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Research shows that plagiarism is a problem not only for English language learners but also for students whose first language is English. With the Internet and ease of copying and pasting information into a word document, plagiarism in on the rise (Maslen, 2003). Oftentimes, students are not aware they are doing something wrong. American students come into college with the cultural conditioning of knowing (perhaps not fully grasping) American academic standards (Gu & Brooks, 2007). International students have the additional disadvantage of not knowing the conventions, traditions, and values held in academic discourse (Gu & Brooks, 2007). Within American academic circles, plagiarism is considered “one of the worst crimes” a student can commit (Wheeler, 2008). However, outside the United States, plagiarism is culturally acceptable; in fact a moral transgression would be to not copy and paste the words of an expert (Wheeler, 2008).

Most of the students in English for Academic Purposes (EAP) at Miami-Dade College are planning on continuing their education once they finish the EAP program so it is essential that they are exposed to the issue of plagiarism. A number of faculty who teach in subject areas have complained that incoming students do not have the skills needed to succeed; these skills include how to cite sources and reference material. As a result of this, the focus of this action research project was on incorporating and explaining plagiarism and providing a number of writing opportunities throughout the semester.


This was a final paper for my practicum in the MS in Foreign Language Education: TESOL at FIU.



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