Plagiarism Is A Crime: Towards Academic Integrity in Higher Educational Institutions in Ghana (Published)
Admittedly, students’ academic plagiarism comes in different forms. Surprisingly, little is known about the most common form of student’s plagiarism due to inadequate research. This study was aimed to fill this knowledge gap by empirically examined the most common forms of students’ academic plagiarism in the Wa municipality of Ghana. The choice of the study sitting was influenced by the increasing educational activities in the area. The population of the study comprised of all tertiary students in the municipality. The positivist (quantitative) research design was deployed. Convenience sampling technique was used to select 200 respondents. Data for the study were elicited from both primary and secondary sources. Questionnaires were the main interment used in gathering primary data. The constructs for the questionnaires were adopted from Sentleng and King (2012) which was modified to address the objectives of the study. The data were analyzed with the aid of Predictive Analytics Software (PASW). The results were presented using Means (M), Standard Deviations (SD), Relative Important Index (RII) and Chi-square Test. The study revealed the most frequent forms of students plagiarism as follows: Invented or altered data (M=4.16, SD= 0.9), Writing an assignment for your friend (M=4.10, SD=0.9),Copy a text without acknowledgement (M=4.05, SD=1.3), Submitted someone’s work without their permission (M=3.41, SD=1.4), Paraphrased without acknowledging the source (M=2.41, SD=1.7), Summarizing a text without acknowledgement (M=2.73, SD=1.4).Chi-square Test revealed that there is a significant difference between Gender and age of students (χ2 -value = 17.98, df =3, p-value<0.05). Moreover, there is significant difference between religion and age (χ2 -value = 6.55, df =3, p-value=0.05). It is concluded that the most common forms of plagiarism among the students were paraphrased without acknowledging the source (Patchworks), Copy a text without acknowledgement, Invented or altered data (Sham),imitating friends work (Pastiches) and. Training on academic writings need to be intensified.
The Evil that Men Do in Academics: Understanding Plagiarism and Its Extenuating Circumstances (Published)
This study was premised to explore the causes of plagiarism and its extenuating circumstances in Higher Educational Institutions in Ghana. The study focused on Tertiary Students in the Kumasi and Sunyani Metropolis and Municipality respectively, 200 students were selected deploying a cluster sampling technique. The underpinning research paradigm was a cross sectional descriptive survey. Questionnaires were the main instrument used in eliciting primary data for the study. Secondary data were obtained from academic journals databases including EBSCO, and Google Scholar. The analyses were presented using Means, Standard Deviations, Unweighted Means, Relative Important Index (RII), Frequencies and Percentages. The study discovered the causes of student’s plagiarism as follows; poor writing skills, to obtain better marks, poor understanding of plagiarism, cost of quality education materials, Pressure from family and friends to offer help. The plagiarism extenuating factors were also discovered as follows; educate students on writing methods, assign different questions to different individuals, give tests quizzes or assignments more, assigning more in-class activities, not allowing students make up tests, rotate curriculum and trust building. It is recommended that deploying plagiarism detective software under covert study will help understand the causal factors better in order to inoculate student’s plagiarism effectively.