Literature ReviewIntroduction This chapter reviews literature that is related to the subject of factors that influence individual attitudes of students towards academic cheating and plagiarism. For purposes of clarity, the literature review chapter is divided into several sections. These are briefly described as follows. The first section is about the different definitions of plagiarism and academic cheating that exist in literature. The second section is about details of the subject of plagiarism among students in institutions of learning. This is followed by a discussion on the factors that make students commit acts of academic cheating and plagiarism.
The next section is about the different types of acts of plagiarism and academic cheating that students commit. This is followed by a description of the determinants of plagiarism and academic cheating. Another section will discuss the influence of formative factors on students’ ethical behaviour and their individual attitude towards plagiarism. In the last section, a conceptual framework for the study is presented. 2.2 Plagiarism and Cheating DefinitionsSimply put, plagiarism is a form of academic misconduct whereby a person presents work in which the intellectual property rights of other people have been violated (Ching, 2013).
In practice, individuals who publish their work hold the intellectual property rights to the work. The work may take the form of papers that are published in academic journals, chapters in books or even entire books. Although such material may be used by other researchers and students, it is mandatory for the authorship of the material that has been used to be properly acknowledged (Bennett, 2005). However, when this is not done, the ideas which belong to a different author but are presented in a different work as if they have been developed by another person are considered to have been plagiarised (Hsiao, 2015).
In general, plagiarism may be committed by students and even by academic staff members. Plagiarism and academic cheating by students is a crime since it allows a student to abuse intellectual rights of others and get credit for work which belongs to someone else (McGowan, 2009). Similarly, researchers may plagiarise other people’s work and unfairly get credit for ideas which do not belong to them. 2.3 Plagiarism and Cheating by StudentsIn general, plagiarism is widespread in academic institutions, where students are the ones who commit it oftentimes (Park, 2003; Saxe, 1991).
According to Passow et al. (2006), the rate of academic cheating and plagiarism by students in institutions of higher learning in the world has been increasing considerably over the recent past. Due to many factors, many students have found it necessary to commit plagiarism or any other form of academic cheating as a way of achieving their academic goals. Tsai (2012) notes that the manner in which students commit plagiarism varies widely.
For instance, a student may access a full paper or research work from a different source and present it as his or her own (Tsai, 2012). This is one of the most common cases of academic cheating and plagiarism that is committed by students in institutions of higher learning. In addition to this, students may include in their work information that has been copied from different sources (Evans et al. , 2015). Since they do not indicate that the information is not their original work and that it has actually been accessed from a different source, students who do this are guilty of academic cheating and plagiarism.
Lastly, students may commit plagiarism by simply failing to properly reference the sources that they use in their work (Evans et al. , 2015).