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Knowledge and Attitudes of Plagiarism among Libyan EFL MA Students, Faculty of Languages , University of Tripoli



This research study endeavors to explore Libyan EFL Masters' students' knowledge and attitudes towards plagiarism. An electronic survey questionnaire is used for data collection while descriptive statistics of percentages is employed to calculate the obtained data. 30 Libyan EFL Masters' students respond to the survey questions. The study seeks to ascertain students' knowledge of plagiarism, reasons for committing plagiarism, and practical procedures to make students produce and submit plagiarism-free research studies. Results show that respondents have a high-level of awareness towards plagiarism as an unethical act that must be condemned. However, they consider the lack of academic writing skills as the main reason of students' plagiarism. Finally, the study presents some practical procedures to combat plagiarism.
Al-Shredi1 & Harb, Knowledge and Attitudes of Plagiarism
Knowledge and Attitudes of Plagiarism
among Libyan EFL MA Students, Faculty
of Languages, University of Tripoli
Fatma Harb&
Shredi-Nisreen Al
2 -
English Language Department, Faculty of Languages,
University of Tripoli, Libya
This research study endeavors to explore Libyan EFL Masters’ students’ knowledge and
attitudes towards plagiarism. An electronic survey questionnaire is used for data
collection while descriptive statistics of percentages is employed to calculate the obtained
data. 30 Libyan EFL Masters’ students respond to the survey questions. The study seeks
to ascertain students’ knowledge of plagiarism, reasons for committing plagiarism, and
practical procedures to make students produce and submit plagiarism-free research
studies. Results show that respondents have a high-level of awareness towards plagiarism
as an unethical act that must be condemned. However, they consider the lack of academic
writing skills as the main reason of students' plagiarism. Finally, the study presents some
practical procedures to combat plagiarism.
Keywords: Plagiarism, Postgraduate, Attitude, Knowledge, Libya
Faculty of languages Journal Issue 26 December 2022
Plagiarism is an unethical act, alternatively known as 'academic
dishonesty' or 'academic misconduct'. Undoubtedly, it is a widespread
phenomenon, due to the multitude of technologies accessible nowadays
which make it easy for students to transmit information in dishonest ways.
At worst, it threatens the academic community and deforms the scientific
work of researchers (Hart & Friesner, 2004). Linguistically, the term
''plagiarism'' is borrowed from the Latin word “plagiarius” pioneered by
Marcus Valerius Martialis, meaning “kidnapper”, “robber”, “literary
thief”, or “plunderer” (Maurer et al., 2006, p. 1051). Park (2003, p. 472)
interprets plagiarism as “the theft of words or ideas, beyond what would
normally be regarded as general knowledge.” Carroll (2002) explains
plagiarism more specifically as making use of others' written work as one's
own to achieve personal aims. Hosny and Fatima (2014, p.748) define
plagiarism as “…the students’ use of illegal activities, techniques and
forms of fraud during their examination or evaluation processes, usually
for the purpose of achieving better grades.”
Academic dishonesty is presented in various forms including, cheating,
collusion and plagiarism (Moon, 2006; Howard, 2000). Cheating denotes
to students' intent to breach rules to get better marks in examinations and
other types of assessment, or to steal information without authors' consent
(Hosny & Fatima, 2014). Collusion is identified as the “inappropriate or
unauthorized collaboration by two or more students in the production and
submission of [an] assessment task (Sutherland-Smith, 2013, p.52).
Janowski (2002) distinguishes between cheating and plagiarism with
Al-Shredi1 & Harb, Knowledge and Attitudes of Plagiarism
regard to students' intention. While cheating is a deliberate act, plagiarism
occurs both deliberately and inadvertently (Devlin & Gray, 2007). That is,
plagiarism can be committed without understanding the relevant
referencing styles, standards of quoting, or even due to the lack of
plagiarism knowledge. Thus, plagiarism is often classified as an
unintentional act. Yet, it remains the most predominant practice of
misconduct among students of all age categories (Rayn et al., 2009).
There are multiple types of plagiarism. Plagiarism can be either intentional
or unintentional. Intentional plagiarism is a deliberate act which means
committing plagiarism with full knowledge of what plagiarism is and how
it can be avoided (Mahmood et al., 2011). In contrast, unintentional
plagiarism is committed owing to the deficiency of skills on how to avoid
plagiarism, i.e., having no or less knowledge on how to refer to the original
author(s) (Maurer et al., 2006). Other types of plagiarism comprise self-
plagiarism and accidental plagiarism. Self- plagiarism is the rewriting or
the republishing of someone’s assignment or paper without referring to the
original source (Dellavalle et al., 2007; Beasley, 2006). On the other hand,
accidental plagiarism or casual plagiarism occurs when there is an
insufficient understanding of referencing style (Maurer et al., 2006).
Williams (2002) considers textual-plagiarism a serious offence because it
infringes on someone else’s intellectual property. Textual-Plagiarism can
be represented by different methods (Quin, 2011). These include either
“copy-paste” which means verbatim copying of words from another source
without using quotation marks and acknowledging the reference,
Faculty of languages Journal Issue 26 December 2022
paraphrasing which is changing grammar or the order of words and
sentences of someone else’s text without the use of proper documentation,
copying figures, diagrams and drawings without mentioning the
reference, the use of someone else’s theory or method without giving a
credit to that person, the use of information that is not common
knowledge without including the reference, providing wrong or
incomplete information about the reference, or citing a secondary source
as a primary source (Mahmood et al.,2011; Mauer et al., 2006). Moreover,
plagiarism includes stealing someone else’s textual work, using others'
work as one's own, copying portions of someone else’s work without
acknowledgement, downloading or buying a paper and offering it as one's
own, borrowing ideas, sentences or phrases and claiming them as one's
own (Clabough & Rozychi, 2001). Also, ghost writing which refers to
hiring more exert writers to get the work done and submit it on time
(Bennett et al., 2011).
There are several reasons leading students to plagiarize. One compelling
reason for any plagiaristic behavior is the inadequate understanding of
plagiarism, its effects and how to minimize it. Many students are not
familiar with the correct ways of citation or referencing when writing a
project paper or thesis, or they are unclear about how to quote and
paraphrase (Bahadori et al., 2012). Moreover, low awareness on
perceiving plagiarism as a serious violation leads to plagiarism. This is
due to the loose regulations, lack of penalties and serious punishments
when handling plagiarism cases as well as the paucity of lectures and
workshops on the tarnishing effects of plagiarism (Hikmatun, 2018). To
Al-Shredi1 & Harb, Knowledge and Attitudes of Plagiarism
some students, the advantages of plagiarizing outweigh the disadvantages,
particularly if they think there is little or no chance of getting caught and
there is little or no punishment if they are caught red -handed (Park, 2003).
This is aggravated with lecturers' acceptance of cases of plagiarized work
which will encourage students to commit more plagiaristic acts in the long
term (Hikmatun, 2018).
The pressure to obtain better grades is also another reason for committing
plagiarism. This stems either from students who desire to score higher
grades (Whiteman & Gordon, 2001), or some parents who are always
involve in their children' academic achievement and expect them to pass
with flying colors. Wilkinson' research study (2009) affirms that the
intention for obtaining high grades reaches 73% of the total reasons
leading to plagiarism. Another major reason relates to the substantial
usage of the Internet in educational contexts (Sorea & Repanovicim,
2020). Accessibility to digital information resources through iPods, mobile
phone or laptops facilitates students' commitment of plagiaristic acts
(Feday, 2017; Park 2003; Ma et al., 2007) simply by copying and pasting
information and claiming them as their own (Hikmatun, 2018). Since it is
a public source of information, some students perceive the use of the
Internet as an academically acceptable tool in doing online assignments
(Eccles et al., 2006). Culwin and Lancaster (2001) add that students find
it stress-free to copy other people’s work from the Internet, modifying it
and presenting it as their own.
Faculty of languages Journal Issue 26 December 2022
Plagiarism has particularly increased with the rapid growth of online
education during the COVID-19 pandemic and the closure of many
educational institutions all over the world (Clarke et al., 2022) that have
brought massive changes in the educational sectors (Sonajo, 2022). As a
result, students have relied on the Internet to submit homework and fulfil
their academic tasks and ultimately end up committing online plagiarism
(i.e. electronic cheating) (Lilian & Chukwuere, 2020). In addition,
inadequacy of language proficiency and poor academic writing skills
mostly of students whose English language is not their first language is
a common factor for why students tend to plagiarize (Singh, 2017). These
students have more risks in getting in some types of plagiarism than native
English-speaking students. Moreover, time management is another
motivation that leads students to commit plagiarism (Bahadori et al.,
2012). The pressure on students' time, including active social life and
family commitments, as well as time constraints and short deadlines which
students are given to finish their assignments provide strong incentives for
students to commit plagiarism (Sheard et al., 2003; Hosny & Fatima
Berry et al. (2006) differentiate between demographic and situational
factors which contribute to plagiarism. Demographic factors include
gender, class, educational background (i.e., whether undergraduate or
postgraduate) and involvement in extracurricular activities such as
athletics and other external work commitment. Situational factors cover
the fear of failure and heavy course loads that some students find boring
Al-Shredi1 & Harb, Knowledge and Attitudes of Plagiarism
or difficult. Moreover, Hannabuss (2001, p.311) introduces a combination
of social, legal, intellectual, professional, and moral issues can lead
students to plagiarize. He states that, “…matters of reputation, acceptance,
shame, economic loss, self-esteem and indignation within an offenders
educational and home community” could be the cause for why students
engage in academic malpractice. Finally, cultural issues are specially
considered in the problem of plagiarism (Bahadori et al., 2012). Plagiarism
seems to be perceived differently in various cultures. In some cultures,
plagiarism is encouraged and consider it an acceptable thing to do. In these
cultures, plagiarism can be a type of imitation that is used as a language
learning tool (Howard, 1999).
Due to the above reasons, plagiarism has become one of the main
violations to the academic community all over the world (Ibegbulam &
Eze, 2015) that endorses academic integrity policies built on five vital
values of honesty, trust, objectivity, respect, and accountability (Fishman,
2014). Park (2003) indicates in his study that 40% to 90% of students have
engaged in some kind of dishonesty at their higher education institutions.
However, plagiarism awareness programs have educated both students and
lecturers about the meaning of plagiarism (Maurer et al., 2006). Thus, this
study aims to explore the views of postgraduate students on plagiarism
with regard to how much degree of knowledge they have on plagiarism,
the reasons that lead them to commit plagiarism, and what procedures that
can be used to mitigate it. The research questions of the study are as
Faculty of languages Journal Issue 26 December 2022
1.How much knowledge do Libyan EFL Master's students have about
2. What are the reasons that make Libyan EFL Master's students commit
3. What are the practical strategies that can be applied to make Libyan EFL
Master's students avoid plagiarism?
Literature Review
There is plenty of available literature on plagiarism. Internationally, there
has been continuous research into plagiarism issues. Rodhiya et al. (2022)
revealed that 66% of graduate students of the Universitas Negeri Malang
in Indonesia displayed a neutral attitude towards plagiarism. That is, the
students realized that plagiarism is an improper activity, but they still
engaged in plagiaristic acts. In Rwanda, Clarke et al. (2022) evaluated
students’ attitude towards plagiarism in both public and private
universities. Overall, study results showed that university students had a
high level of knowledge of plagiarism. Particularly, Master degree
students had more skills and abilities to recognize any plagiaristic writing
compared to Bachelor degree students, and this had no relation whatsoever
to whether students were enrolled in a public or private university. Chala
(2021) looked into the perception of undergraduate students in an
Ethiopian university towards academic dishonesty. Results pointed out
that students committed some types of cheating activities although they
knew the seriousness of this act. Results also found that there were
discrepancies about the seriousness of academic dishonesty among
students with regard to the field of study. Students of business and
Al-Shredi1 & Harb, Knowledge and Attitudes of Plagiarism
economics schools demonstrated a less ethical attitude towards academic
dishonesty than students of social sciences and humanities, and natural and
computational sciences schools. As a witness in this study, the researcher
ascribed the high prevalence of cheating in business and economics
schools “…. to the less probability of getting caught and severity or
absence of punishment” (ibid, p.12). Issrani et al. (2021) gauged the
awareness of students towards plagiarism at the College of Medicine and
Dentistry, Jouf University. Results exhibited that most students had an
adequate understanding of plagiarism in terms of copying words or ideas
and quoting references. However, the study revealed that male students
were more alert about the harmful effects of plagiarism compared to
female students. Nagi and Varughese (2021) revealed that most Thai
students who committed plagiarism justified their actions by alluding to
time insufficiency, busy schedules, and weak English proficiency, which
forced them to take others' ideas without attributing sources of
information. Similarly, Phanlapa et al. (2020) also found that Thai students
displayed low awareness of plagiarism since they copied and pasted
information from different websites without referencing or paraphrasing.
The study also concluded that Thai students plagiarized both intentionally
and unintentionally due to not having confidence in their academic writing
skills. Oyewole and Abioye (2018) examined the awareness of plagiarism
acts and policies by postgraduate students in the University of Ibadan in
Nigeria. Results claimed that the majority of students were highly
knowledgeable in how to avoid various acts of plagiarism thanks to the
Faculty of languages Journal Issue 26 December 2022
extensive lectures and workshops students received on how to work
intellectually without plagiarism from the faculty teaching staff.
On other hand, Selemani et al. (2018) reported that post-graduate students
at Mzuzu university in Malawi although had a conceptual understanding
of plagiarism, the majority of them still committed plagiarism intentionally
and unintentionally, mainly because of the pressure for getting good
grades, poor time management, the lack of good academic writing,
improper acknowledgement of references, and misuse of paraphrasing and
quotation marks. Madaan and Chakravarty (2017) explored the awareness
and understanding of postgraduate students in New Delhi towards
plagiarism. The study unveiled that students had basic knowledge about
plagiarism and that they resorted to online sources in order to save time
and effort. Although they knew that copying and pasting is an unethical
act, they still copied and pasted others' work without citation or
referencing. Thus, the authors recommended training courses to teach
students the tools and methods on how to cite original sources using correct
Kokkinaki et al. (2015) revealed that the concept of plagiarism was vague
among Cypriot University students from both undergraduate and
postgraduate students. Also, they observed that accessibility to online-
resources and scientific publications led students to plagiarize. Finally, the
authors called for the clear introduction of the concept of plagiarism and
the use of anti-plagiarism policies. Hosny and Fatima (2014) focused on
assessing perceptions on plagiarism among female students of College of
Computer and Information Sciences (CCIS) at King Saud University,
Al-Shredi1 & Harb, Knowledge and Attitudes of Plagiarism
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Results showed that although most students
believed that plagiarism was immoral and against religious values, they
resorted to plagiarism through online resources. The study researchers
encouraged raising students’ awareness towards plagiarism, providing
them with proper training courses to improve their academic writing skills
and the procedures on how to prevent any plagiaristic act. Krokoscz and
Putvinskis (2013) analyzed the knowledge and understanding of the types,
forms and reasons for plagiarism by Brazilian students. According to the
results, lack of time, the desire to obtain good grades, insufficient
understanding about how to paraphrase as well as difficulties with
academic writing accounted for students' plagiarism. The study researchers
indicated that not all forms of plagiarism are common to students and thus
strategies and serious measures need to be developed for avoiding
plagiarism in Brazilian universities. Ramzan et al. (2012) assessed the
awareness level of plagiarism among graduate and postgraduate students
in Pakistan. Findings of the study revealed that students used online
resources to complete assignments in order to obtain higher grades. The
study also revealed that the majority of students understood the meaning
of plagiarism, but were not aware of anti-plagiarism policies at their
university. Thus, researchers recommended that courses and workshops
should be designed in a way that increases students' awareness about
Locally, some previous studies ascribed plagiarism to the
Internet availability and accessibility. There had been some studies
Faculty of languages Journal Issue 26 December 2022
examining the awareness of students towards plagiarism in Libya. Tumi
(2017) looked into the perceptions of the undergraduate accounting
students at the Azzaytouna University towards the factors leading to
plagiarism. The study revealed number of factors facilitating plagiarism
represented in the absence of awareness, pressure, and Internet
accessibility. The researcher encouraged educators to develop ways in
order to detect any plagiaristic activities. Another study was provided by
Abukhattala (2017) investigated whether plagiarism and culture were
related. The study revealed that plagiarism was culturally approved though
it was immoral and academically unacceptable. Some participants in the
study emphasized that they acknowledged the authors whenever they
quoted or paraphrased, but they confessed that some of their colleagues
violated academic integrity. Study participants associated academic
dishonesty with students' lack of understanding of plagiarism and
deficiency in English.
This study collected data using a survey questionnaire, which was
distributed online through Google Form to assess the knowledge and
attitudes of Libyan EFL Master's students towards plagiarism. The
questionnaire was adapted from the previous studies of Issrani (2021),
Ehrich et al. (2015), Ibegbulam & Eze (2015), and Mavrinac et al. (2010).
50 Libyan EFL Master's students registered as full-time students during
the academic year of 2021-2022 at the Post-graduate Study Center at the
Faculty of Languages, University of Tripoli, Libya. They were kindly
Al-Shredi1 & Harb, Knowledge and Attitudes of Plagiarism
requested to take part in the study. However, only 30 Libyan EFL Master's
students responded to the questionnaire. The participants were 90% female
and 10% male and their ages ranged from 25 to 40 years. The questionnaire
was divided into two sections. The first section contained demographic
information such as the age and gender of participants while the second
part consisted of 15 statements. Participants rated how much they agreed
or disagreed with each statement on a five-point Likert scale of Strongly
Agree, Agree, Neutral, Disagree, and Strongly Disagree. The statements
covered three areas: (1) plagiarism knowledge, (2) plagiarism reasons, and
(3) plagiarism avoidance strategies. Descriptive statistics of percentages
was run to analyze the obtained data.
Analysis and Discussion
The analysis of post-graduate students' responses to the electronic survey
were exhibited in cross-tabulation charts. They compared students' levels
of agreement and disagreement with statements listed under three main
indicators of plagiarism knowledge, plagiarism reasons, and plagiarism
avoidance strategies. Then, the findings were discussed and interpreted in
line with other previous studies to elicit an overall idea about Libyan EFL
MA students' knowledge and attitudes towards plagiarism.
Faculty of languages Journal Issue 26 December 2022
Table (1) Percentages of Plagiarism Knowledge
I do not have enough information
about plagiarism
I realize that quoting a text without
crediting its source is plagiarism.
I perceive that paraphrasing
someone else's words without
crediting the reference is
I consider downloading projects or
papers from the Internet and using
them as my own as an act of
I know that hiring others to assist
in the writing of assignments and
research projects is an act of
Table (1) presented students' responses to the questions regarding what
they knew about sources of academic dishonesty. The highest respondent
percentages for statement (1) were in disagree and strongly disagree, 40%
and 23%. Libyan EFL Master's students reported being familiar with the
meaning of the term 'plagiarism'. This finding was in line with the study
finding of Ramzan et al. (2012) which uncovered that most university
students in Pakistan were aware of plagiarism and its harmful effects, but
Al-Shredi1 & Harb, Knowledge and Attitudes of Plagiarism
they intentionally kept doing it. The highest respondent percentages for
statement (2) were in strongly agree and agree, 40% and 34.3%. This
finding denoted that Libyan EFL Master's students were fully aware that
quoting texts without citing sources was an academic offence. This finding
disagreed with the study finding of MacLennan (2018) which contended
that the majority of students had inadequate understanding and awareness
of how to accurately cite original sources. The highest respondent
percentages for statement (3) were in strongly agree and agree, 33.3% and
43.3%. This ascertained that Libyan EFL Master's students were conscious
that paraphrasing other researchers' words without crediting references
was a plagiarism act. The findings of the present study conformed to the
findings of Chirikov et al. (2019) that copying others' phrases and words
and paraphrasing other authors' work without crediting references were
forms of plagiarism. The highest respondent percentages for statement (4)
were in strongly agree and agree, 60% and 30%. This clarified that the
participants counted downloading online sources without crediting
websites an act of academic dishonesty. This finding was in line with the
study finding of Abbas et al. (2021) and Feday (2017) that considered
downloading content from the Internet and using it as one's own without
crediting accurate references an act of plagiarism. The highest respondent
percentages for statement (5) were in strongly agree and agree, 40% and
33.3%. This proved that Libyan EFL Master's students perceived that
ghost writing is a plagiaristic act. This finding agreed with the study
findings of Bretag et al. (2011); Bennett et al. (2011) which classified
Faculty of languages Journal Issue 26 December 2022
hiring others to write assignments and downloading assignments from the
Internet as types of plagiaristic acts that breached academic integrity.
Table (2) Percentages of Plagiarism Reasons
I keep plagiarizing because I have never
been caught.
I feel tempted to plagiarize because
most students do it.
I do not feel guilty for copying
sentences from someone else's
assignment or research project.
I plagiarize to get high marks and meet
short deadlines.
I plagiarize because I am not good at
academic writing skills.
Table (2) identified the reasons that made students plagiarize. The highest
respondent percentages for statement (1) were in disagree and strongly
disagree, 31% and 48.3 %. Most Libyan EFL Master's students
disapproved that they committed plagiarism because they had never been
caught. This finding was in disagreement with the study finding of Park
(2003) which emphasized that not punishing plagiarizers encouraged other
students to plagiarize. The highest respondent percentages for statement
(2) were in disagree and strongly disagree, 50% and 33.3%. This study
Al-Shredi1 & Harb, Knowledge and Attitudes of Plagiarism
finding negated that Libyan EFL Master's students committed plagiarism
because it was a common practice in their university. This finding was in
disagreement with the study finding of Bahadori et al. (2012) that affirmed
that some students legitimized plagiarism as they could obtain information
on the Internet easily. The highest percentage for statement (3) was in
disagree, 53.3%. This indicated that Libyan EFL Master's students in this
study did feel culpable for copying others' assignments and research
projects, and that this act was unjustifiable. This agreed with the study
finding of Ryan et al. (2009) which considered duplicating other students'
work as a grave type of academic misbehavior. The highest respondent
percentages for statement (4) were in disagree and strongly disagree,
43.3% and 40%. This signified that Libyan EFL Master's students
plagiarized not because of their desire to obtain high grades and meet short
deadlines. This finding disagreed with the study finding of Wilkinson
(2009) which affirmed that most students plagiarized to obtain high grades.
It also was inconsistent with the study finding of Dordoy (2002) which
attributed students' plagiarism to time mismanagement. Also, this finding
contradicted the study finding of Mamza & Ahaz (2018) which reported
that students' focus on academic degrees made them resort to plagiarism.
The highest respondent percentages for statement (5) were in strongly
agree and agree, 43.4% and 40%. Libyan EFL Master's students admitted
finding themselves forced to plagiarize due to being deficient in academic
writing skills. This finding was in accordance with the study findings of
De Lima et al. (2022); Bahadori et al. (2012) that stressed that plagiarism
Faculty of languages Journal Issue 26 December 2022
was more common among EFL students than ESL students due to the lack
of proficiency and paraphrasing skills which made students stick to
original words without crediting sources.
Table (3) Percentages of Plagiarism Avoidance Strategies
Introductory lectures on Plagiarism should
be given at freshmen orientation programs
Plagiarism should be discussed at different
levels from undergraduate to postgraduate
Lecturers should decrease students' overload
to enable them to do more in-depth research.
Information about plagiarism should be
posted on university notice boards and
The university should introduce detection
plagiarism tools and mandate students to
submit online.
Table (3) dealt with some practical strategies that could deter students from
committing academic dishonesty. The highest respondent percentages for
statement (1) were in strongly agree and agree, 55.6% and 44.4 %. Most
Libyan EFL Master's students pointed out that issues related to plagiarism
must be discussed in orientation programs. This finding was in line with
the study finding of Mamza & Ahaz (2018) that claimed that neglecting to
inform students about plagiarism at university orientation programs was
the main reason that drove them to commit academic dishonesty. The
highest respondent percentages for statement (2) were in strongly agree
Al-Shredi1 & Harb, Knowledge and Attitudes of Plagiarism
and agree, 51.9% and 44.4%. This study finding stressed that Libyan EFL
Master's students found it necessary to debate plagiarism at undergraduate
to postgraduate levels. This finding corresponded with the views of Miron
et al. (2021) which clarified that educators should take responsibilities
about giving more extensive discussions on plagiarism dangers and
providing students with academic integrity policies in their universities.
The highest respondent percentage for statement (3) was in neutral, 44.4%.
Libyan EFL Master's students remained unbiased about whether lecturers
should increase or decrease students' overload to make it possible for them
to avoid plagiarism and conduct comprehensive research. This resonated
with the views of Freiburger et al. (2017) and Smith et al. (2013) that
academic pressure could add to the possibility of plagiarism incidences.
However, it was at odds with the study finding of Ehrich et al. (2015) that
argued that it was likely for students to believe that plagiarism was an
unethical value, yet considered it permissible if student workloads were
exceptionally high. The highest respondent percentages for statement (4)
were in strongly agree and agree, 25.9% and 48.1%. Libyan EFL Master's
students believed that information about plagiarism should be posted on
university notice boards and websites. This finding was consistent with the
study findings of Vaccino-Salvadore & Hall Buck (2021); Polio & Shi
(2012) which confirmed that the gravity of plagiarism obligated university
staff to clearly discuss plagiarism in classrooms and via different media to
help students work in a secure environment and submit plagiarism-free
research studies. The highest respondent percentages for statement (5)
Faculty of languages Journal Issue 26 December 2022
were in strongly agree and agree, 28.6% and 68%. Libyan EFL Master's
students blamed their university for not employing detection tools. This
finding concurred with the study findings of Arbabisarjou et al. (2015)
which warned that plagiarism rates were on the increase, owing to
universities overlooking of checking students' submitted projects online.
Also, the lack of strict regulations on plagiarizers in academic programs
tended to tempt more students to plagiarize (Hikmatun, 2018).
Plagiaristic behavior is becoming more and more problematic, leading to
undesired consequences in all educational levels. Such an act often begins
as an unintentional kind of plagiarism that endangers academic honesty of
student learning and ends up as an intentional form of plagiarism that
tarnishes the credibility and quality control of higher education programs
and the degrees and certificates that are granted (Ehrich et al., 2015). This
research study explores Libyan EFL Master's students' attitudes towards
plagiarism with regard to knowledge of plagiarism and its sources, reasons
that could attract students to plagiarize, and rigorous procedures that
universities should implement to track whether the submitted work has
evidence of plagiarism or not and discourage students from committing
academic dishonesty. As evidenced by this study, most Libyan EFL
Master's students have a negative attitude about plagiarism. In addition,
they tend to have a good understanding of plagiarism sources. They point
out that being deficient in academic writing skills is the main reason behind
their resort to plagiarism.
Al-Shredi1 & Harb, Knowledge and Attitudes of Plagiarism
If this is the case, arguably better outcomes can be attained through raising
undergraduates' and postgraduates' awareness of what academic
dishonesty is and how it harms students' learning life and the teaching
institutions these students graduate from (Power, 2009). Practically, this
can be done via enforcing deterrent academic policies and mandating
students to attend workshops on academic misconduct. Namira et al.
(2021) highlight that academic writing proficiency entails students to write
academically with proper citations to keep away from plagiarism and
minimize the rate of plagiaristic cases. Similarly, universities in Libya
should establish plagiarism-checker offices equipped with highly qualified
staff and anti-plagiarism software systems and services like Turnitin,
SafeAssign, SNITCH, Cross-Check, AntiPlag (Hill et al., 2021; Pàmies et
al., 2020) to monitor plagiarism rates in students' assignments and Master's
theses before final submissions in order to secure good ranking among
international universities. The survey questionnaire employed in this study
is insufficient to measure students' familiarity with academic dishonesty.
Therefore, this assertion needs the support of further empirical studies that
make use of software reports in order to get accurate tracks of plagiarism
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