Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Learning Sciences and Human Development

Committee Chair

Neal Shambaugh.


This was a multiple case study of all the 12th grade English teachers in one West Virginia county school system. Qualitative data collection methods involving teacher interviews and analysis of classroom handouts were utilized to reveal how they address plagiarism. Demographic statistics about the communities and schools was examined to enable comparisons between the schools and the participants. The research questions guiding this study were: (a) What are secondary English teachers' perspectives on plagiarism, and (b) What are secondary English teachers' practices on plagiarism. Data were collected and analyzed for any patterns, extremes, or relevancy to the related literature. Then significant quotes were copied and pasted from interview transcripts into tables containing plagiarism related topics. Document data were also coded and examined for a relationship to interview data. Data revealed that English teachers of students in advanced classes and students in schools with a higher socioeconomic status felt their students plagiarized less and for more honorable reasons than did teachers of students in regular education classes located in more rural, less well-off communities. The data revealed English teachers spent a great deal of time, most of one grading period, six or seven weeks, for instruction of the research project. Data indicated most English teachers enforced either an oral or written policy on plagiarism that usually includes a grade cut as the sole consequence. The opportunities for students to plagiarize and for teachers to detect plagiarism continued to evolve as their use of technology evolved. English teachers can help prevent plagiarism by insuring their instruction on research and writing is meaningful and comprehended by their students. All English teachers can help prevent plagiarism in any instance by having a communicated policy to deal with instances of plagiarism that involves discipline beyond simply the expected grade cut.