Resources in Mandarin

Important issue specific to students of Chinese culture!

What is plagiarism?

Essentially, plagiarism is copying. In North American universities, if you copy or plagiarize in your essays and homework, you are subject to punishment by the University because it is considered cheating [1]. We have met many Chinese students who accidentally committed plagiarism and who told us that they were unaware of or had trouble understanding this concept because it is not a part of Chinese education [2].

Why, how?

Fundamental philosophical differences between the East and the West help us better understand the root of this issue. In Eastern view, ideas belong to everybody or to society as a whole [3]. In Western view, individual people have a property right to their own ideas: it is believed that “people have a natural right to the products of their brain”. [4]

What this concretely means for you as a North American university student is that you are expected to follow strict referencing rules when you write papers or assignments. Since ideas are believed to belong to other people, references allow your professors to know whose ideas you are drawing upon. It is not disrespectful to indicate your source; to the contrary, failing to do so is considered an ethical breach.[5]

The University of Ottawa has published a guide to show you the proper use of references [6]. We have translated it to Mandarin.

The University punishes plagiarism

Many students mistakenly believe that they are properly referencing their sources. Ask your professors for their help before submitting your homework, visit a mentoring centre in your faculty, or visit the University Academic Writing Help Centre.

Under the current system at the University of Ottawa, even if you make an honest mistake in your references, you are still guilty of plagiarism. Your professor may choose to make a formal accusation against you and you will be asked to explain yourself to the university administration. You will be subject to punishment. The punishments most often imposed are failure for the work or for the course (a grade of “F”) but the university has the power to impose harsher sanctions going all the way to expulsion. If you commit plagiarism a second or third time, the sanction will be more severe.

Students have rights

If you receive an email from the university informing you that you are being accused of plagiarism or any other type of cheating, know that you have rights as a student in this process. Our role is to help defend your rights, so contact us right away if you need help.

[1] “Academic Regulations Explained.” University of Ottawa,

[2] Pfeifer, Maura. “Root Causes of Plagiarism for International Students from China.” The Cambridge Network, 12 July 2016,

[3] Idem.

[4] Roy, Alpana. Intellectual Property Rights: A Western Tale. Asia Pacific Law Review, 16:2, 219-239, 2008,

[5] Bradshaw James, and Tamara Baluja. “Why Many Students Get a Failing Grade in Academic Integrity”. Globe and Mail, 2 Sept. 2011,

[6] “Says Who? Integrity in Writing: Avoiding Plagiarism” University of Ottawa,




质上,剽窃就是抄袭。在北美的各大学中,如果你在论文和作业中有复制或抄袭行为,你就会被大学惩罚,因为这被认定为作弊 [1]。我们遇到了许多无意间进行抄袭的中国学生,他们告诉我们,他们不知道或者不理解这个概念,因为在中国教育中这不是一个十分强调的问题 [2]


了解东西方之间在哲学观念上存在的根本差异,将有助于我们更好地理解这个问题的根源。在东方看来,思想属于每一个人,也属于整个社会 [3]。但在西方看来,个人对自己的思想有一种财产权:人们相信每个人对自己大脑的产品都拥有天生的权利[4]


渥太华大学出版了一本学生指南,介绍如何正确使用参考文献 [6]们已将其翻译成中文(链接)


许多学生相信自己恰当地引用了资料的来源,但实际做法中仍有错误。因此,在提交家庭作业之前,请向你的教授寻求帮助,或向你所在学院的辅导中心咨询,或者访问大学学术写作帮助中心University Academic Writing Help Centre




[1] 术规则解释,渥太华大学,

[2] 费菲(Pfeifer),莫拉(Maura),来自中国的国际学生抄袭的原因,《剑桥网络》(The Cambridge Network),2016712日,

[3] 同上。

[4] 罗伊(Roy),阿尔派纳(Alpana),识产权:一个西方的故事。《亚太法律评论》,16:2219-2392008年,

[5] 布拉德肖詹姆斯(Bradshaw James)和塔玛拉卢哈(Tamara Baluja)。为什么许多学生在学术诚信上不及格。《环球邮报》,20112日,

[6] 说谁呢?完整性写作:避免抄袭《渥太华大学报》,