Plagiarism: Morality and Metaphor

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


Literature and Languages

Date of Award

Fall 2014


The purpose of this project is to analyze, in recent select plagiarism commentary both within and outside composition studies, the practical definitions of, proposed methods of preventing, and common ways of punishing or responding to plagiarism, bringing explicit attention to the moral reasoning that may justify or not justify each and devoting particular attention to metaphors that signal and advance such reasoning. My aim in this study is to encourage members of the composition field and other teachers of writing to approach plagiarism with critical, deliberate clarity, resulting in an enhanced ability to articulate to themselves and their relevant audiences (colleagues, students, public) why teachers and scholars approach plagiarism in the ways they do. I close this project with two recommendations for further inquiry which may help to resolve seemingly unnecessarily unresolved questions regarding instruction in citation conventions.


Bill Bolin

Subject Categories

Arts and Humanities | English Language and Literature | Rhetoric and Composition