Plagiarism, Intertextuality and Emergent Authorship in University Students' Academic Writing

Celia Helen Thompson


Issues of plagiarism, intertextuality and authorial presence in academic writing are fundamental to the teaching and learning activities of all university lecturers and their students. Knowing how to assist students, particularly those who speak English as an additional language (EAL), to develop a sense of text/knowledge ownership and authorial presence in the creation of discipline-based scholarly texts can be especially challenging. Clarifying what is encompassed by the notion of ‘common knowledge’ is also central to this process. The aim of this paper is to explore the political and intertextual nature of text/knowledge construction and emergent student authorship through the analysis of interviews and written assignments from two EAL students, together with interview data from lecturers from relevant disciplinary fields. Drawing on the work of Bakhtin, Kristeva and Penrose and Geisler, I conclude by suggesting that it is by engaging with, rather than fearing, intertextual connections, that we can create a dialogic pedagogy for academic writing that will enable students to articulate an authoritative authorial identity of their own. The importance of lecturer intervention during the drafting stages of text production is also emphasised.

Keywords: plagiarism; intertextuality; emergent authorship; academic writing

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