Do we have to take Turnitin seriously?

Recently I was talking to my TA about the usefulness of turnitin, and there might not be much of a point to it at all. Turnitin can sometimes analyze a paper as 30% plagiarized when it is completely original; at the same time, a paper can be analyzed as completely original when the concepts have been for the most part stolen from a separate source.

This relates to our issue of our cognitive surplus. If we can’t be original anymore – if there is no new material to create – then do we need to come up with a new way to describe plagiarism?

What do you guys think plagiarism is today?

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About mjpwoodruff

My biggest dilemma throughout life has probably been figuring out what I’m most interested in out of all the things I’ve ever come across and thought was worth a second glance. I have lists on my phone for all the books I haven’t bought and want to read, all the music I’ve tagged and want to listen to, all the fleeting thoughts I’ve had that could lead to an interesting topic for further daydreaming, etc. I probably visit as often as I visit social media sites. A short list of things I’ve considered majoring in: film, poetry, neuroscience, composing, screenwriting, anthropology, biology, history, journalism, sociology, forensic science, political science. The only thing I’ve found in common with all of these things so far is that they all relate to humans, how they work, and how they interact. I love bees, morning drives into New York City, and ultimate frisbee. I also sell Girl Scout cookies, if you’re into that. - Maggie Woodruff

2 thoughts on “Do we have to take Turnitin seriously?

  1. dcho95

    Turnitin, although it, I guess, “does its job well,” is pretty pointless because it only compares similar words in other essays. Although it helps sometimes, you could write a sentence and without knowing, Turnitin could pick it up in another essay. Yes, plagiarizing is bad and shouldn’t be done, but every idea has to start somewhere. I don’t think people should be blamed for taking an idea and just expanding on it. In Expos, my teacher requires us to turn in our essay on Turnitin. However, I don’t know if it really matters because her essay questions are so vague that I’m almost 100% positive that no one in my class will have the same paper. It all depends on how you look at it, I guess.

  2. laurenreesebenson

    I like to refer to one of our readings about how students who plagarized work completely were creative then not. I think being able to use others thoughts and ideas gives you a strong backbone for you own thoughts and ideas.


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