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Lelola Offline
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Plagiarism Checker - October 24th 2013, 03:57 PM

What are your thoughts on the plagiarism checkers some schools used? I personally think they were crap depending on how high the school set the bar. My school initially had it too high so it would do stupid things like take out the main words and instead focus on "the" "an" and maybe another word and mark it as plagiarism. I wish remembered the exact sentence.
   
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Re: Plagiarism Checker - October 24th 2013, 04:22 PM

I think they are fine as long as they aren't really strict, as in marking it as plagiarism if its just a couple of words together that are on another site/book. I think its only fair if its a major part of the sentence or a large chunk of the work is copied.


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Re: Plagiarism Checker - October 24th 2013, 05:40 PM

The one my uni used was crazy - my friend 'plagiarised' a bus timetable for her research project results haha.


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Re: Plagiarism Checker - October 25th 2013, 12:27 AM

I think that it depends on how strict they are. If they're so strict that you're 'plagiarizing' common words like that, then they're not really that fair. I've often been scared that I won't paraphrase or write things well enough and I'll be told I'm plagiarizing when I'm really not! But if they're just to make sure you're not copying large portions or anything like that then they can be fine.


   
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Re: Plagiarism Checker - October 25th 2013, 07:37 AM

Sometimes it is useful and sometimes it is not good to use them. I think that if five of the students are given the opportunity to answer the same question (with in their syllabus) then there is a great chance that there would be similarity in their answers. Not only that if this happens and that is detected to then the students will not be so encouraged to prepare well.
   
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Re: Plagiarism Checker - October 25th 2013, 04:33 PM

The one we use at my university highlight parts of the text that are used elsewhere, and says where they are used, but it does not take account of any referencing that we have done, so it will mark them as being copied even though I have put in the correct reference. The really annoying thing about it is, once you have submitted an essay through it, you can not unsubmit it, correct a few spelling errors and then re-submit it, as it will just come up and say the entire essay is a plagiarism of the one you just changed. However, it is mainly used to make the markers life easier in knowing what may have been copied from elsewhere so they can make a better decision on if it has or has not. These checkers should not be looking at individual words, especially common ones, as this makes the tool useless. The tools themselves, however, if used properly, are able to help catch those students who try and plagiarise others works. They will, however, just like anything else, have their faults, however, it is up to the institution to use it properly, and use some common sense when using it and looking at the reports.





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Re: Plagiarism Checker - October 25th 2013, 04:48 PM

Does everyone on here use Turnitin or something since all these comments sound exactly like it?

I do agree it's frustrating that it doesn't take into account references and flags up common words like "an, the" etc. Also, in my antibiotics lab report it kept flagging up the name of every single antibiotic which was annoying.

I dunno about other universities but even if something is flagged for plagiarism the lecturer will have a look at why it's done that and unless you have big paragraphs of plagiarised stuff then they won't pull you up on it. Obviously if a lot of students are answering the same question then there's bound to be some similarities so it's mainly the lecturer's job to decide whether or not to take further action.
   
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Re: Plagiarism Checker - October 25th 2013, 05:18 PM

Yes, at my university it is also Turnitin. I think this is the most popular one used at universities, but could not say for definite, probably because it links in well with a lot of the on line learning environments where a lot of the coursework are submitted.

But yes, it is supposed to be only a guide for the lecturer to help them spot potential plagiarisms easier than if they did not have the tool, and also to check that you are referencing the proper place, and also you are not making up references (one of my lecturers this year said that they had at least one student in a previous year that did actually make up references, so it does happen).





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Re: Plagiarism Checker - October 25th 2013, 09:01 PM

I think it depends how seriously the teachers take the results. They always warned us not to submit to turnitin more than once because it would say the whole paper was plagiarized, but we usually had limits to how much of each color was acceptable, for example when they allowed direct quotes that would come up red, before we would lose points.


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Re: Plagiarism Checker - October 30th 2013, 07:16 AM

Ah, turnitin!! Can be a very useful tool, when used properly. There is a little box to tick that you can set to ignore direct quotations (which works fairly well, but not always if your formatting doesn't match perfectly) and bibliographies. On my most recent submission, it went from 20% similar to 3% when I ticked that box. (Doesn't change results at all, but I imagine lecturers/teachers would know about that - or just look at what the results are like.)

Not sure about the whole don't resubmit thing - I can always resubmit up until the time it closes (like the time when my wonderful referencing software deleted the entire list of references and I didn't realise...)

Overall, useful tool - sometimes overzealous, but it's just a tool. Still up to the marker to make a final decision.


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Re: Plagiarism Checker - October 30th 2013, 09:24 AM

I think it was turnitin that we used. It has been about five years ago. I just remember being so frustrated and my teacher's response was "oh well."
   
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Re: Plagiarism Checker - October 30th 2013, 06:02 PM

They haven't caught me yet! Muahahaha.

Jk.... I write my own stuff.


I don't know of them ever actually catching anyone.



   
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Re: Plagiarism Checker - October 31st 2013, 11:49 AM

I can tell you that at high school, a lot of students think they can get away with plagiarism (even without using the software).

I still think people may either not know or not care and will get caught, in a uni situation.


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Re: Plagiarism Checker - October 31st 2013, 01:48 PM

Plagiarism is pretty easy to spot even with the eye, especially if the assignment topics are specific or peculiar.
   
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Re: Plagiarism Checker - October 31st 2013, 02:24 PM

If the tutor knows their subject, which at university level they should definitely, then they should not have problems catching them. One thing that I was surprised at, which one of my lecturers this term told me about was students making quotes up, and referencing what does not exist, just to make their argument more credible. (There is apparently at least one dissertation submitted like this every year .) I assume that they think that as long as there is a reference there, the lecturer is unlikely to look up the reference to check, but my lecturer says that they are not that hard to spot by those who are specialists in the subject. While I do not know for certain, I would think that it should be able to pick these up.





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