Saturday, 12 January 2008

TurnItIn - Part 3

Turnitin Part three.. a beginners guide

DMU have their own guidelines on how to use TurnItIn - Here's the link:

Time for a users guide/what to expect from it!

I submitted my essay at about 1pm on Friday, I checked it right up until midnight and then went to bed (i'm not that dedicated to the cause!) but in the morning, about 8.30, there was my essay, and next to it was a green box (this is good) and '10%' - I instantly thought both 'phew' and 'well where the hell did it get 10% from!' I wasn't sure about the sensitivity of TurnItIn, i was worried it would be VERY sensitive, and basically accuse me of copying the whole thing, or not at all.

Turns out it's an odd mixture of the two. There were quotes in the essay (it includes quotes :-/) that it picked up, and others that it didn't, the ones that it did, it identified the text or the website they were from, which i was quite impressed with, tho saying that, over 10+ hours, most people could probably do the same thing manually with google... but whatever, this is easier, and i'd much rather go to bed and let a programme do stuff for me.

It might be worth mentioning the typo... someone has put the letter b in 'assignment' but since i can't spell for toffee i quite like this b, and think it adds character to an otherwise boring page.

So enough vague summary and some proper explaining i think:

Here's what it looks like when you get your essay back, my essay doesn't look like black fuzz, i just don't want it plagiarised innit.

Down the left and side is the essay, and it highlights the bits it has found match other documents. On the right hand side, it lists the places it found bits of essay. For example, it picked up on a quote from an online article, and called me up on it. Luckily, it's a properly referenced quote so it can stfu. It also finds some really random things to tell you off about, like the following sentence: (or part of a sentence)

"have a positive effect on the relationships between members of the youth cafe and"

the words in bold were 'similar' to words in another essay, handed in at another university 3 months ago.

this gives me the feeling that as the database of essays submitted grows, the chances of this sort of thing popping up are going to get higher and higher. There are only so many ways to write a sentence. take a sentence from this blog entry and put it into google, it will come up with this blog, but that wont be the only thing it drags up, unless i write something truley fantastic and original. which i probably wont.

Ergh, written loads already, i think i'll have to cover this in 4 posts.

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