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Written by Beth Calvano, a college English composition instructor who regularly uses Turnitin; also pursuing a doctoral degree in educational leadership. Originally published on Turnitin Blog.

The University of Phoenix uses Turnitin's plagiarism checker software in its Center for Writing Excellence. The software has guided me through a master’s program with the university and through the first courses of my doctorate degree. In the beginning of my master’s program, I used Turnitin to examine whether or not I was using too many quotes, or I was not paraphrasing well enough. As the program continued, I began to use it for checking my academic teams’ contributions. Once, at the eleventh hour of a project, I discovered that a teammate had copied and pasted his portion of the team project. I asked him review his contribution, paraphrase, and properly cite it, averting a possible low grade.

The University of Phoenix’s Student Code of Academic Integrity cites violations as plagiarism, self-plagiarism, fabrication, unauthorized assistance, copyright infringement, misrepresentation, and collusion (University of Phoenix, n.d.). Plagiarism includes copying material verbatim without citation, paraphrasing without citation, using someone else’s work (including purchased work), and the absence of proper citation for data used in a submission (University of Phoenix, n.d.).

Self-plagiarism includes work that has been previously turned-in for another class without citation. This violation surprised many of my classmates. Fabrication includes falsifying any information. Unauthorized assistance includes the use of work created by someone assisting the student, cheating, and a student using someone else to take an exam for him or her (University of Phoenix, n.d.). Copyright infringement includes the use of copyrighted material without permission, and misrepresentation includes lying to justify a missed or late assignment. Finally, collusion includes aiding or allowing another student to commit academic dishonesty (University of Phoenix, n.d.).

Many students do not cite properly or at all because they are not familiar with citation and reference formatting.

The best preventative measure for that issue is to study the format used at your college. The University of Phoenix uses the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA) format. The Perdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) has been an effective APA format source for me. Only trust professional or academic websites for use. Becoming proficient in your college’s chosen format is imperative. Keeping a list of reference formats that you have used saves time.

Turnitin has been an effective academic tool for me over the years. It has helped me to become a better writer, and helped me to monitor my academic teammates’ project contributions. Academic integrity is imperative. Preventative measures include programs like Turnitin and the proficiency of the student in formal writing formats.

References

American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

University of Phoenix. (n.d.). Student code of academic integrity. Retrieved from http://ecampus.phoenix.edu/secure/aapd/student documents/uophx/academic_integrity.htm

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Writing Skills

Published on by Guest.

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Podcast featuring:

Sarah Allen, Master of Science in Environmental Management, University of San Francisco

Transcript Highlights:

"Completion of a Master’s project is required to graduate and my project was very large and I was using over 50 sources, most of which were academic journal articles. As I was editing my project and moving sections around, it’s really easy to get something lost or lose the source of a citation. Keeping all of that information straight and making sure it was all attributed to the proper article was really my biggest challenge."

"I had an organized system, but I really wanted to make sure that nothing had fallen through the cracks and that I had attributed all of my source material properly -- because it’s such an important academic document. It was really important to me to make sure that I had attributed everyone else’s ideas properly, as well as my own."

"WriteCheck was a huge help in verifying my citations and to make sure that I keep good academic honesty and also to make sure that my paper was as high quality as possible."

"The (WriteCheck) results were great. When I got the report back anything that I had quoted from somewhere else was highlighted. It was really easy to go through and make sure that everything was cited properly and that I hadn’t accidentally used common combinations of words that could be found elsewhere and that really everything was my own ideas or it was cited correctly."

"I would definitely use WriteCheck in the future to check my sources and make sure that I had all of my proper citations done.”

Stay tuned for more WriteCheck plagiarism prevention podcasts, or visit iTunes.

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Videos

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