Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)


Professional Studies in Education

First Advisor

George R. Bieger, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Cathy Kaufman, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

David Piper, D.Ed.


This quantitative study investigates cyber-plagiarism among undergraduate college students, particularly the prevalence and motives for copying and pasting unattributed sources on written assignments within the theoretically rich and broader context of self-efficacy theory. Four-hundred-thirty-seven students from three universities completed an online survey designed to examine the relationship between cyber-plagiarism and measures of self-efficacy. A Pearson Correlation revealed no empirical evidence to support the hypothesis that students cyber-plagiarize because they lack an ability to synthesize. The results also indicated that students do not perceive cyber-plagiarism as a socially acceptable practice at their universities, and that they strongly believe in an author's ownership in the digital age. Respondents reported that they almost never participate in cyber-plagiarism, yet perceive cyber-plagiarism as a prevalent practice among their peers.