Academic Integrity In A Cultural Context Essay

532 WordsNov 28, 20093 Pages
Academic Integrity in a Cultural Context The fact that we all come from different countries is an indication that we have been exposed to different learning styles or culture. What in one’s country is considered as politically right may not necessarily be true in someone else’s country. This is where academic integrity and plagiarism in higher education come into play. Alice Drum defines plagiarism as “a disease that plagues college students everywhere”. Indeed, plagiarism is rampant. Nowadays, virtually anybody’s word, ranging from newspaper articles to music, can be found on the Internet. This was at some point in time associated to Pandora’s Box and it is certainly much easier to copy and paste rather than think and write an original piece of material. In many Asian, Middle Eastern, African, and First Nation cultures, it is a sign of disrespect to actually alter someone else’s work because it is assumed that knowledge is meant for sharing. And this is in contradiction to the Western world where knowledge should be guarded. Let’s have a look at patchwriting. The latter can be described as the process of copying a text, removing a couple of words, reworking the grammar, reordering the words and using synonyms such that the similarity between original text and the updated text can be distinguished. Now, this can be deemed as a form of plagiarism but unfortunately, this is the way that many students, who have English as Second Language, work. This is how, I remember, students used to write their Higher School Certificate General Paper Essay in my country. They would certainly be doing their research using encyclopaedias, magazines and the Internet. But at the end of day, they would reformulate whatever they read though the ideas and words may not be their own. This cannot be justified but is triggered by

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