Evaluation of an Instructional Activity to Reduce Plagiarism in the Communication Classroom

Nicole Kashian, Shannon M. Cruz, Jeong woo Jang, Kami J. Silk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Plagiarism is a prevalent form of academic dishonesty in the undergraduate instructional context. Although students engage in plagiarism with some frequency, instructors often do little to help students understand the significance of plagiarism or to create assignments that reduce its likelihood. This study reports survey, coding, and TurnItIn software results from an evaluation of an instructional activity designed to help students improve their understanding of plagiarism, the consequences of plagiarizing, strategies to help them engage in ethical writing, and key citation elements. Results indicate students had a greater understanding of plagiarism, increased efficacy, and fewer instances of plagiarism as determined by TurnItIn plagiarism software after exposure to an instructional activity on plagiarism. Not surprisingly, when instructors prioritize academic honesty in their classrooms, train students on how to integrate others’ works, cite sources appropriately, and use plagiarism detection software, students are less likely to plagiarize. The discussion includes suggestions for instructors to help them create a plagiarism-free environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)239-258
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Academic Ethics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Philosophy


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