Many higher education institutions have a no tolerance policy for plagiarism, which requires students to go before an honor council if they are caught plagiarizing on an assignment. However, Chu said many professors are less likely to report plagiarism because honor councils rarely account for the varying degrees of severity on the plagiarism spectrum.

In order to effectively combat the growing number of students who have trouble understanding why information found online needs to be properly cited in an academic paper, “teachers need to take the time to show their students what constitutes appropriate and inappropriate source material,” Chu said.

“What we are seeing is much more a reflection of how students are thinking about information in general,” he said. “In an everyday context students are apt to share information freely. There is not a second thought about it. But in the academic context, it is a completely different animal.”

Read more about the Plagiarism Spectrum here.

The full report here.

Peter Sclafani is an editorial intern at eCampus News.


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