The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type


Degree Name

English: Teaching English as a Second Language: M.A.




College of Liberal Arts

First Advisor

Michael Schwartz

Second Advisor

Edward Sadrai

Third Advisor

Ali Albashir Mohammed Alhaj

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



The current study aims at investigating Saudi students’ perspective on plagiarism in the context of universities in the United States. Saudi students who are interested in coming to English-speaking countries such as the United States or Canada to take English courses for personal reasons and to learn English as a Second Language (L2) before taking academic courses. Many of these students realize that Saudi Arabian education is different from US education systems. Saudi students encounter challenges while trying to understand American education system. An example of these challenges is students’ lack of knowledge about plagiarism, which might be due to their lack of knowledge about Western academic culture. This study will assist ESL instructors to become more aware of the impact of students’ cultural background and the importance of understanding the complexities of plagiarism before making accusations of academic dishonesty.245 of Saudi students were surveyed in this study test the hypotheses. The participants were in either American Intensive English Programs (IEPs) or US universities. An online survey was created in Survey Monkey and link was sent to all participants via the Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission to the US (SACM). In addition, SACM provided permission for the link to be posted on their social media websites. Once the participants got the link, they could easily start the survey via computers and smart phones. The findings of this study showed that despite the awareness about plagiarism and the use of citations among the Saudi students, the students still practice plagiarism because of some factors like family friendship, lack of knowledge of how to provide an appropriate way of citations.