Cultural differences in plagiarism

(20 December 2017) American universities are melting pots of cultures and ideas, a blending of communities from all over the world according to the Turnitin blog. International students who come to the United States to attend college jump into a set of experiences that can be both similar and widely different to those of their childhood. One main difference between students who grew up in the education system Stateside and those coming from international schools is their perspective on plagiarism.

In the US, plagiarism is defined as a situation where an individual passes off someone else’s ideas as their own. Starting in elementary school, most American kids learn how to create “Works Cited” pages in order to properly attribute quotes, ideas, and facts to their original authors. At the university level, students are required to formally cite their research papers and projects to comply with their college’s honor code policy. While the system of educating American students on academic integrity is not perfect, it continues to improve and overall, strives to provide a framework for students to understand that original work and proper attribution is valued and respected by others.

Interesting challenges have developed in schools and universities across the US where students from different countries enter the academic integrity space as defined by the American culture. The Miami Student, a newspaper written by the student body at Miami University of Ohio, published an article in May about how academic dishonesty cases don’t tell the full story. Carol Olausen, the director of Miami’s American Culture and English (ACE) Program, explained that “an academic integrity policy is completely based on our culture. It’s not universal. What we do doesn’t exist in other countries, and how we interpret it is completely based on our own culture. Coming into a new place and having to catch up really quickly on something, literally, that’s so foreign is definitely a challenge.”

Patience, compassion, and a variety of educational resources can help international students with their understanding of plagiarism here in America. And while there are a wide variety of cultural differences, here are three distinct concepts from around the world that differ from the US definition of academic integrity.

Read the full article which covers universal knowledge, memorization as a form of respect and understanding the concept of plagiarism published on the Turnitin blogsite.