goes back to the ancient China, where the words of Confucius were required to cite properly, strictly with mentioning the philosopher’s name. Taking the previous examples, my conclusion is that although originally coming from the tradition of Anglo- Saxon countries, plagiarism was recognised in Asia in ancient years as well so does not belong only to Anglo- Saxon heritage.

Plagiarising other’s opinion or citing published sources in an incorrect way has been an issue in foreign education as well. Since I do not have an experience of attending an insitution of higher education or university abroad myself, depending on Liu’s paper ( 2005 ) again, acknowledgement of sources in China is needed for every paper together with double checking the accuracy and appropriacy of the sources. To sum up, this statement is an other evidence proving that students in China are not encouraged to plagiarise at university.

Although I do not accept the idea of students plagiarizing more often abroad than other students in particular countries, I agree with Sowden ( 2005 ) who separates European and Eastern, in other words Confucian teaching tradition that enables students to learn directly from the teacher. Generally speaking, teachers ought to be considered as role models to set examples in learning and not considered as a source to copy or plagiarise from. According to Cortazzi and Jin, „ A learner’s duty is to understand and master what those in authority say, as transmission before any independence of mind or creativity in the field can be expected ” ( p. 78 ). In the process of learning, as the statement clears up, copying and reproducing teachers are not considered plagiarism but part of the learning method and a typical case of a cultural difference.

The reformulation of academic norms is the last fact I would like to point out in my paper. Students abroad are often encouraged to avoid plagiarism by developing writing skills and giving prezentations rather than punished for the missing sources or citations. In conclusion, I definitely think that plagiarism is not committed more often by multilingual students than by students from Anglo- Saxon cultural values.

Sources :

Liu, D. ( 2005 ). Plagiarism in ESOL Students : is cultural conditioning truly the major culprit? ELT Journal. doi: 10. 1093/elt/ccio43

Sowden, C. ( 2005 ). Point and counterpoint. Plagiarism and the culture of multilingual students in higher education abroad. ELT Journal. doi : 10. 1093/elt/ccio42.

Mallon, T. (1991). Stolen Words. Farays Into The Origins And Ravages of Plagiarism. United States of America : Penguin Group.