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Published on: 07 Nov 2016 by jessicawalrack
To answer the question how to check for plagiarism before Turnitin, you need to understand what Turnitin is and how it works.
Turnitin is a service that checks written material for originality and prevents plagiarism. It is used by millions of students, university staff and by thousands of institutions around the world. This service is completely web based, which makes it easier to use as it manages the process of submitting and tracking papers electronically, providing better feedback to the students. Turnitin tries to encourage and foster the habit of citing other people’s written material that you have used as reference instead of just copying and pasting.
The way this works is that first, an institution subscribe to an annual license for Turnitin.
The institutions then communicate to the students about their use of Turnitin and how their integrity policies operate. After this, a class instructor sets up an assignment using the Turnitin service, after which either the instructor or the students submit the assignments to Turnitin either by uploading them or by cutting and pasting. Turnitin then goes to work, comparing the texts to over 12 billion pages of digital content, including some that are no longer live on the web, 110 million papers in the student archive and thousands of journals, publications and academic papers.
Now, Turnitin does not detect plagiarism per se.
It determines and highlights matching texts, and allows the instructors to see problem areas that require attention. Sometimes, the text that is found to be matching in the student’s paper might be properly cited and credit attributed to the source. This means that there are certain steps you can take to improve your odds before putting your work up on Turnitin.
The first step in how to check for plagiarism before Turnitin is to properly cite and quote your sources.
Give credit to your sources of information. Remember that Turnitin as a service will highlight all the matching texts and the course instructor will go through the matching texts looking at the similarities. When you quote and properly cite a source, you have given them credit for their work and acknowledged that you took it as a source and did not come up with it by yourself. Always double check whether you quoted and sited your sources correctly after you are done writing. This is not only ethical, it is good practice.
The university is the one in control of the text checking service and you need an account to access the results of your check. This makes it nearly impossible for students to use it to go through their work before they can submit it officially. Another way you can check for plagiarism before using Turnitin is through other web based plagiarism checkers. They may not be as powerful as Turnitin, but keep in mind that this is a pre-emptive strike. They might help you spot some of the things that you might have missed in your revision.
The most popular online plagiarism checkers are Grammarly, Dustball and Writecheck.
They all function differently, but the main function is to check for plagiarized or repeated content. Grammarly is free and comes with the option of proofreading your work and checking for errors in grammar.Dustball is very popular but also doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles. It does what it has to without making a show of it.
The closest plagiarism checker to Turnitin is Writecheck.
The functionalities are similar, but Turnitin has a database that makes Writecheck look like child’s play. It is however useful as a tool to make sure you have not plagiarized anything before turning in it. Sort of like your friendly match before a championship. Writecheck is a preimuim service which means you have to pay. Payment is per the number of paper checked.
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