one else’s language, ideas, or other original (not common-knowledge) material without acknowledging its source (Council of Writing Program Administrators, 2003). Nelson and Stepchyshyn have defined plagiarism as the use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as ones own original work (Stepchyshyn & Nelson, 2007). Plagiarism is not a new concept, passing off others’ writings and ideas as one’s own existed even before the internet came into existence. However, the easy access of a variety of materials has caused an increase in plagiarism and it has now become a great cause for concern for universities and academic institutions across the world.
About two decades back, plagiarism did not have severe punishments or consequences. However, in today’s scenario plagiarism is very serious offence and can have numerous consequences that include expulsion from the academic institution or a job. Apart from that, the most serious consequence is that the loss of credibility of a writer. One key reason why students indulge in plagiarism could be lack of awareness. As Evan (2000) says, everyone seems to know that plagiarism is wrong, including those who commit the offence, but few know how to completely define it. Many students do not understand that even using their own previous works without citation is plagiarism. This increases the instances of unintentional or accidental plagiarism, where students are not aware of what qualifies as plagiarism. For some students, reproducing large chunks of others’ texts is a way of signalling they know of the existence of this information (Ryan, 2000). Therefore, it is clear that lack of proper awareness is one reason why there is an increase in plagiarism. Ensuring proper awareness and making the students familiar with the various aspects of plagiarism can make the students more conscious and thereby reducing the cases of unintentional plagiarism. Teaching appropriate