Plagiarism by contract writing: Insights from forensic linguistics

Averil Marie Grieve, Belinda Britt Ross

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


This paper focuses on how forensic linguistics might assist in developing tools to detect contract writing in tertiary settings. Academic integrity is threatened by a widespread rise in contract writing, whereby students pay others to write their assignments (Wallace & Newton, 2014). Contract cheating is most prevalent among students working in a non-native language (Lines, 2016; Rigby et al, 2015), making it centrally important to the Australian tertiary context. Plagiarism software remains unable to detect incidences of contract writing and, despite a number of proposed methods of prevention (Wallace & Newton, 2014), contract writing continues to rise unnoticed (O’Malley & Roberts, 2012; Rogerson, 2014). Developments in forensic linguistics, in particular, holistic approaches to the analysis of style and stylometrics (Kotzé, 2010; Mitchell, 2013), may lead the way to reliable authorship attribution. This research argues that such developments can inform academics in the creation of state-of- the-art contract writing detection software.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventMonash Learning & Teaching Conference -
Duration: 2 Jun 2016 → …


ConferenceMonash Learning & Teaching Conference
Period2/06/16 → …

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