AWEJ Volume.4 Number.3, 2013                                                                  Pp. 124 – 134

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A Study of Electronic Plagiarism Detection as a Tool for Learning Summary Writing

Chia-Pei Wu
Department of Applied English
I-Shou University, Taiwan


The aim of this study was to explore summary writing processes of sixty Taiwanese freshmen that enrolled in an EFL reading and writing courses. This study examined the difference of participants’ summarized texts and original source texts. The design of the study had one group with traditional writing instruction and the other with plagiarism detection software in writing instruction environment. Within eighteen weeks, the students read and summarized reading materials what they learned. Teacher and peers’ feedbacks were given in two different writing instruction settings. A pretest–posttest experimental design was implemented. Instruments of the study included students’ perception questionnaires and reflective journals of using plagiarism detection software. The results indicated that students’ summary writing tasks did not show significant differences between original source texts and summarized texts after both groups received summary writing instruction. On the other hand, students commented positively that the use of Turnitin facilitated them to understand their errors from teachers’ and peers’ feedback. The implications of the intervention that used plagiarism detection software in L2 writing class were demonstrated.

Keywords: plagiarism detection software; summary writing; paraphrasing; feedback; Turnitin


Dr. Chia-Pei Wu is an assistant professor of Applied English Department at I-Shou University.
She has taught reading, business English and academic writing in Taiwan. Her major research
interests include academic writing, computer-assisted language learning and reading instruction.