Title

Ethics in Academic Writing Help for International Students in Higher Education: Perceptions of Faculty and Students

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

3-1-2018

Abstract

International students often turn to various sources for help, including writing center tutors, friends, faculty mentors, online sources such as Google translate, and proofreading and editorial services, among others. While receiving help from these sources is both understandable and somewhat expected, what type and level of help is appropriate or ethical is not always clearly defined. The current research study investigates perceptions of faculty and international students at one U.S. university as to what is ethical in academic writing help for international students in 17 different scenarios. Findings suggest that students, far more than faculty, lacked certainty and agreement on whether certain help they may receive is ethical. The two groups’ views also varied on machine translation and the use of for-pay editors. Faculty, in general, had the least agreement on the use of machine translation and the use of a for-pay editing service for sentence- and discourse-level help and expressed that specific contexts and instructor’s expectations should be taken into consideration. Also, perceptions of students from East Asia showed notable differences. We argue that establishing and communicating clear guidelines concerning writing help should be part of any policy of academic integrity and present an “ethicality index” to help begin conversations as each institution, program, or faculty establishes the boundaries of ethical writing help in a specific context.

Journal Title

Journal of Academic Ethics

Volume

16

Issue

1

First Page

39

Last Page

59

DOI

10.1007/s10805-017-9299-5

First Department

English

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