Using a two-tier test in examining Taiwan graduate students' perspectives on paraphrasing strategies

Yu-Chih Sun*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


This study examines Taiwanese English as a foreign language (EFL) graduate students' perspectives on paraphrasing strategies. A two-layer scenario survey was developed to identify the reasoning behind students' judgments that certain paraphrasing is appropriate or inappropriate. The first-layer scenario survey is in a true-false format that consists of nine paraphrasing scenarios and that served to elicit from students their declarative knowledge of appropriate paraphrasing strategies. The second-layer scenario survey is in an open-ended question format that explores students' explanatory knowledge underlying their first-layer choices. In addition, an attitude survey and a demographic survey were designed and implemented to explore learner variables in relation to the learners' perspectives on paraphrasing strategies. A total of 141 EFL graduate students participated in the study. The results shed considerable light on students' diverse perceptions and reasoning regarding paraphrasing strategies. More than half of the students considered surface-level paraphrasing (patchwriting) to be acceptable strategy use. Significant correlation was found between students' responses to the acceptability of paraphrasing strategies and the following factors: (1) perceived difficulty in paraphrasing, (2) perceived value of appropriate source use, (3) perceived competence in overcoming the temptation to plagiarize, (4) perceived disadvantage as a foreign-language learner with paraphrasing, (5) gender, and (6) paraphrasing-related training. Pedagogical implications of the results are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)399-408
Number of pages10
JournalAsia Pacific Education Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - 4 Jun 2009


  • Academic writing
  • Paraphrasing
  • Patchwriting
  • Plagiarism
  • Second language writing

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