Turnitin Study Shows Significant Reduction in Unoriginal Writing Among High School Students

Eight-year study of over 2,800 U.S. schools reveals the impact of plagiarism prevention technology on student writing

OAKLAND, Calif. (Sep. 25, 2013) -- Turnitin, the leader in originality checking and online grading, today announced a new eight-year study analyzing the levels of unoriginal content in student writing among U.S. high schools using Turnitin. The study, which groups schools by state, indicates that schools using Turnitin reduced unoriginal writing by 33 percent over the course of the study's time span. Forty-three of the 50 states show reductions ranging up to 83 percent.

The study analyzes over 36 million student papers from 2,862 high schools to determine the percent change in papers that contain more than 50 percent unoriginal content.

View an interactive map with the study results and methodology.

Download a detailed report.

Turnitin will discuss the findings in the report during a 30-minute webcast on Thursday, October 10.
Register for the webcast.

Schools in some of the most populous states experienced significant reductions in levels of unoriginal writing after four, six and eight years of using Turnitin.

Change in Papers with 50-100% Unoriginal Content after:
4 Years 6 Years 8 Years
United States -7% -21% -33%
California -9% -30% -31%
Texas -11% -35% -22%
New York -20% -38% -46%
Illinois -3% -12% -32%

"There's been a good deal of accepted research showing how plagiarism is a growing problem in education," said Chris Caren, chairman and CEO of Turnitin. "This study reveals how consistent use of educational technologies deliver measurable improvements to student outcomes by engaging students around issues of proper research, citation and writing."

Other key study findings include:

  • All 50 states showed a reduction in unoriginal content at some point over the course of the study
  • Sixteen states—including the populous states of Texas and New York—experienced consistent decreases in unoriginal content over the entire course of the study;
  • Massachusetts showed the most dramatic reduction of 83 percent over eight years.

About Turnitin

Turnitin is the global leader in evaluating and improving student learning. The company’s cloudbased service for originality checking, online grading and peer review saves instructors time and provides rich feedback to students. One of the most widely distributed educational applications in the world, Turnitin is used by more than 10,000 institutions in 135 countries to manage the submission, tracking and evaluation of student work online. Turnitin also offers iThenticate, a plagiarism detection service for commercial markets, and WriteCheck, a suite of formative tools for writers. Turnitin is backed by Insight Venture Partners, GIC, Norwest Venture Partners, and Lead Edge Capital, and is headquartered in Oakland, Calif., with an international office in Newcastle, U.K.

All products and services mentioned in this document are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

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