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This study examines students’ understanding of plagiarism in universities in Tanzania using the case of Mzumbe University. A single case study design and a mixed approach were employed. The study population of 211 students pursuing education programmes was involved, and a sample of 72 students was obtained using stratified and purposive sampling techniques. Data obtained was analysed using SPSS and the content analysis technique. Results revealed little understanding of what constitutes plagiarism by 57 (79%) of the total respondents. Major forms of plagiarism identified by respondents were source-based 27 (38%), and direct plagiarism 20 (28%). Causes of plagiarism pinpointed by respondents were laziness 52 (71.6%), poor time management 43 (59.7%), difficult assignments 53 (73.6%), and unawareness of penalties associated with plagiarism 38 (51.8%. This study recommends that all undergraduate works should be subjected to plagiarism check, the University should develop a plagiarism policy, and that plagiarism is taught as a topic to students.
Keywords: Plagiarism, Anti-plagiarism software, Academic dishonesty, Types of plagiarism.
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