The original article Using Turnitin to Teach Students Not to Plagiarize was first published by ‘Inside Higher Ed’ and features the work of Assistant Professor Cassandra O’Sullivan Sachar. Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania.

“Students have told me sometimes their other professors won’t allow this, which might be to further discourage plagiarism attempts by preventing students from knowing whether they need to make changes, but I feel that this restricts a powerful teachable moment.”

Cassandra O’Sullivan Sachar has found, through her practice with Turnitin, her student content and assessment submissions have increased in quality.  Her strategy in summary includes:

  1. setting up submission so students can submit multiple times and see their similarity percentages
  2. students submit ‘polished drafts’ and wait for the percentage. Plagiarism is still possible with a low score, so I then have them click “markup document” and the originality tab.

Tip | A truer originality percentage will show up if they filter to exclude any quotes and bibliography

Turnitin (or any other Academic Integrity System such as Safe Assign) used this way can also help identify other problems, or better still,  opportunities for more teachable moments, for example.

Problem | showing attempts at paraphrasing that are a too close for comfort (Patch writing).

Teachable Moment |  reviewing quote integration, paraphrasing and summarising with the class, and gathering their ideas on suitable alternatives.

Read the original blog online at ‘Inside Higher Ed’


> For Turnitin resources at Griffith, visit the ‘Using Learning@Griffith’ Support Site for Staff (Assessment).