A Teacher Discusses How To Use Turnitin

Check out this great article on how a teacher uses turnitin to facilitate improved student writing. The article does a great job taking the reader through how to use turnitin. Turnitin is of course a writing tool not a solve all plagiarism checker.

*While I have been named a Turnitin Global Innovator Honorable Mention for my work in class and this site, I have no obligations financial or otherwise to speak highly of turnitin. I just find it’s a great tool as a teacher!

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The Written Word: A TurnItIn Podcast on Writing

Check out this great resource from TurnItIn: The Written Word. It’s a podcast on writing. Of course, integrity issues are at the forefront (it is turnitin after all), but it is so much more. I have enjoyed listening to the episodes and look forward to future ones. Enjoy!

TurnItIn Announces New Tool that Combats “Contract Plagiarism”

Check out this post on Plagiarism Today. The post takes a look at a new tool coming for TurnItIn that goes after students purchasing papers from essay mills–quite a plague in academia today. According to the article, “Turnitin has announced that it is working with seven universities to create a new tool . . . Entitled Authorship Investigation  [which] aims to detect when a student’s writing changes drastically and help spot potential cases of contract cheating” (Plagiarism Today). This could make an extremely useful tool that much stronger. 

Harvard University Guide to Using Sources

Harvard has had its fair share of plagiarism cases (see Harvard Student Commits Plagiarism Loses Book Deal). In the last few years, the Harvard College Writing Program has focused on decreasing student plagiarism through student education. The Harvard Guide to Using Sources is the fruit of that effort. It is a one-stop website for tips on avoiding plagiarism, proper citation methods, using and evaluating sources, and many other helpful tips to use to avoid plagiarism.

Along with this great resource, they have developed two online quizzes that help students consider plagiarism scenarios. Quiz 1, Using Sources, Five Scenarios, helps students “work through examples based, in part, on real academic honesty cases. Upon [completion] of the tutorial, [the student] will be acquainted with the most common misunderstandings about academic integrity, and will know more about how to integrate sources responsibly into your writing” (Guide Website). Quiz 2, Using Sources, Five Examples, is “based on passages from real student essays, and illustrates problems with summarizing, paraphrasing, and quoting sources. By taking the tutorial, [the student] will gain a deeper understanding of the most common forms of plagiarism and a solid sense of how to use sources effectively” (Guide Website).

At the beginning of each quiz, the student can enter an email address and have the results sent to that address. So, a teacher can request students email their results directly or require a screen shot of their results to ensure student completion.

This resources is a great resource for teachers who wish to introduce plagiarism issues to their students and then check understanding through the online quizzes.

On Plagiarism: One Educator’s Perspective

Check out this insightful article by an educator who deals with student plagiarism: Plagiarism: To Steal or Not To Steal. Of particular note is the author’s recognition of student’s not setting out to plagiarize (see “Accidental Plagiarism”) as well as the importance of teacher’s modelling good reading skills (which she terms “curiosity”) in the classroom to dissuade student’s from plagiarizing and become original writers who think critically.

Teachers Should Practice What They Preach!

“Not only do we hold students accountable for monitoring their own behavior, but we also teach them to demonstrate courage in re- porting the unethical behavior of their peers. As professionals and adult models, we must expect as much of ourselves.”

How do we teach students about plagiarism and how to avoid it. One simple way–we model anti-plagiarism behavior in our own personal and professional lives. Check out this article: Plagiarism Isn’t Just an Issue for Students. In the article, the author makes an argument that teachers should model anti-plagiarism behavior. This is an important step in teaching students about plagiarism issues.  The article is a sober reminder that we, as teachers, should always practice what we preach.

(Credit to Allen Chase for passing on the article to me. To other subscribers, please send any interesting plagiarism info you find for possible publication on the website.)