Plagiarism and Academic Writing of Learners of English

Virginia LoCastro, Mayumi Masuko


Incidents and anecdotal evidence accrue of learners’ resorting to plagiarism in their essays and research papers. There seem to be three possible reasons that plagiarism is common among students writing in English as a second language. First is the desire to cut corners. Second, there are differences in cultural practices. Third, the learners have a lack of skills and/or language proficiency. We wanted to begin to document the actual situation in Japan. Therefore, we decided to conduct an ethnographic type of study in which we would seek evidence from a variety of sources. Although we focused our attention on written assignments of learners within the classroom context, specifically examining plagiarising the work of others, we also examine the broader social context.

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ISSN: 1903-1785 

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