“Understanding student plagiarism: an empirical study in Accounting Education” by Xin Guo Summary and Critique Xin Guo conducts an in-depth investigation on the factors responsible for the escalated plagiarism levels among accounting students, and develops a model to empirically test these factors and recommend solutions…
It then examines the causative factors using the hypothetical testing model before making recommendation projected to help educators curb the menace. According to Guo (2011), the key factors leading to plagiaristic behaviors include moral capability, awareness, and academic integration, accounting education, pressures, new technology, institutional support, cultural influences and demographic variables. These hypothesized factors were put into a conceptual model in order to test and ascertain or disqualify them as causative agents as well as to identify any connections among them through a series of questionnaires analysis. The questionnaire was divided in three sections depending on the hypothesized factors, extent of the plagiarism and the demographic factors relating to the respondents. The findings indicated a high degree of co-relation between the hypothesized constructs producing many statistically significant connections which were broadly consistent with the hypothesis. Nevertheless, research findings were surprising since new technology failed to relate to other constructs and the results were inconsistent with past studies creating a gap that needs to be addressed through further research (Guo 2011). Finally, the paper recommends that educators should take into consideration the effects of student’s cultural background on their propensity to plagiarize; in addition, to focusing on the ethic centric models of learning and integrate students into their academic life. The study sets out to examine students awareness of plagiarism and concludes that some of them ignore the concept altogether because they do not appreciate its gravity as an offence. While others use sources and share information among each other, but do not understand at what point using sources can turns into plagiarism (Granitz & Loewy 2001). Students who are not well integrated in the school system tend to plagiarize more often as an attempt to fit in the system. Moreover, various pressure thrust upon accounting students such as parental expectations, especially if they fund the student’s education my also increase a student’s propensity for plagiarism. Similarly, the rigours associated with accounting exams in the UK especially because of the many exam bodies tend to intimidate students and forces them to find easy way out through plagiarizing (Renard 2000). Analysing from a demographic standpoint, the study show that male students are more likely to cheat than female ones; additionally, high rate of plagiarism among students was suggested to be inversely proportional to age with younger scholars being more prone to cheating. Technology was also found to have a positive relationship with plagiarism owing to the wealth of data available on the internet, which students can access and apply in their work with hardly any reading involved. The solution to technology based plagiarism presents a complex situation despite the fact that the tools and software required to address the problem can be found in the same technology (Evans 2006). Currently, many institutions apply plagiarism-detecting tools like turnitin to ensure they police their students’ essays and discourage the vice (Mulcahy & Goodacrep 2004). Notwithstanding, students can still counter this by either using one of an assortment of online software that can paraphrase their essays and prevent detection through ...
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