Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation

Summer 2011

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


School of Writing, Rhetoric, and Technical Communication


This thesis explores the question of how James Madison University (JMU) communicates information concerning plagiarism policy and values to students, especially first-year composition students. The research covers some history of plagiarism issues, questions of why plagiarism is so difficult for scholars to define, why students plagiarize, and how attitudes in academia are changing as definitions continue to evolve. Overall, JMU communicates plagiarism poorly to students in their early stages of integrating into life at JMU, though the university still takes pains to inform students of the consequences of plagiarism through first-year composition instructors. The implications of this writing are an attempt to offer another view of JMU’s plagiarism policies and to hopefully inspire action to better communicate these policies to students.



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