Book Chapter

How much can you copy?


Copying is often associated directly with plagiarism; in a survey of 54 universities, Pecorari found the copying of words or "verbatim repetition" to be one of the widely listed practices that constituted plagiarism according to institutional definitions. It is therefore unsurprising that a great deal of attention is paid to copying in academic writing, and the associated problems are of considerable concern to staff and students. This chapter discusses why we copy and different practices of copying, before examining possible distinctions between acceptable and unacceptable practices. In this way, the chapter aims to raise the reader's awareness about copying and to offer some guidelines to draw lines between acceptable and unacceptable practices. It has discussed the natural, developmental, historical and cultural contexts of copying and set out acceptable practices with copying and contrasted them with unacceptable copying practices. Using Pecorari and Shaw's typology of intertextuality, the chapter has discussed indirect intertextuality in relation to academic phrases in particular.

Attached files


Davis, Mary

Oxford Brookes departments

Oxford Brookes Business School


Year of publication: 2018
Date of RADAR deposit: 2022-03-07

All rights reserved.

Related resources

This RADAR resource is the Accepted Manuscript of How much can you copy?
This RADAR resource is Part of Student plagiarism in higher education: Reflections on teaching practice [ISBN: 9781138055155] / edited by Diane Pecorari and Philip Shaw (Routledge, 2019).


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