Is it Still Cheating if it’s Not Done on Purpose? Accidental Plagiarism in Higher Education
Kier, Cheryl A.
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This project aimed to discover the extent to which plagiarism is committed unintentionally. In a study of students enrolled in an online distance education course at a post-secondary institution, slightly more than half of 423 students correctly answered four questions involving recognizing plagiarism and only a minority was able to rephrase a passage without producing plagiarized content. This suggests that most cases of plagiarism are inadvertent, so skill development rather than punishment may be appropriate.