An investigation of Iranian EFL Masters students' perceptions of plagiarism

Amir Mahdavi Zafarghandi, Fatemeh Khoshroo, Behzad Barkat

Abstract


This study examined the understanding, perceived seriousness, and prevalence rates of different forms of plagiarism among Iranian English as a Foreign Language (EFL) Masters students studying at universities in Iran where their courses were taught in English. A survey questionnaire was used. The results indicated that plagiarism was pervasive among the students, and that they had an inadequate understanding of different forms of plagiarism. Second, prevalence rates of plagiarism were negatively correlated with both perceived seriousness and understanding of plagiarism at significant levels. Third, perceived seriousness of plagiarism was a predictor of prevalence rates of plagiarism among Iranian EFL Masters students. Finally, no significant relationship was found between the understanding of plagiarism and the respondents' years of study implying that the recognition of various forms of plagiarism remains a challenging task for the students during their whole academic lives. These findings highlighted the need for instructing students in the issues related to plagiarism in order to minimise its prevalence rates.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21913/IJEI.v8i2.811