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  • Essay Writing Services Uncovered

    Essays from essay writing services often contain extensive material cribbed from online sources as well as material from banks of standard essays that have been recycled many times over. Students who purchase so-called custom-written essays may not be getting as original work as they think. Because of the size and reach of Turnitin's databases, Turnitin is likely to flag content in so-called custom essays as unoriginal.

    In a blog posting by Dan Ariely (professor at Duke University and the author of "The Honest Truth About Dishonesty" and "Predictably Irrational") entitled "Plagiarism and essay mills," he explains the results of an experiment in which he purchased custom essays to check out their quality. After receiving the absurdly poor quality essays produced by these services, he concludes, "...the day is not here where students can submit papers from essay mills and get good grades for them. Moreover, we concluded that if students did try to buy a paper from an essay mill, just like us, they would feel that they have wasted their money and won’t try it again."

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  • Engaging Students with Turnitin

    20100820 engagestudentsInstructors and students are most familiar with Turnitin as a plagiarism prevention tool. Many miss the opportunity to use Turnitin as a teaching tool to really engage students and provide them with meaningful feedback.

    OriginalityCheck is an opportunity for instructors to connect with students to show them proper citation, to identify motivations for improper citation, and to address academic integrity. In other words, it gives instructors a teaching moment.

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  • Plagiarism or Similarity

    20121116 similarityscoreAt this time of year, we hear a lot of chatter from students via Twitter (follow us: @turnitin) saying, "turnitin says my essay was 23% plagiarized," or "just submitted my paper to turnitin... 4% plagiarism is good right?," or "my Turnitin plagiarism percentage is only 18%."

    There is a very distinct difference between what Turnitin flags as matching text (aka: similarity index) and plagiarism. Turnitin will highlight ANY matching material in a paper—even if it is properly quoted and cited. Just because it appears as unoriginal does not mean it is plagiarized; it just means that the material matches something in the Turnitin databases.

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  • Stopping Word Thieves

    CBS Sunday Morning's featured story on plagiarism included intimate interviews with infamous plagiarists Quentin Rowan and Jayson Blair, and includes a brief conversation with Turnitin CEO Chris Caren.

    Quentin Rowan authored his first novel, "Assassin of Secrets" in 2011 and was found to largely be a mash-up of 20 different books including popular James Bond titles. "There are stretches that go for maybe 10-15 pages, where the only thing changed are the names," Rowan said.

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  • Why Bother with Peer Review?

    In our most recent Turnitin Academy Live webinar, Developing Critical Thinking Skills with PeerMark, we asked our attendees, "What are the benefits of peer review and why do we bother?"

    Some of your colleagues answered:
    • "I think it's still good for kids to see other writing."
    • "It helps students see if they are communicating well."
    • "They are learning to objectively look at writing."
    • "It is a rich source of feedback."
    • "Enlarges their sense of audience past just thinking only the instructor is reading their papers."
    • "The reviewer profits as well as the reviewee."
    Find out how and why you should be using peer review in your classes, regardless of what subject you teach. You can watch a recording of Developing Critical Thinking Skills with PeerMark at your convenience and you can view all of our previously recorded webinars at the Turnitin Academy Live page in the Training Center.

  • Time to Upgrade from Internet Explorer 7

    Turnitin will no longer support the Internet Explorer 7 (IE7) browser starting in January 2013. In order for us to continue improving Turnitin and offering features to help instructors improve student writing, our development team needs to make use of the capabilities in modern browsers. This is part of being a leading software-as-a-service.

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  • Beyond the Basics of OriginalityCheck

    20120918 ocWe've always advocated Turnitin OriginalityCheck to be used as a tool to teach proper citation and source integration, to address academic integrity, and to make investigating potential plagiarism easier.

    OriginalityCheck at its core is simple to start exploring and using in your classroom. By providing visual feedback, you and your students can get a good representation of how well they've integrated outside source material into their writing. At a glance, you can take a closer look into papers with higher matches.

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  • Common Core Grading Rubrics Now Available in Turnitin

    Turnitin has released six writing rubrics that are aligned to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). These new rubrics are available now in the Rubric Library if you are affiliated with a middle school, high school, or community college account in the United States. If you are not affiliated with these eligible schools, you can download the Common Core Rubric Pack (.zip) and import the .RBC files into your Rubric Library.

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  • Common Core State Standard Writing Rubrics in GradeMark

    20120814 cc rubricIn response to states' adoption of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), Turnitin will be releasing CCSS-aligned writing rubrics for grades 9-10 and 11-12. There will be a total of 6 rubrics altogether (2 each for Informative, Argumentative, and Narrative text types). These rubrics were developed for Turnitin by the English Professional Learning Council, a group of educators sponsored by and involving instructors primarily from Saddleback College and the Orange County Department of Education.

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  • Beyond Plagiarism Checking: A User's Take on GradeMark

    20100820 gmMany Turnitin users that have access to GradeMark are not aware of what an essential, powerful and effective tool it can be.

    Cath Ellis, an English literature instructor, blogger, and e-learning enthusiast, recently wrote on her blog about how merely checking for potential plagiarism is such a minor part of her use. She expounds on her use of GradeMark and the benefits of being quicker, better, easier, and retrievable. Her students prefer their papers being reviewed in GradeMark because of the confidentiality, accessibility, and convenience that Turnitin provides.

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