April 06, 2007

Plagued by students plagiarising?

I've been using Snagit, a Windows program that takes screenshots including grabs of scrolling windows, and they send me a newsletter every now and then. Today's a link to a website that allows you to input some (student-written) text and see if it's been plagiarised or not. I've no idea how it works, or if it's reliable, but am just passing on the info.

Three times while I taught English composition at the college level, I failed students for plagiarism.

They were heading that way ... they hadn't turned in the rough drafts for points, they waited until the last minute to turn in anything at all, and the writing styles were dramatically different than anything they'd previously done.

Technology helps with this too - I used Google - but there's also www.turnitin.com, which detects online plagiarism. It searches through 120,000 student papers a day to find copiers. (You can learn more about it here.)




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