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Volume 7 Number 4, Winter 2010, Pages 1-137   

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"I only cited some of his words": The dilemma of EFL students and their perceptions of plagiarism in academic writing

    Congjun Mu

There is a reported substantial increase in academic misconduct by students in Chinese universities. This study explores the processes involved in EFL students' academic writing, in particular how they incorporate source material in their English academic writing. Their perceptions of plagiarism and the factors influencing the EFL writing process are also investigated. The study draws on semi-structured interviews and questionnaire surveys triangulated with the students' academic papers. The student group was found to know very little about academic writing conventions though they used summarising and rewriting strategies in drawing on source texts. Their inappropriate use of text is attributed to their limited training and experience in academic writing and their lack of understanding of accepted academic conduct.

Keywords: plagiarism, dilemma, perception, Chinese university students