Recently, the senior English classes made their way over to TurnItIn.com, a website typically used to check essays for plagiarism. Each senior set up an account and most did a “practice submission” to see how the TurnItIn process works. This was to prepare them for submitting the major spring essay that is due at the end of April.
When essays are submitted, TurnItIn checks the student’s essay against millions of previously submitted student essays and billions of websites. Then, a report is generated so students and teachers can see what sorts of matches come up. In this way, students and teachers both can see how well students are quoting and citing their sources for academic writing. Yes, the website is typically used for checking for plagiarism, but it can also be used by students to check their own citation work so they can make corrections/revisions before they submit their final draft.
“What’s more, as a teacher, this semester I plan on using TurnItIn’s feedback studio to mark student essays and give written feedback,” Travis said. “This way, students can sign into their account, see how they scored on the essay and read my type-written comments on various pieces of their essays. I have graded essays via the use of typed comments before (in Microsoft Word), but not via an interactive website. So this should be a new experience for all of us—teacher and student alike. I am hopeful that each student is able to see how they scored on their essays; more than that, I’m hopeful that through the use of TurnItIn, they’ll further improve as writers and be even more ready to tackle writing assignments in college.”