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Measuring plagiarism: Researching what students do, not what they say they do

Abstract

Student plagiarism in colleges and universities has become a controversial issue in recent years. A key problem has been the lack of reliable empirical data on the frequency, nature and extent of plagiarism in student assignments. The aim of the study described here was to provide this data. Patterns of plagiarism were tracked in two university business studies assignments involving over 500 students and over 1000 scripts. Turnitin software was used to facilitate the identification of plagiarised material in assignments. The findings confirmed some common assertions about the nature of student plagiarism but did not provide support for a number of others

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