Addressing Pedagogy on Textual Borrowing

Focus on Instructional Resources


  • Zuzana Tomaš University of Utah



plagiarism, l2 writing instruction, l2 writing pedagogy, textbooks, l2 writers


Over the past few decades, researchers interested in composition and second-language (L2) writing have increasingly begun to examine issues related to intentional and unintentional plagiarism, factors influencing plagiarism such as culture and language proficiency, and L2 writers’ textual borrowing practices. However, less attention has been paid to the instructional issues surrounding plagiarism. This article aims to add to the research on pedagogy specific to writing from sources by reporting on a survey conducted with 113 writing instructors working at universities, colleges, and intensive English language institutes in the Western United States. These instructors evaluated existing resources for teaching how to avoid plagiarism and shared ideas about the types of instructional materials they use or would like to use. Additionally, the article examines a case of one writing instructor utilizing resources related to textual borrowing when teaching a unit on summarizing as part of an academic writing course for L2 writers, and explores the decisions made in the process of implementing various resources in the class. Based on the results of the survey and the case study, recommendations are made for writing instructors and materials developers, along with suggestions for future research.

Author Biography

Zuzana Tomaš, University of Utah

Zuzana Tomaš is completing PhD studies at the University of Utah while working as an Associate Director at the University’s Writing Center. Her research interests include second language writing and teacher education. Zuzana Tomaš is also an Olympian; she competed at the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008, running a marathon for her native country of Slovakia.


Angelil-Carter, S. (2000) Stolen Language? Plagiarism in Writing. Harlow: Pearson Education.

Barks, D. and Watts, P. (2001) Textual borrowing strategies for graduate-level ESL writers. In D. Belcher and A. Hirvela (eds.) Linking Literacies: Perspectives on L2 Reading- Writing Connections 246–267. Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan Press.

Bloch, J. and Chi, L. (1995) A comparison of the use of citations in Chinese and English academic discourse. In D. Belcher and G. Braine (eds.) Academic Writing in a Second Language: Essays in Research Pedagogy 231–274. Norwood, New Jersey: Ablex.

Borg, E. (2000) Citation practices in academic writing. In P. Thompson (ed.) Patterns and perspectives: Insights for EAP writing practice 14–25. Reading, U.K.: The University of Reading.

Campbell, C. (1990) Writing with others’ words: Using background reading text in academic compositions. In B. Kroll (ed.) Second Language Writing: Research Insights for the Classroom 211–230. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Currie, P. (1998) Staying out of trouble: Apparent plagiarism and academic survival. Journal of Second Language Writing 7(1): 1–18.

Dudley-Evans, T. (2002) The teaching of the academic essay: Is a genre-approach possible? In A. M. Johns (ed.) Genre in the Classroom: Multiple Perspectives 225–235. Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Howard, R. (1995) Plagiarisms, authorships, and the academic death penalty. College English 57(7): 788–806.

Hsu, A. Y. (2003) Patterns of Plagiarism Behavior in the ESL Classroom and the Effectiveness of Instruction in Appropriate Use of Sources. Unpublished Doctoral thesis, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Hyland, K. (1999) Academic attribution: Citation and the construction of disciplinary knowledge. Applied Linguistics 20(3): 341—367.

Johns, A. M. (1997) Text, Role, and Context: Developing Academic Literacies. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Jones, A. A. and Freeman, T. E. (2003) Imitation, copying, and the use of models: Report writing in an introductory physics course. IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication 46(3): 168–184.

Keck, C. (2006) The use of paraphrase in summary writing: A comparison of L1 and L2 writers. Journal of Second Language Writing 15(4): 261–278.

Keck, C. (this issue) How do university students attempt to avoid plagiarism? A grammatical analysis of undergraduate paraphrasing strategies.

Leki, I. (1998) Academic Writing: Exploring Processes and Strategies. (Second edition.) Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Leki, I. (2003) Living through college literacy. Written Communication 20(1): 81–98.

Leki, I. and Carson, J. (1997) “Completely different worlds”: EAP and the writing experiences of ESL students in university courses. TESOL Quarterly 31(1): 39–70.

Liu, D. (2005) Plagiarism in ESOL students: Is cultural conditioning truly the culprit? ELT Journal 59(3): 234–243.

Pecorari, D. (2001) Plagiarism and international students: How the English-speaking university responds. In D. Belcher and A. Hirvela (eds.) Linking Literacies: Perspectives on L2 Reading-Writing Connections 229–245. Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan Press.

Pecorari, D. (2003) Good and original: Plagiarism and patchwriting in academic secondlanguage writing. Journal of Second Language Writing 12(4): 317–345.

Pecorari, D. (2006) Visible and occluded citation features in postgraduate secondlanguage writing. English for Specific Purposes 25(1): 4–29.

Pennycook, A. (1996) Borrowing others’ words: Text, ownership, memory, and plagiarism. TESOL Quarterly 3 (2): 201–230.

Price, M. (2002) Beyond “Gotcha!”: Situating plagiarism in policy and pedagogy. College Composition and Communication 54 (1): 88–115.

Russell, D. (1997) Rethinking genre in school and society. Written Communication 14: 504–554.

Shi, L. (2004) Textual borrowing in second language writing. Written Communication 21: 171–200.

Simmons, S. C. (1999) Competing notions of authorship: A historical look at students and textbooks In L. Buranen and A. M. Roy (eds.) Perspectives on Plagiarism and Intellectual Property in a Postmodern World 41–52. Albany, New York: SUNY Press.

Spack, R. (1997) The acquisition of academic literacy in a second language: A longitudinal case study. Written Communication 14(1): 3–62.

Sutherland-Smith, W. (2005) Pandora’s box: Academic perceptions of student plagiarism in writing. Journal of English for Academic Purposes 4: 83–95.

Swales, J. and Feak, C. (1994) Academic Writing for Graduate Students. Ann Arbor, Michigan: The University of Michigan Press.

Tardy, C. and Courtney, J. (2008) Assignments and activities in teaching academic writing. In P. Friedrich (ed.) Teaching Academic Writing 73–92. New York: Continuum.

Tomaš, Z. (2006) Textual borrowing and source attribution in second language writers. Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL). Montreal, Canada.

Tomaš, Z. (2010) Paraphrase integration task: Increasing authenticity of practice in using academic sources. In M. C. Pennington and P. Burton (eds.) College Writing Toolkit: Tried and Tested Ideas for Teaching College Writing. Equinox: London.

Tomaš, Z. and Rosenberg, A. (March 2005) Rethinking paraphrasing skills. Paper presented at the Annual Convention of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). San Antonio, Texas.

Yamada, K. (2003) What prevents ESL/EFL writers from avoiding plagiarism? Analyses of 10 North-American college Web sites. System 31(2): 247–258.

Wette, R. (2010) Evaluating student learning in a university-level EAP unit on writing using sources. Journal of Second Language Writing 19 (3): 158–177.



How to Cite

Tomaš, Z. (2010). Addressing Pedagogy on Textual Borrowing: Focus on Instructional Resources. Writing and Pedagogy, 2(2), 223-250.



Research Matters

Most read articles by the same author(s)