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July 3, 2017 - Posted by TopWritersReviews

What Can Turnitin Detect When You Turn in Your Paper

Turnitin is often referred to as a plagiarism detector. This isn’t quite true. In fact, the Turnitin website itself states that Turnitin is not a plagiarism detector. So, what is it exactly? When you or  your instructor submit your paper to Turnitin what exactly can you expect to learn? Should I high similarity index be taken as proof of cheating. The answer to the question, ‘can turnitin detect plagiarism?’ is no. Only a human being can determine plagiarism or other forms of academic dishonesty. Let’s look at some common questions about Turnitin. Then we will explore what the tool can be used for.

How Turnitin Works

Turnitin has a vast database of content. It pulls in web content, indexes and retains content from previously submitted papers. It even subscribes to academic journals and publication simply to mine the text and other information. When a paper is scanned using Turnitin, the software accesses that vast database to see if there are similarities or matches. If there are, the similarity index is increased and the match is displayed on the report.

Will Turnitin Detect my Own Work?

If you have used material from a paper that you have previously submitted to Turnitin, it may very likely be detected. You may also receive a match if that work has been published to the web or to a journal or other publication. This is why it is always wise to paraphrase, quote, and always cite your sources in your writing.

Can Turnitin Detect Other Students’ Work?

You’re taking European Literature this semester. Your roomie took it last year. You’ve both figured out that the assignments are all the same. So, you decide to borrow an old paper of hers. Sure, you’ll change things up a bit, but still it’s a good paper, and you need an easy grade. How much risk can there be?

To be honest, there’s a lot of risk to be had. If your instructor wants you to submit through Turnitin.com, chances are your roomies paper is in their databases as well. There’s a good chance your paper will be red flagged.

Can Turnitin Detect Books?

If the content of a book has been published to the web or made available to the developers at turnitin.com in some other way it will be in their database. If you copy content directly from a book into your paper, that will be noted on the similarity report. Many archivists spend a lot of time scanning even the oldest of written texts onto the internet. Never assume that a book cannot be found online or included in the Turnitin database.

Can Turnitin Detect Copy And Paste

There is nothing inherently wrong with using copy and paste. The question is whether or not you are correctly citing sources, or are claiming other people’s work or thought as your own. For example, if you copy and paste a quote, but give full credit that is not plagiarism. However, if you copy and paste a quote without attributing it, there is a problem. Turnitin cannot tell whether or not something is copied and pasted. It only knows if it finds a similarity.

Conclusion

The important thing for students and instructors to understand isn’t how turnitin detects plagiarism (it doesn’t). It’s understanding how it works, and how to address similarities when they are found. While similarities can mean plagiarism, they can also mean commonly used words and phrases, for example. Smart instructors will investigate all situations before making a determination.

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