New web-based program aims to help students, teachers check for proper citation, end plagiarism

maria paskell ’11

Perhaps it has passed through the minds of many students. Staring at a computer screen trying to draft an essay that seems impossible to write, it seems almost too easy to conduct a quick Internet search and—with a copy and paste—the essay is done in a snap! But maybe that is too obvious. Maybe take a few words here and there and paraphrase the rest.

However, with the new anti-plagiarism online program starting at UAHS, students might find that such methods of completing an essay will be quite easy to identify. TurnItIn is an online program used by thousands of high schools and colleges across the country, and UAHS is now one of them. The program allows students to upload their essays onto the website which then subsequently checks for any areas of plagiarism. It searches its database of information for any matches or similarities. Students will then receive an originality report that will highlight any areas of concern.

According to principal Kip Greenhill, the program is not meant to catch students.

“We are not trying to play ‘gotcha’ here,” Greenhill said. “Rather, we want to set a philosophy to be a better writer.”

Greenhill said the program is meant to help students avoid plagiarism rather than get them in trouble.

“It gives a student feedback, so they can know if it is really his or her voice,” Greenhill said. “It informs students.”

Social studies teacher Michael Hinze said the program can be very beneficial to students.

“Students will become better writers with this tool. In order to successfully navigate [TurnItIn], students will have to cite their sources,” he said. “It gives the student instant feedback and makes clear what needs to change,” Hinze said.

Hinze said this will help students in the long run in terms of college and future jobs.‑

“TurnItIn provides direct feedback in terms that students understand. It might sound threatening, but as long as you… give it a fair shake, you will find it a great tool for writing,” Hinze said.

Not only is the website beneficial to students, it provides many benefits for teachers as well.

“It helps teachers because they don’t have to go through and check students’ work,” Greenhill said.

Hinze sy ‘gotcha’ here,” Greenhill said. “Rather, we want to set a philosophy to be a better writer.”

Greenhill said the program is meant to help students avoid plagiarism rather than get them in trouble.

“It gives a student feedback, so they can know if it is really his or her voice,” Greenhill said. “It informs students.”

Social studies teacher Michael Hinze said the program can be very beneficial to students.

“Students will become better writers with this tool. In order to successfully navigate [TurnItIn], students will have to cite their sources,” he said. “It gives the student instant feedback and makes clear what needs to change,” Hinze said.

Hinze said this will help students in the long run in terms of college and future jobs.‑

“TurnItIn provides direct feedback in terms that students un