Black, White, and Grey: (Re)Constructing the One-Size-Fits-All Approach to Plagiarism

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Cowley, Lindsay Karin




The purpose of this study is to explore how plagiarism is discursively constructed within a North American university and what challenges result from its multiple interpretations. Rhetorical move analysis (Swales, 1990) is used to investigate how plagiarism is constructed in the university’s Academic Integrity Policy (AIP) and how it is (re)constructed in course outlines from different disciplines. The study further uses concepts of intertextuality and uptake to investigate how professors and students interpret the institutional definition of plagiarism. Analysis indicates that the AIP constructs a universal interpretation of plagiarism while the analysis of interviews indicates three professors took up the AIP by reinterpreting it and one took up the AIP in expected ways. Students, however, seem to understand plagiarism, partially, in ways similar to the AIP and, partially, similar to professors. The findings of the study suggest that the institutional AIP may not address possible types and interpretations of plagiarism.






Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Master of Arts: 

Thesis Degree Level: 


Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Applied Linguistics and Discourse Studies

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Theses and Dissertations

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