Lessons on plagiarism: issues for teachers and learners
While student difficulty with academic referencing is not new, it is apparent that many tertiary students are not skilled in following referencing conventions, are confused about what does and does not constitute plagiarism in the eyes of academics, and are fearful of the consequences. This paper begins by examining the cases of a number of students at an Australian university who have been suspected of academic dishonesty. It examines the students' prior instruction on academic referencing, and their understanding of the plagiarism policy of the university concerned. It also examines the feedback that staff have given the students concerned and how useful that has been from the students' perspectives. While researching this topic, issues relating to how suspected plagiarism cases are handled emerged. This paper is an initial exploration of some of the issues that arise when handling referencing and plagiarism at tertiary institutions, which affect both students and staff.