by Felicia DeInnocentiis | Staff Writer

English teacher Daniel Farias studies the anit-plagiarism site

A new computer program is preparing to be launched onto teachers’ desktops in order to prevent the spread of plagiarism. The website is called Turnitin.com and it will be used throughout NEISD.

“It’s just starting, the English teachers will be hearing about it soon,” librarian Jeanie Bailey said. “Accounts will be sent to teachers in the next few week, and from those accounts they will set up their classes. Then students will have an ID and they’ll submit their papers to TurnItIn and that program will check for plagiarism.”

Plagiarism is a common but severe form of cheating used in essays, whether it be copying a fellow student’s paragraph or claiming a quote without sourcing it’s original write. English teacher Mark Cannon has come across his own fair share of plagiarized essays and knows it’s a major concern.

“I think it depends on the class, because some kids will definitely just cut and paste the things that they see, claiming it to be their own, and a more serious student knows its not right to do. It’s pretty apparent when it’s not the kid’s writing,” Cannon said.

The subject is taken seriously by administrators, and will be addressed by the future installment of TurnItIn. The program will scan a student’s paper and compare it to it’s vast internet database of quotes and past scans to confirm it’s originality. This tool will relieve English teachers of tedious scrutinization.

“I think it will help tremendously,” Bailey said. “TurnItIn has been around for a long time, like seven or eight years. It’s been used all over the country…I think it will help students with how they’re doing their research and more conscience toward where they’re getting their research from. It also has other student’s papers in it, so it will pull up from papers and internet papers. Like now you can go on the internet and find a paper for any topic. It’s a really good tool…it will help teachers know students are doing their own original work.”

The consequences for plagiarism are listed on an Academic Integrity Policy slip that has been read and signed by students and their parents that is kept on file in the counselor’s office.

“I hope it will be very effective. I just heard about [TurnItIn]. I just hope that it actually catches [plagiarism] and make it easy on us,” Cannon said.

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About The Author

Felicia DeInnocentiis is a junior at Johnson High School. This is her second year on the newspaper staff. After high school, she aspires to go to college and major in music and, possibly, music composition. One of Felicia's goals is to be a contributing writer for Rolling Stone magazine.

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