A Search for a Common Thread: Iranian, Afghan, and Tajik EFL Students' Perceptions of Academic Misconduct

Rasoul Mohammad Hosseinpur (1) , Reza Bagheri Nevisi (2) , Ahmad Nawab Sultani (3)
(1) English Department, University of Qom. Alghadir Avenue, 37185-396, Qom, Iran , Iran, Islamic Republic of
(2) Englsih Department, University of Qom Alghadir Avenue, 37185-396, Qom, Iran , Iran, Islamic Republic of
(3) English Department, University of Qom Alghadir Avenue, 37185-396, Qom. Iran , Iran, Islamic Republic of


The paucity of studies on plagiarism in some under-explored contexts, such as Afghanistan and Tajikistan, highlight the necessity of conducting this study. To this end, 200 Iranian, 185 Afghan, and 170 Tajik EFL students, who share certain commonalities regarding culture and language, participated in the study. The iThenticate (2013) questionnaire and two essay-type questions on the main reasons for committing plagiarism and possible ways to cope with it were employed to examine the participants’ perceptions toward it. Findings revealed that the participants from these three countries shared the same ideas regarding the most common and serious forms of plagiarism. It was also found that overalllack of knowledge about plagiarism, absence of severe punishment, and ease of plagiarizing was among the most important reason for committing plagiarism. The study proposed “raising students’ awareness of plagiarism and its consequences” and “establishment of severe punishment” as the best possible ways to cope with it.

Full text article

Generated from XML file


Abasi, A. R., & Graves, B. (2008). Academic literacy and plagiarism: conversations with international graduate students and disciplinary professors. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 7(4), 221-233. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jeap.2008.10.010

Adiningrum, T. S., & Kutieleh, S. (2011). How different are? Understanding and managing plagiarism between east and west. Journal of Academic Language and Learning, 5(2), 88-98.

Angelil-Carter, S. (2000). Stolen language? Plagiarism in writing. London, UK: Longman.

Burnett, S. (2002). Dishonor and distrust. Community College Week, 14(24), 6-8.

Callahan, D. (2004). Why more Americans are doing wrong: The cheating culture. Orlando: Harcourt.

Coalter, T., Lim, C. L., & Wanorie, T. (2007). Factors that influence faculty actions: A study on faculty responses to academic dishonesty. International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 1 (1), 1-21. https://doi.org/10.20429/ijsotl.2007.010112

Costley, J. (2019). Students' perceptions of academic dishonesty at a Cyber-University in South Korea. Journal of Academic Ethics, 17(2), 205-217. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10805-018-9318-1

Deckert, G. D. (1993). Perspectives on plagiarism from ESL students in Hong Kong. Journal of Second Language Writing, 2(2), 131-148. https://doi.org/10.1016/1060-3743(93)90014-T

Devlin, M., & Gray, K. (2007). In their own words: a qualitative study of the reasons Australian university students plagiarize. Higher Education Research & Development, 26(2), 181-198. https://doi.org/10.1080/07294360701310805

DeVoss, D., & Rosati, A. C. (2002). "It wasn't me, was it?" Plagiarism and the Web. Computers and Composition, 19(2), 191-203. https://doi.org/10.1016/S8755-4615(02)00112-3

Ehrich, J., Howard, S., Mu, C., & Bokosmaty, S. (2014). A comparison of Chinese and Australian university students' attitudes towards plagiarism. Studies in Higher Education, 41(2),1-16. https://doi.org/10.1080/03075079.2014.927850

Flowerdew, J., & Li, Y. (2007). Plagiarism and second language writing in an electronic age. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 27, 161-183. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0267190508070086

Ford, P. J., & Hughes, C. (2012). Academic integrity and plagiarism: perceptions and experience of staff and students in a school of dentistry: A situational analysis of staff and student perspectives. European Journal of Dental Education, 16(1), 180-186. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0579.2011.00695.x

Gomez, J., Salazar Terreros, I., & Vargas Montoya, P. (2014). Dishonest behavior and plagiarism by university students: An application to management studies. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 83, 766-770. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2013.06.144

Gullifer, J., & Tyson, G. A. (2010). Exploring university students' perceptions of plagiarism: A focus group study. Studies in Higher Education, 33(4), 463-481. https://doi.org/10.1080/03075070903096508

Howard, R. M. (1995). Plagiarism, authorship and the academic death penalty. College English, 57(7), 788-806.


Howard, R. M. (2007). Understanding "Internet plagiarism". Computers and Composition, 24(1), 3-15.


Husain, F., Al-Shaibani, G. & Mahfoodh, O.M. (2017). Perceptions of and attitudes toward plagiarism and factors contributing to plagiarism: A review of studies. Journal of Academic Ethics, 15, 167-195.


Ismail, S. & Omar, Z. (2017). Academic dishonesty: An empirical study of personal beliefs and values of undergraduate students in Malaysia. Social Siences and Humanities, 25(3), 1181-1198.

iThenticate (2013). Research ethics: Decoding plagiarism and attribution in research: Researcher Insights into the Types of Plagiarism and Attribution Issues. Retrieved from http://www.ithenticate.com/Portals/92785/docs/ithenticate-decoding-surveysummary 092413.pdf

Joharifard, A. (2010). Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan alliance: Assessing the potential of a Persian-speaking association (Unpublished master’s tesis). Simon Fraser University, Canada.

Jones, D. L. R. (2011). Academic dishonesty: Are more students cheating? Business Communication Quarterly, 74(2), 141-150. https://doi.org/10.1177/1080569911404059

Jones, K., Reid, J.M. & Bartlett, R. (2005). Student plagiarism and cheating in an IT age. Proceedings of the International Conference on Computer Systems and Technologies, Varna, Bulgaria. ISBN 954-9641-42-2.

Kroll, B. M. (1988). How college freshmen view plagiarism. Written Communication, 5(2), 203-221. https://doi.org/10.1177/0741088388005002005

Liu, D. (2005). Plagiarism in ESOL students: Is cultural conditioning truly the major culprit? ELT Journal, 59(3), 234-241. https://doi.org/10.1093/elt/cci043

Marshall, S., & Garry, M. (2006). NESBand ESBstudents' attitudes and perceptions of plagiarism. International Journal for Educational Integrity, 2(1), 26-37.


McCabe, D. L., Feghali, T., & Abdallah, H. (2008). Academic dishonesty in the Middle East: Individual and contextual factors. Research in Higher Education, 49(5), 451-467.


Macdonald, R., & Carroll, J. (2006). Plagiarism: A complex issue requiring a holistic approach. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 31(2), 233-245.


Mohammad Hosseinpur, R., Bagheri Nevisi, R., & Afzali Shahri, M. (2018). An investigation of the reasons for committing plagiarism in the Iranian academic community: Editors-in-chief, professors, and student's perspective. Foreign Language Research Journal, 7(2), 555-588. https://doi.org/10.22059/JFLR.2017.239520.374

Moloshonok, N., & Shmeleva, E. (2019). Factors influencing academic dishonesty among undergraduate students at Russian universities. Journal of Academic Ethics, 17(3), 313-329.


Mu, C. (2010). 'I only cited some of his words': The dilemma of EFL students and their perceptions of plagiarism in academic writing. The Journal of Asia TEFL, 7(4), 103−132.

Marwa, M., Cahyono, B. Y., Latief, M. A., & Prayogo, J. A. (2021). Intercultural Topics in the Indonesian English Language Teaching Classroom: Contextualizing Local and Neutral Cultures to Target and Global Cultures. Journal of Intercultural Communication, 21(1), 34–45. https://doi.org/10.36923/jicc.v21i1.4

Park, C. (2003). In other (people's) words: plagiarism by university students- literature and lessons. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 28(5), 471-488.


Park, C. (2004). Rebels without a clause: towards an institutional framework for dealing with plagiarism by students. Journal of Further and Higher Education, 28(3), 291-306.


Pecorari, D. (2002). Original reproductions: An investigation of the source use of post graduate second language writers (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). University of Birmingham, UK.

Pecorari, D. (2003). Good and original: Plagiarism and patchwriting in academic second language writing. Journal of Second Language Writing, 12(4), 317-345. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jslw.2003.08.004

Pecorari, D. (2008). Academic writing and plagiarism: A linguistic analysis. London, UK: Continuum.

Pecorari, D., & Petric, B. (2014). Plagiarism in second-language writing. Language Teaching, 47(3), 269-302. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0261444814000056

Perlovsky, L. (2009). Language and emotions: Emotional Sapir-Whorf hypothesis. Neural Networks, 22(5-6), 518-526. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neunet.2009.06.034

Plano Clark, L., & Creswell, J. W. (2014). Understanding research: A consumer's guide (2nd ed.). Boston, Boston: Pearson Education.

Rezanejad, A., & Rezaei, S. (2013). Academic dishonesty at universities: The case of plagiarism among Iranian language students. Journal of Academic Ethics, 11, 275-295. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10805-013-9193-8

Sapir, E. (1985). Culture, language, and personality: Selected essays by Edward Sapir. University of California Press.

Scollon, R. (1995). Plagiarism and ideology: identity in intercultural discourse. Language in Society, 24(1),1-28.


Seyed Javad, K. (2012). Revisiting the history of Iran: Geopolitics and geoculture. Just Peace Diplomacy Journal, 6, 21-42.

Sikes P (2009) Will the real author come forward? Questions of ethics, plagiarism, theft and collusion in academic research writing. International Journal of Research and Method in Education, 3(1), 13-24.


Spooner, B. (2012). Persian, Farsi, Dari, Tajiki: Language names and language policies. In H. Schiffman (Ed.), Language policy and language conflict in Afghanistan and its neighbors: The changing politics of language choice (pp. 89-117). Leiden, Boston: Brill.


Stefani, L. & Carroll, J. (2001). A briefing on plagiarism. LTSN Generic Centre Assessment Series No. 10.LTSN Generic Centre. Retrieved from: http://www.palatine.ac.uk/files/968

Sutherland-Smith, W. (2008). Plagiarism, the Internet, and student learning: Improving academic integrity. New York, New York: Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203928370

Vandehey, M. A., Diekhoff, G. M., & LaBeff, E. E. (2007). College cheating: A twenty-year follow-up and the addition of an-honor code. Journal of College Student Development, 48(4), 468-480.


Wheeler, G. (2009). Plagiarism in the Japanese universities: Truly a cultural matter? Journal of Second Language Writing, 18(1), 17-29. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jslw.2008.09.004

Whorf, B. L. (1956). Language, thought, and reality. Cambridge, UK: MIT Press.


Rasoul Mohammad Hosseinpur
rmhosseinpur@gmail.com (Primary Contact)
Reza Bagheri Nevisi
Ahmad Nawab Sultani
Author Biographies

Rasoul Mohammad Hosseinpur, English Department, University of Qom. Alghadir Avenue, 37185-396, Qom, Iran

Rasoul Mohammad Hosseinpur is an associate professor of TEFL at the University of Qom, Iran. He has published several articles in ELT-related journals. His research areas include second language writing pedagogy, interlanguage pragmatics, teacher and learner identity, and culture and language learning and teaching.

Reza Bagheri Nevisi, Englsih Department, University of Qom Alghadir Avenue, 37185-396, Qom, Iran

Reza Bagheri Nevisi is an associate professor of applied linguistics at University of Qom, Iran. His research interests include task-based language teaching, language assessment, CALL, and culture and language learning and teaching.

Ahmad Nawab Sultani, English Department, University of Qom Alghadir Avenue, 37185-396, Qom. Iran

Ahmad Nawab Sultani is an MA Graduate from the University of Qom, Iran. He is mainly interested in culture and language learning and teaching.

Hosseinpur, R. M., Nevisi, R. B., & Sultani, A. N. (2023). A Search for a Common Thread: Iranian, Afghan, and Tajik EFL Students’ Perceptions of Academic Misconduct. Journal of Intercultural Communication, 23(1), 13–23. https://doi.org/10.36923/jicc.v23i1.91

Article Details

Smart Citations via scite_
  • Abstract 932
  • Download PDF 269
  • XML 0