Plagiarism is mostly termed as copying someone else’s work or borrowing someone else’s idea.However, plagiarism means stealing ideas and passing them off as one’s own,using some one’s work without crediting the source or presenting an originalidea as new. International students are more susceptible to plagiarismscompared to the natives; they are also more likely to be caught with cheatingcases as compared to the natives. Immigrants struggle with plagiarism partly because of:

  • Language barrier
  • Cultural barriers and culture shock
  • Schools emphasis on memorization
  • School stress and settling in new environment

Language barrier

 Most international students or immigrants come from countries whose first language is not English and more often than not they take longer to master the language. Immigrant students have difficulties articulating their points when writing in English. This challenge becomes even worse when they have to write research papers, essays, term papers and dissertations. An EFL student can overcome the motivation to plagiarize through practice and hard work.

Cultural barriers and culture shock

Most international students have got no idea what plagiarism is and they have no idea that using another person’s academic work is a crime. This is because most of them come from backgrounds that do not punish copying other people’s work. Besides, most cultures consider individual ideas as communal or shared ideas. As a result, most students do not make an effort of making an idea their own. The whole plagiarism issue revolves around one being able to express themselves; that’s why international students are more likely to be caught with copying their friends work as compared to their English speaking counterparts. English speaking students are able to play around with words thus making the copied essays look like freshly done essays.

Schools emphasis on memorization

Most international schools put more emphasis on memorization rather than concept creation and original essays writing. This divide only succeeds in creating a wider gap between the universities’ standards and the students’ expectations. This emphasis on memorization also makes students only study for passing their exams and not really learning on how to apply what they learn in school. Many students struggle with plagiarism for quite some before they get the hang of it.

School stress and settling in new environment

Universities can be quite stressful to a native student and they become twice as hard for immigrants because they are dealing with a whole load of issues. For starters, this is a new environment for an immigrant, there is a culture shock, language barrier, new educational system and probably one is already home sick with only handful of newly made friends. All these issues combined and the students’ own pressures of being successful in a foreign country make it hard to be fully attentive in class. With all these going on, the only way out is to copy their native counterparts’ essays in order to get the desired mark. They figure that, even if they fail in all the other things, one should at least be good in something with most of them spending much of their time memorizing things.

Solutions to curbing plagiarism

The best thing is that most universities have stepped up in dealing with the plagiarism issue; most ofthem have established centers to help the incoming international students. Mostof them have come up with plagiarism tutorials that require the incomingstudents to go through an academic workshop.

Other universities have made it mandatory for plagiarism statements to appear in all courses syllabi for all the students to understand what specific professors require of them. Different faculties, librarians as well as international student education boards should collaborate to equip the international students with plagiarism education at the start of their academic careers.

Some international students have also discovered ways of cheating turn it in plagiarism checkerwithout being caught. This has enabled EFL students maintain grades that arecomparable to those of their native counterparts.