Perceptions of Plagiarism: A Pandora's Box of Academic Views

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  2
Wordcount:  511 Words
Date:  2023-02-07

Plagiarism is one concept that generates different views from both students, staff, and institutions. Pandora Box Academic Perception of students in plagiarism is an article written by Wendy Sutherland-Smith that explores in depth the concept of plagiarism. The author uses a study that interviewed eleven teachers on how they viewed plagiarism and how they handle such cases. The primary goal of the study is to evaluate the perceptions and thoughts of plagiarism that could assist in the implementation of policies and workable solutions.

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According to Sutherland-Smith, results from different studies show that there were several different definitions of plagiarism by students, teachers, and organizations. She adds that culture and traditions are responsible for the different view on the concept of plagiarism. For instance, students from the west do not view rote learning as a form of plagiarism. Other students from other regions also define plagiarism as work that is lacking citation or does not follow the procedures of citations.

Teachers approach issues of plagiarism within those programs independently. From the study, the teachers' perceptions also view plagiarism in terms of intention is varied in that some view plagiarism as deliberate copying while others disagree that when it comes to intentional actions, then it depends on the teacher's opinion of the student's paper. Teachers also view the checking of plagiarism as burdensome, and that in-depth scrutiny and evidence presentation takes a lot of unreasonable time and effort. Thus the programs and policies of plagiarism are unrealistic. The efforts made to confirm single plagiarism is not worth the struggle. The study also indicated that teachers are the judge and chose what is right and wrong. Teachers are the ones to decide whether the paragraphs are directly copied or wrongly paraphrased instead of following the long and tiresome academic process.

Institutions need to consider reassessing their approaches in matters relating to plagiarism. The methods of implementing plagiarism policies should be uniform to avoid the emergence of different views and concepts. A consistent system is also essential as it will help prevent staff from using their alternative method that could result in inequitable handling of individual cases. The system needs to re-establish confidence and increase awareness about the essentiality of intellectual honesty.

The approach to issues of plagiarism is different. In the study conducted by Sutherland-Smith, one standard view is that the formal academic system for handling plagiarism is complicated. Thus, teachers are forced to take the judgment matter in their own hands in instances where the legal process proves unreliable. Additionally, different cultures are the cause of the different views of plagiarism among students. Some activities perceived as plagiarism by others are considered as best methods by others. This poses a challenge to the teacher who is required to use the formal academic process of evaluating a plagiarized paper. One significant way of overcoming plagiarism is public discussion of the many confusing views about the subject.


Sutherland-Smith, W. (2005). Pandora's box: Academic perceptions of student plagiarism in writing. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 4(1), 83-95. Retrieved from:

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Perceptions of Plagiarism: A Pandora's Box of Academic Views. (2023, Feb 07). Retrieved from

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