Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

David I. Hanauer, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Gloria Park, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Curtis Porter, Ph.D.


This study investigated ESL/EFL students' understanding of plagiarism by doing a quantitative study. The instrument of questionnaire was used and it consisted of four demographic questions, twenty - one Likert - scale scenarios and three open - ended questions. The participants were 80 ESL/EFL students in Western Rock University from different countries and various educational levels. The results of the study were analyzed by using one - way MANOVA test three times based on gender, educational level and nationality, respectively, to determine the statistically significant scenarios in each group. The open - ended questions were analyzed by categorizing them in to groups based on the meanings. The numbers and frequencies of each category were computed as well. The results showed that the participants understood the definition of plagiarism at the abstract level but had poor ability in connecting the abstract definition of plagiarism with concrete scenarios. Also participants showed different understanding of plagiarism within the groups divided by gender, educational level and nationality, respectively.