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Understanding of academic writing conventions Release was granted by these university students.

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1 Understanding of academic writing conventions Release was granted by these university students

2 Purpose of case study Target audience: Academics addressing inadvertent plagiarism in students’ written work Key issue: Appraising and addressing students’ lack of understanding of ‘text ownership’ and ‘acknowledgment’. Purpose: To scaffold students’ understanding of text ‘ownership’ and academic conventions of text re-use. Materials: Full case scenario; University policy; Readings 2 Academic Integrity Standards Project

3 Our research Survey: 15,304 student respondents from 6 Australian universities  International students expressed a lower awareness of academic integrity policy and confidence in how to avoid academic integrity breaches as compared to the overall respondents;  International students were twice as likely as domestic students to have had involvement with the academic integrity breach process at their university. Focus groups with 28 academic integrity stakeholders at the six participating universities. Some key issues raised:  Concerns over academic integrity processes  Concern about ‘standards’ (including English language)  Lack of institutional support and training for both staff and student  Meeting the needs of a diverse student body 3 Academic Integrity Standards Project

4 The Case: Hua A lecturer at an Australian university interviews a student “Hua” during stage 1 of following up an academic integrity breach. She is an international student, in her second year of a Bachelor degree. Her written English is comprehensible but marked by non-idiomatic expressions and grammatical errors that characterise writing examples of students at an International English Language Test Score (IELTS) level of 6. However, there are several paragraphs that are written in perfect academic prose with sophisticated word choice and sentence complexity, that clearly indicate to the lecturer that these passages are not the student’s own writing. 4 Academic Integrity Standards Project

5 Dialogue The lecturer points to a paragraph that clearly indicate to the lecturer that these passages are not the student’s own writing. Lecturer: This is not your own writing, is it? Hua: Yes it is. Lecturer: But you took it out of a book, didn’t you? Hua: Yes I did. Lecturer: Then it’s NOT your own, is it? Hua: Yes it is. I believe it. 5 Academic Integrity Standards Project

6 Considerations It seems to be incongruous that she ‘blatantly admits her breach’. Does the evidence suggest that she does not consider it a breach? Consider the role of source texts in Hua’s previous education in China; consider the length of time it can take to learn to understand new discipline content, and apply this to the learning of a new approach to academic writing. 6 Academic Integrity Standards Project

7 Considerations Consider whether she (a) has been ‘informed of’ - or (b) has understood the notion of ‘acknowledging’ the source material. Consider whether she understands the difference between written genres that are (a) a writer’s unsupported opinions, as for example in a leisure magazine article; and (b) academic writing which relies on providing ‘evidence’ from the literature in support of the writer’s views. 7 Academic Integrity Standards Project

8 Questions for discussion What is incongruous about the student’s response from the academic’s perspective? How can Hua’s answer be understood in terms of her own educational and cultural background? Is it likely to be an educational or disciplinary matter? What further questions must be asked to determine this? How can the tutor explain the notion of ‘text ownership’ in this situation? Academic Integrity Standards Project

9 References and resources Bretag, T., Mahmud, S., East, J., Green, M., James, C., McGowan, U., Partridge, L., Walker, R. & Wallace, M. (2011). Academic Integrity Standards: A Preliminary Analysis of the Academic Integrity Policies at Australian Universities, Australian Universities Quality Forum, 29 June-1 July, Melbourne, Australia. Bretag, T., Mahmud, S., Wallace, M., Walker, R., James, C., Green, M., East, J., McGowan, U. & Partridge, L. (2011). Core elements of exemplary academic integrity policy in Australian higher education, International Journal for Educational Integrity, Vol 7(2), pp. 3-12, available online: Duggan, F. (2006). Plagiarism: prevention, practice and policy. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education 31(2): McGowan, U. (2008). International students: a conceptual framework for dealing with unintentional plagiarism. In T. S. Roberts (ed.) Student Plagiarism in an Online World: Problems and Solutions. IGI Global, Hershey, Pennsylvania. See also: Click on the Resources tab for Plagiarism Framework: Student as Apprentice Researcher pdf pdf 9 Academic Integrity Standards Project

10 For further information, references and resources from the Academic Integrity Standards Project, please go to: Support for this project/activity has been provided by the Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching. The views in this project do not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Australia LicenseCreative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Australia License 10 Academic Integrity Standards Project

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