The Good, The Bad, The Plagiarized: The Many Facets of Turnitin

Most of the parents of today’s students didn’t experience the conveniences that technology has brought about in recent times. When writing papers, they didn’t have personal computers then. And when they finish their papers, they didn’t have to put it through the anti-plagiarism software such as Turnitin, the way the students are doing nowadays. In this post, we will discuss the 6 most debatable points of Turnitin as well as How Turnitin Works

It is the Biggest Anti-Plagiarism Software

The company behind this anti-plagiarism software is Turnitin. With the software, it uses a database to screen the papers for plagiarism. And it’s not just a simple database. It can check over 400 million student papers, 110 million contents from publishers and scientific journals, and 45 billion web pages. The software is being used by more than half of the higher education institutions in the United States and about a quarter of the number of high schools. There are many other companies offering this anti-plagiarism software but Turnitin is arguably the biggest. 

It Can’t Tell Intentional from Accidental Plagiarism

Many young students are not aware of the act of plagiarism and unwittingly commit it. While it is the task of the educator to ensure the students that they understand the consequences of plagiarism, it still cannot be prevented a hundred percent. The thing about Turnitin is that it can certainly tell if a paper is plagiarized. However, it cannot say whether or not it is intentional. This puts the students and the teachers in adversarial positions. 

Students Have to Prove their Innocence

When the paper turns out to be plagiarized, the student has to prove that he or she did not intend to plagiarize or that it was done accidentally. Now this is a rather difficult process both for the teachers and the students. This tool can either make or break the future of a student. If the teacher goes by the book and believes the software entirely, then there will be an increase in the students failing certain classes. If the teacher is lenient about it, it can be abused by students who are too lazy to write a good piece of academic work and just claim that it was accidental. 

Students Might Develop a Fright

With the software not knowing if the plagiarism committed had been accidental or not, the students will be always on their toes, worrying if they did something wrong with their papers. If their teacher is strict and believes the software alone, then the students might become discouraged about writing papers and fulfilling their academic requirements. It can be frustrating, especially if you know you worked hard for a paper only to find out that the software deemed it plagiarized. 

Different Teacher, Different Tool

For some teachers, the tool is a great way to spot mistakes. When the papers are returned to the students, they can see the corrections and revise. No major consequences. The assumption is that the plagiarism was accidental. 

There are other teachers who use the tool to spot the students who committed plagiarism and discipline them by some punishment or even a trip to the dean’s office. The software is seen as a different tool from teacher to teacher. 

It Helps the Teachers Help the Students

While Turnitit helps the teachers save a lot of time when it comes to checking papers, it is not all that. Many teachers rely on the software in identifying the weak points of the students. In doing so, the teachers can then help the students in improving their work. It also helps the educators to know how well the students understand plagiarism and proper citations. This way, both the teaching and the application of what is being learned is improved. 

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