Tag Archives | plagiarism

Image by woodleywonderworks, Flickr

Image by woodleywonderworks, Flickr

With the advent of digital technology and the billions of bits of data available at the tip of a click, it has become far too easy to find content online on any subject. Students can be tempted to copy and paste another person’s work and claim it as their own, thinking it’s unlikely they will be caught. This problem has become even more prevalent with the rise in popularity of e-learning.

It has become critical for teachers and professors to check students’ work with a plagiarism checker to ensure the work submitted is original and that the student understands the concepts he or she has elaborated upon in an assignment. Sometimes you may read and understand a passage, but inadvertently write down the idea with the same phrases as the original author. Using a plagiarism checker will help you avoid these mistakes – it’s just like asking someone to read your paper to point out any grammar or vocabulary errors you may have overlooked.

There are numerous online plagiarism checkers verification websites you can use:

This plagiarism checking website has an easy to navigate interface that greets visitors. The tool you are interested in is prominently featured on the page and it’s extremely simple to cut and paste the work you need to check using their platform. You do have to fill in a captcha, but this is a security measure to ensure the website is not overloaded by a web hack so you know the site will be constantly running.

The site’s beta tool has a 6,500 word limit but this is considerably higher than other services which sometimes limit word counts to only 1,000 per check.

Plagiarismchecker.net provides some value-added services which makes it an excellent site for more than just checking your work for plagiarism. Doctor Jan is available to help answer questions students may have and guide them with academic work. Besides offering their own website checking service, this site also has a detailed analysis of over 30 plagiarism checking websites along with a rating (out of 6) for each site.

When you land on this service’s home page you are greeted with a simple screen which is de-cluttered and visually appealing. Unlike some other plagiarism checking websites that have too much going on, this one has a neat and clean concept. The service allows you to upload files in any format and does not have a word count limitation.

However, this website forces you to create an account to use their service and this can be a major turn off if you want to just perform a quick check of a document’s authenticity.

The service has been around since 2010 and is a reliable source for checking work for plagiarism – rest assured that it won’t miss content on the internet.

This website is not the most visually appealing, but it is functional and the tool you need is centered in the middle of the home page so you can’t miss it. You don’t need to install any software on your device – it’s a simple copy-paste-click operation to check for plagiarism. The website also has the option of uploading your file (in any format) to the site to verify the academic content’s originality. As the service processes your text, it lists the websites and sources against which the text is being checked. Best of all, the service is absolutely free with no hidden costs.

Besides a lack of visual appeal, the website only allows you to check 1,000 words at a time. This means anything longer will have to be verified in multiple steps.

As the popularity of e-learning increases, plagiarism occurrences might also see a rise. It is important for educational services to teach students about the importance of submitting original content and remind them about the serious consequences plagiarized work entails. These strategies need to be combined with a strong plagiarism checking tool to ensure students stay honest with their submissions.

This article was contributed by guest author Garry Fisher.

Image via pixabay.com

Image via pixabay.com

The universal definition of plagiarism is using words that aren’t your own without giving credit. Essentially, you’re stealing someone else’s ideas. It’s a simple concept: just do the work and cite anything that isn’t original. 50% of students have been known to plagiarize – it’s pretty safe to assume you know someone who has done it.

Students are taking 4 to 5 classes in a semester and writing multiple papers and mid-terms, while juggling a part-time job and trying to remember the concepts involved with sleeping and eating. But when it comes to plagiarism, we know the rules; maybe we even know a list of good sites from which to obtain sources. So why does this still happen? Last minute papers, hectic schedules and bad days just end up being a list of poor and ineffective excuses to your professor.

Professors talk about how to avoid plagiarism and improve writing skills by recommending websites, providing endless resources and even telling stories about that one student who made a mistake, had to meet with the Dean, had a hearing and lost. Whether accidental or intentional, the student got in trouble. We hear the rules again and again, and it’s emphasized so much that it loses meaning. There’s a section dedicated to plagiarism in the syllabus for each course, but it doesn’t make a difference.

At this point, you know what it is and how to avoid it, and the professor’s comments are just guidelines. However, there’s one thing the professor isn’t considering: your education.

According to Tyler Evans-Tokark, a Writing Specialist at the Robert Gillespie Academic Skills Centre, two methods that trip students up are “patch writing” (cobbling together texts from various sources), and paraphrasing – both without citing. He states it is more of “a lack of literacy” than an intentional stealing of ideas. Students should learn to strengthen writing skills based on knowledge and the reason behind the rules instead of just learning that “plagiarism is wrong.”

Evans-Tokark advises that research is the key to a successful paper. Write the ideas, formulate what you’d like to say, and then do the research – that way you’re finding sources to strengthen your own point. Keep up with readings to remain knowledgeable about the material and familiarize yourself with the topic. He can sympathize with students stating the juggling of classes and personal lives leads to sloppiness in papers and bad judgement, but he says time management is vital. It’s about investing time into your education for a better outcome.

He defines a good writing piece as one with a structured setup. Create a model to introduce ideas and add rhetorical moves. This doesn’t mean using big words to sound more intelligent. It’s about using parallelism and patterns of argument, and this begins by expanding the “five paragraph essay” format enforced by high school teachers. Another tip is adding two controversial sources with opposing views. Remember to always expand on the class material.

In the meantime, talk to professors or TAs for advice on format and styling, and while writing the paper, always cite, make your own arguments and research your ideas. When researching articles, study the writing style of the sources you’re using – the best way to improve your writing is to read that of others. When writing the paper, other tips from Evans-Tokark include colour-coding drafts to keep yourself organized, and to quote less, writing in your own words.

Evans-Tokark is full of ideas for improving knowledge and understanding among students. For example, he says professors and TAs could implement online tutorials or quizzes to test students’ knowledge on certain topics (Blackboard lets you do this). Other examples include practice quizzes in tutorials, exercises, i-Clickers, and student debates.

Special thanks to Tyler Evans-Tokark of the Robert Gillespie Academic Skills Centre for his input.