The paper was written as a tool to make students aware of what plagiarism is, how to identify it and how to avoid it. It also aimed to show students how to reference correctly and its importance in the overall academic writing conventions. The paper builds upon the work of previous studies (for example Allen et. al 2005 cited in McGowan and Lightbody 2007) which taught correctreferencing procedures in a generic manner. The paper advocates that correct referencing must be taught for a discipline-specific subject such as accounting (as in this study) rather than generally (McGowan and Lightbody 2007).
The study was split into two parts. The first was for the students to partake in an online plagiarism workshop and also read a Harvard referencing guide. The studentswould indicate that they had read the requisite principles when they submitted their assignments. The second part of the study made students find examples of plagiarism in a specifically designed accounting essay.
The assignment´s effectiveness was evaluated in two different ways. The first was to evaluate if the students were able to apply the principles of plagiarism in an academic contextfrom their assignments. Feedback was made by the professors to find out the students perception about the effectiveness of the course. Post evaluation it was found that the assignment was extremely effective because they reached their goal in improving the understanding of plagiarism and referencing in the majority of the students. This result was confirmed by the academic staff.
Criticallyanalyze the paper´s purpose.
The purpose of the study has several inherent strengths. The study is innovative because previous studies have dealt with plagiarism and referencing in a general manner whilst this study is subject specific. The paper maintains that it is more efficient to apply correct referencing principles to a specific subject. Further strengths include that the study actually helpedthe subjects to increase their knowledge of plagiarism and referencing. Another strength of the study is that assistance was available to those students who failed the course to assist them in developing their understanding of plagiarism and referencing.
The study may also create good techniques to reduce plagiarism at other universities. Students could improve their marks because they wouldunderstand more of what they read and write rather than copying and pasting the information.
The main strength of the study is that it can be used as a preventive tool because the main idea is to prepare the students to identify and avoid plagiarism that could be unconscious or due to a lack of knowledge about it. Currently in many universities instead of preparing the students, professors justpunish them.
Whist the study has many strengths there are also many weaknesses. A main weakness of the study is that they just focused on Accountancy. This would make it difficult for the study to be replicated in other disciplines. The principles of Accountancy referencing may not work for others disciplines. The study is inherently limited because it fails to make a comparison to otherdisciplines. For example if the study was given to Law students the success rates may not be so high. Furthermore the study doesn’t give an indication of how to apply the principles outlined here to other subjects. Because of the lack of specific principles or rules it makes it difficult to replicate the study cross-discipline and verify its results.
Additionally the test was not carried out underscientific conditions. The students were asked to read the online workshop in their own time but there was no verification of this. This could render the results inaccurate. Another weakness was the poor feedback rates. They just received responses from 144 students in 2004 of a total of 272 what means about 60% and in 2003 they received responses from 160 of a total of 266 what means about 53%....