What is Turnitin?
Turnitin is an online plagiarism checker tool that utilises text matches in academic material to ensure that the work written is original. The main benefit of using Turnitin is that a student can then check for plagiarism by themselves thereby guaranteeing the originality of their work before presenting it to their supervisors. Furthermore, Turnitin helps students appreciate the importance of acknowledging authors for their works through proper referencing and citation. They also conduct online marking for assignments and have tools that enable revision among peers. This tool goes ahead to conduct analysis and give back a detailed report that includes percentage of plagiarised work by using machine learning technology. This ensures that the student’s work is impeccable.
So how does the software scan for similarity?
There are four distinct methods that one can use Turnitin to scan for plagiarism. The first method involves conducting a keyword analysis. This basically involves identifying a keyword then entering it into Turnitin’s search engine then letting it run and provide a report on instances in which the word was used. The second method entails finding a specific phrase or group of words that are part of a larger sentence. This usually utilises about three words that are arranged in a similar sequence. These are also copied into the search engine to find any instances of similarity. Fred Mill an editor and content manager at Essayever.com, believes these two methods have been deemed as being very effective in finding if words or phrases from one document were plagiarised. However, this method has its limitations in that it does not identify paraphrasing. This method will only recognise similarities in text while being unable to identify similarities in meaning. Therefore, students can simply copy ideas and paraphrase them and not get caught.
This problem is recognised and solved through the third method. This method entails identifying the particular style of writing in one document and seeking to find its similarity with other documents. This does not analyse a document word for word but rather seeks to calculate the likelihood of a certain group of words appearing in a certain sequence. This sequence is then compared to other documents to derive a similarity report. This method is however inconclusive as these matches are likely to be lost.
The fourth method is the one commonly used at Turnitin. This involves recognising the “fingerprint” of a document and then matching it with other documents for similarity. The feature that makes “fingerprinting” a more effective method is that its analysis is able to recognise fragments of a word and fragments of a phrase that are only found in a particular document. These fragments, that are basically a match of phrases are arranged to develop a distinct sequence that forms the “fingerprint” of the document. This method makes “fingerprints” to be distinct from one another and is easily recognised in a document due to their distinct characteristics. This method is aided with the recognition that every original document has distinct characteristics in terms of stylistic devices, phrases and the diction that can be used to generate a unique “fingerprint” for each document. Therefore, if a document has been copied from the internet, its “fingerprint” will match the “fingerprint” of the original document thus plagiarism.
For this method to be effective, the writer has to avoid including articles such as “the” and “a”. By excluding these common phrases and articles, Turnitin is able to focus on content to generate “fingerprints”. This is because the software was basically made to help academic writers thus focusing its analysis on the original content and the subject under discussion rather than words.
However, if one is interested in conducting word for word analysis, they are advised to use the old way of using search engines that was common before such software were developed. Turnitin is developed to aid in research, use of online resources by students who are new to the internet.
So back to our question, can Turnitin detect essays bought online?
The answer is yes and no. This depends on the source of material used for writing. If the writer extracted the content used in the essay from documents existing online, there is a very high chance that the work will be plagiarised, even if the work was paraphrased. However, if the writer did not use such online materials or books, then online detection software such as Turnitin will be unable to detect plagiarism.
How to beat Turnitin?
There are always loopholes in any system, however effective it may be, and Turnitin is no exception. Here are some tactics that students can use to beat plagiarism while using Turnitin:
- Contact a writing service for a customised paper: This is one of the most effective methods as it guarantees that the paper you receive has no duplicates as it was specifically written for you. Indeed deciding to buy an essay online is safe, fast and legal. However, you are advised to select a service that is made up of professional essay writers who can write quality and original papers.
- Paraphrase: Turnitin was designed to identify plagiarism by analysing words, phrases and sentence structures. However, if the content is simply paraphrased, it will not be detected. Students are therefore advised to paraphrase an entire sentence thus generating new content that will not be suspected.
- Change the format: Students are advised to engage Marcos software if this method is to be effective. Basically, the students have to change the format of a file from a word document and convert it into PDF. There is no known procedure for this method and students are encouraged to conduct numerous trials until it works. This is one of the most effective ways to beat Turnitin as the software will recognise the PDF version as an original text.
- Adjust the language used: Students can also use words from another language and replace them with the English words. However, the language has to contain words with similar alphabets to English alphabets. This is a method that has been used for years yet Turnitin has been unable to find a way of neutralising it.
The consequences faced by a student convicted of plagiarism are very severe and may include discontinuation of academic careers by students. Therefore, students are advised to be diligent in ensuring that the essays they order online beat the plagiarism test on Turnitin. Academic institutions across the world have invested heavily in fighting plagiarism. Most of these investments have been directed at automating essay plagiarism detection process using software like Turnitin. Turnitin is the most suitable because it has massive storage capacity in its database capable of accommodating thousands of students. In the event that a duplicate of a paper that was already submitted, the supervisors will be immediately notified and will take action.
There are instances when Turnitin can be effective in detecting essays bought online. As discussed above, if the author used any online articles and books during the research process, Turnitin will find the work to have been plagiarised. The software is very effective because it uses the high level “fingerprint” technology to detect any form of plagiarism. However, Turnitin has its limitations and these can be exploited by students thus making it ineffective. There are students who choose to paraphrase, some choose to change the format of the document while others simply change the language used. Therefore, though the software is effective in detecting essays bought online, students should not be afraid to buy our essays, they are original and written from scratch.