Thursday, December 04, 2008

Why There is Plagiarism in China Even At Sun Yat-sen University

Peter who is a Yale-China Teaching Fellow teaching English classes at Sun Yat-sen University and runs the China DTR blog, has a nice posting called 'Where's Your Academic Integrity' about widespread plagiarism in his class.

"Plagiarism in our classroom was a surprise because at the beginning of the semester we explained why plagiarism was bad, the consequences of plagiarism such as getting a zero and being kicked out of class, and then had the students sign a contract vowing that they would not plagiarize."

So what happened after this preparation: "And then Some students used Chinese language propaganda pamphlets and just translated them into English and pasted them into their essays. Others lifted whole passages from Wikipedia as their own."

Peter then theorises about possible cultural causes. Read more here.


Anonymous said...

I have experienced the same thing..

My students know plagiarism is not allowed, but still do it. It seems not compatible with their value system.

A foreign teacher in China

Anonymous said...

I am not sure whether this is solely a Chinese problem. I taught many nationalities in class and found that proneness to plagiarism was not limited to Chinese. The main problem seems to be the enhanced opportunities to plagiarize contents which are openly available on the web.