Blog

  • The Detection is in the Details

    The Inner Workings of Plagiarism Detection Technology

    There are a number of ways that technology can be used to identify potentially plagiarized content. This post examines the different ways, and how Turnitin uses search technology and content comparison algorithms to help educators help students learn how to use source attribution appropriately.

    Plagiarism has always existed as a problem - the origins of the word date back to the 1st century. It's only of late, however, that plagiarism has become a significant concern not just for educators and researchers, but also in the public sphere. New instances of plagiarism seem to hit the news on a daily basis. Whether it's song lyrics, plagiarism by school officials, government ministers, speeches by political figures, or the plagiarism that happens in the classroom, incidents of plagiarism appear to be on the rise everywhere.

    Continue Reading


  • Is Recycling Your Own Work Plagiarism?

    This post is excerpted from an article originally published on iThenticate.com in 2011. iThenticate is Turnitin's sister service for publishers and academic researchers.

    Writers often claim that because they are the authors, they can reuse their work, either in full or in excerpts, over and over again. How can republishing one’s own work be defined as plagiarism if the author has only used his or her own words and ideas? This white paper explores the definition of self-plagiarism, how it crosses into copyright laws and ethical issues, and the different ways an author can avoid this increasingly controversial act of scholarly misconduct.

    Continue Reading


  • Melania Trump Trumped by Plagiarism?

    Understanding Plagiarism to Avoid Controversy

    View The Plagiarism Spectrum

    The 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, whether for good or bad, seemed poised to grab quite a few headlines and to stir controversy while it happened. Surprisingly, one particular controversy touched upon a subject that is quite close to what we do: the question of whether Melania Trump’s speech on Monday, July 18th, plagiarized an address Michelle Obama made to the Democratic National Convention in 2008.

    So, did she?

    Continue Reading


  • Using Turnitin as a Writing Tool

    Guest blog article by Jennifer Haber

    Probably the most frustrating part of being a writing instructor is that although I give students feedback and feedback and more feedback, I sometimes wonder if they ever read it. In fact, I remember a few semesters ago when for the third time I wrote on a student’s paper, “Remember, you don’t begin a paragraph with a quote; you need to present an idea first and then support it with the evidence.” Maybe she didn’t understand what I meant, I thought.

    Finally, after our next class, I asked to speak with her. “Tiffany,” I probed. “Do you know what I meant by that comment I placed on your paper?”

    “What comment?” she asked. “Oh, I don’t really look at those.”

    Continue Reading


  • Promptastic: Analyzing Tweets and Texts

    Your students are actually always thinking about voice and audience -- they just may not be aware of it! One way to teach rhetorical analysis is to have students analyze their own texts and tweets for audience, tone, and voice.

    Continue Reading


  • What’s the Story of Your Writing?

    For most people, the word “story” is a simple noun used to describe the plot or narrative of a work. However, for Adam Tramantano, story is also a verb, one used to describe the process of writing and the point of view of the author.

    Tramantano, an English teacher at the Bronx High School of Science, is also a doctoral student in English Education and an adjunct instructor at Teacher’s College, Columbia University. He recently sat down with Jason Chu for a webcast entitled “What’s the Story Behind Why We Write?” that delved into how we can make writing a more conscious and deliberate process for students.

    Continue Reading


  • The Types of Feedback that Help Students the Most

    When it comes to giving feedback, instructors often struggle to find ways to communicate to students what they need to do to improve their writing.

    Continue Reading


  • Separating Mimicry from Plagiarism: Teaching Through Copying

    To many educators, there’s a belief that students in eastern countries learn through rote memorization and copying while those in western countries focus more or original work and creative thought.

    Though the stereotype is obviously not the complete truth, there are cultural differences between educational approaches in countries with an eastern cultural background and those with a western approach.

    Continue Reading


  • Removing Barriers to Student Understanding of Feedback

    When it comes to giving feedback to students, educators often wonder how much their work is sinking in.

    Continue Reading


  • Using Turnitin to Help Developmental Students

    by Jennifer Haber, Professor of Communications at St. Petersburg College

    When I first found out about Turnitin years ago, I used it strictly as a way to check students’ writings for plagiarism. It would give me an originality percentage, and I was able to identify if students had used sources and cited correctly. But, two years, I realized that Turnitin was much more powerful than I had originally thought, and I began using it in different ways. In fact, Turnitin became a means of providing feedback and having students work through writing as a process.

    Continue Reading