Use an Appropriate Citation Style

  1. Recognize that some students come from different academic traditions

Differences in cultures and international students

  • Plagiarism is defined differently in non-western cultures.

  • Repeating word for word is considered a compliment in some cultures, and in some places helping another student during an exam is considered acceptable.

  • International students can often feel overwhelmed when writing in English and feel as though the author conveyed the idea better than they ever could, so they decide it’s better to copy directly then to struggle to put it into their own words (Simpson, 2016).

Ways to support international students and ESL students to prevent plagiarism and cheating

  • Highlight supports that can help them navigate and understand academic integrity such as the Writing Centre, their Librarians, and on-campus tutoring or study groups.

  • Create a welcoming atmosphere and open-door policy so students feel welcome to come to you with any questions or confusion.

  • Discuss what plagiarism and cheating means in your class, and at this institution.

2. Introduce your students to citation management tools

The University subscribes to Refworks and the campus community can use Refworks to embed intext citations and automatically create bibliographies/works cited lists.

You can also invite your liaison librarian to provide a workshop on the variety of citation creation and management tools that are available to you and your students.

Please note: Students must understand what citations are and why they are used before they can effectively navigate a citation management tool.


Simpson, D. (2016). Academic dishonesty: An international student perspective. Higher Education Politics & Economics, 2(1), 111-123.