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Over 1,500 WriteCheck users were surveyed to assess their satisfaction with various features of the service, as well as their reasons for using WriteCheck and the likelihood that they would recommend the product to others.

GRADE IMPROVEMENT

Overall

One of the standout metrics from the survey was the perceived impact of WriteCheck on students’ grade performance. Overall, 52 percent of respondents said the WriteCheck service improved the grade of their paper by half a grade or more, and nearly 10 percent believed the feedback from WriteCheck boosted their grade a full two letter grades.

Regular Users

The statistics among the most frequent users of WriteCheck were equally strong. Among the most frequent users—defined as those who have used WriteCheck six or more times—60 percent said the service has improved their paper’s grade by one half of a grade or more, and 70 percent thought that WriteCheck improved their grade ¼ of a grade up to 3 grades.

Among this specific set of respondents, 68 percent reported maintaining a grade point average (GPA) of 3.5 or higher.

Peace of Mind Users

For people who said their reason for using the service was ‘peace of mind’, 48 percent saw no difference in a grade improvement on their papers, leaving 52 percent to seeing some grade improvement.

Duplication/Self-plagiarism Users

For respondents who cited their reason for using WriteCheck as ‘duplication/self-plagiarism’, a hearty 25% said that it helped improve their results by one whole grade.

Bachelor’s Degree Candidates

Of the 576 respondents who identified themselves as Bachelor’s degree candidates, 30 percent said they saw a one grade higher improvement, and 52 percent reported an improvement of a half of a grade or higher.

TOP REASONS FOR USING WRITECHECK

When asked what the #1 reason for using WriteCheck was, among regular users, defined as those who have used WriteCheck 6-10 times, 13 percent cited their top reasons for using WriteCheck as grammatical concerns, and 26 percent for ethical concerns, namely “paraphrasing.”

While 30 percent of all users surveyed stated their main reason for using WriteCheck was “peace of mind,” the majority of those—66 percent—were repeat users. It’s possible that for some students, WriteCheck provides a routine level of assurance before submitting papers.

SATISFACTION

One of the highest-ranking features of WriteCheck was the “quality of the plagiarism check,” with 82 percent of respondents who have used WriteCheck four or more times “happy” or “very happy” with that aspect of the service. In fact, WriteCheck’s access to the same sources tapped by Turnitin was the single leading reason that 30 percent of those surveyed chose to use the product.

Eighty percent of those users were very satisfied with the product overall, and 82 percent of all of those surveyed ranked the value they got from the service as a 4 out of 5 stars on average on a 5-star rating scale.

AGE GROUPS

The 1,537 respondents were mainly undergraduate or graduate students, and the majority had utilized WriteCheck more than once. The largest single respondent group comprised students ages 25-34 (25 percent). Forty-five percent of respondents were between the ages of 18 and 34, and 40 percent were between the ages of 35 and 54.

DEGREES

The top three degrees respondents said they were working on was: 38 percent (583) Master’s degree, followed by 37 percent (576) Bachelor’s degree, and lastly, 12 percent (184) PhD candidates.

For questions about this survey, please email us.

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Technology

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What is the second biggest writing mistake that students make when writing an essay? Educator Summer Dittmer says punctuation! In this video, Ms. Dittmer reviews the difference between colons and semicolons.

About the Writing No-No video series: Ms. Dittmer created a series of videos based on her experiences in helping students and adults learn how to improve their writing skills. These videos provide quick yet valuable lessons on what NOT to do when writing an academic paper.

Also watch the #1 Writing No-No: Never using 1st or 2nd person.

Watch the video (2:14):

Punctuation: How to use colons and semicolons | WriteCheck from Turnitin on Vimeo.

Read along:

The Misused Semicolon

The #2 Writing No-No is incorrect punctuation. In this video, I will specifically address the semicolon. So what, exactly is a semicolon? Let’s talk specifically about the semicolon.

A semicolon is used to join two independent clauses. Have I already lost you?  Don’t fret- independent clauses are also known as complete sentences; because they are independent- they can stand alone. Many writers use semicolons instead of conjunctions (and, but, for, nor, or, so, yet). Keep in mind, writers use them because the ideas that they are connecting are closely related, therefore they flow well.

Sarah loves to read and books are her best friends.

Sarah loves to read; books are her best friends.

I always tell my students that when they use a semicolon between two independent clauses, then those independent clauses must be given equal position or even an equal right. Neither is more important than the other; it just helps the flow. Let’s look at an example:

Johnny got an A in math; he is a human calculator.

See how it helps the flow of two related ideas with equal value. You would never write:

Johnny got an A in math; he just purchased a washing machine.

Let’s also take a quick look at where students go wrong. The most common error is using a semicolon where a colon should be used.  Colons are used to introduce something to the reader or to join two things of unequal weight. The independent clause can be followed by a dependent clause (also known as a fragment).  This brings me to the second most common misuse of a semicolon-students use it with one independent clause and one dependent clause, as shown in this example.

Example:  Rashad tasted the lemonade; too bitter.  INCORRECT

Rashad tasted the lemonade: too bitter.  CORRECT!

Or

There were three types of ice cream; chocolate, vanilla and strawberry. INCORRECT

There were three types of ice cream: chocolate, vanilla and strawberry. CORRECT

Here’s a helpful hint: if you can’t remember which one to use, a colon or a semicolon, keep in mind, the SEmicolon connects two complete SEntences; they both begin with SE.

Thanks for listening, and good luck with your writing! Stay tuned for my next Writing No-No.

Related

Common grammar mistakes

6 ways to avoid plagiarism

Categories

Videos, Writing Skills

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In light of the holiday season, we are giving away a $100 Amazon gift card to two (2) lucky customers this month!

Details:

Purchase any paper package between December 1 and 15, 2012 and be automatically entered to win.

One winner will be randomly selected each week, one winner on December 10 and one on December 17, and notified via email.

Multiple purchases equate to multiple entries into the drawing. First-time customers and returning customers are eligible. Credits purchased between December 1 and 15 do not have to be used (to check a paper for plagiarism or grammar and/or paper critique) by December 15. No promotion code necessary. Email address used to purchase credits must be valid.

Log in and get credits

More Details:

AGREEMENT TO OFFICIAL RULES: Participation in the Giveaway constitutes full and unconditional agreement to and acceptance of these Official Rules and the decisions of iParadigms (“Sponsor”), which are final and binding. Winning a prize is contingent on fulfilling all requirements set forth herein. No purchase necessary to play; registered users will also be considered. The following giveaway is intended for play in the United States only.

NOTIFICATION TO WINNER:

PRIZE AND RETAIL VALUE: Prize is valued at $100. iParadigms will not replace any lost, ruined, or stolen gift cards. All federal, state, and local taxes and fees are the sole responsibility of the winner. Sponsor will comply with all income tax reporting obligations.

BY ENTERING THE GIVEAWAY, participants release and hold harmless iParadigms, and its parent companies, subsidiaries, affiliates, directors, officers, employees, and agents from any and all liability for any injuries, loss, or damage of any kind arising from or in connection with this Giveaway or any prize won, including any injuries, loss or damage of any kind arising from or in connection with participation in the Giveaway. Sponsor is not responsible for any typographical or other error in the printing of this offer, administration of the Giveaway or in the announcement of prizes. In the event Sponsor is prevented from continuing with this Giveaway, or the integrity and/or feasibility of the Giveaway is undermined by any event including but not limited to fire, flood, epidemic, earthquake, explosion, labor dispute or strike, act of God or public enemy, satellite or equipment failure, riot or civil disturbance, war (declared or undeclared), terrorist threat or activity, or any federal, state or local government law, order or regulation, order of any court or jurisdiction, or other cause not reasonably within Sponsor’s control (each a “Force Majeure” event or occurrence), Sponsor shall have the right, in its sole discretion, to abbreviate, modify, suspend, cancel, or terminate the Giveaway without further obligation and, if so, Sponsor reserves the right, but not the obligation, to award the prize from among all valid and eligible entries received up to the time of such Force Majeure event. All entries are the property of Sponsor and are not returnable. The laws of the state of Californoa (USA), without regard to its conflict of law rules, will govern these Terms. Any action relating to this giveaway shall be initiated only in the state and federal courts located in Alameda County, California. (USA).

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Current Events

Published on by tiimarketing.

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Recently, WriteCheck conducted a poll on its Facebook page that asked students: “When teachers discuss plagiarism, do you:" along with five answers to choose from that best fits their reactions. Based on 126 responses, the results are shown below, located to the left of each choice:

49% Tune out: blah blah blah 27% Help spread the word: this is serious stuff 21% Listen & learn: maybe I'm accidentally plagiarizing 2% Yawn and take a nap 1% Jab the person next to me: He/she plagiarizes

It's reassuring to see that 48% of the students who answered the survey pay attention and do CARE to learn about plagiarism in the classroom; however, it is alarming to see that the majority (51%) have no interest in learning about plagiarism.

It's almost a split group, but given the heightened state of plagiarism cases and awareness in professional and academic environments, favorable student reactions are expected to be stronger.

Why It's Important to Care

Before you 51% nod off or mentally check out. If you are one of the 51%, let's take a look at some of the possible ramifications. Yes, the subject of plagiarism can seem dull, but if presented in the right way, perhaps the topic will take on new meaning.

You are living in a world with a global economy and a global job market. You will be in the same job market and in the same college courses as the 48% who don’t think that plagiarism is just another boring subject. If you want to compete for the best jobs, your communication skills will be a hot commodity. Corporations are looking for workers who communicate effectively in person and in writing.

Ignorance of plagiarism rules is not an acceptable excuse if you get yourself into trouble. Learning the intricate details of plagiarism in college can save your academic and professional careers.

3 Ways to Avoid Plagiarism

1. One way to help ensure your success is to get involved in the process of plagiarism detection. If your educational institution uses plagiarism checker software, use it; test it out and learn how it works. Upload one of your papers to the software. How well did you paraphrase? Did you quote too often? Learn how to find plagiarized material by “googling” phrases or sentences from plagiarized material.  Observe how easily material can be found on the Internet.  Some professors use this technique to find out if students are using someone else’s work.

2. If you have recently learned to paraphrase and quote properly (with citations and references), test your new found skills by submitting your papers to plagiarism detection software so you can see the results for yourself.  Pick out the mistakes. Most people learn best by doing. Getting personally active in the process can help you take an interest and remember the details of plagiarism prevention.

3. Research stories about individuals’ lives that were ruined because of plagiarism. Many useful tips for avoiding plagiarism are available online.

Remember, you are accountable for your actions, and plagiarism is an ethical offense, basically stealing. Students are a reflection of their educational institutions, and school, college and university administrators want to be represented well. They also want students to be well-prepared for the global job market. The better you look, the better they look!

Fifty-one percent of students answered the WriteCheck survey negatively. Use some imagination to gain a better understanding of plagiarism. Involving yourself in the process of plagiarism detection can take the “boring” out of the subject matter. You must care about plagiarism; your academic and professional lives may depend on it.

 

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What is plagiarism? You may be surprised to know that there is more than one type -- 10, in fact! Watch this short video on how to avoid plagiarism by learning key ways to improve your writing, including:

  • Documenting and citing sources
  • Paraphrasing
  • Researching so the paper contains original content

Watch the video!

Original source: Turnitin.com

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Writing Tip #10 - The thing is…

The Thing was a sci-fi movie first made in 1951 and remade a couple of times over the years. The monster was named “The Thing” because it was a previously unknown entity. Fortunately, when writing for college, we don’t have to face unknown monsters, unless, of course, we are explaining statistical analysis! “Thing” is a very versatile word, too versatile for academic writing.

Instead of using this word, eliminate it or use the word that the dictionary uses to define the particular subject about which you are writing. We have dictionaries so that professors don’t have to read sentences like: “The thing is that Pavlov’s theory was built upon by Skinner.”

Another example is: “Pavlov’s theory was the thing that Skinner studied to help form his theory of operant conditioning.”

In the first sentence, “thing” serves no useful purpose. The sentence can be written: “Skinner built on Pavlov’s theory.”

In the second sentence, the “thing” has already been named as the “theory”: “Skinner studied Pavlov’s theory. Through this study, Skinner formed his theory of operant conditioning.”

Be precise in your wording; (the thing is that) your grade will depend on it!

Related:

How to avoid writing "it"

Common grammar mistakes

Categories

Writing Skills

Published on by bcalvano.

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Harvard University

Written by Jonathan Bailey, Plagiarism Today

As school starts back up for the fall, Harvard University is preparing to deal with what could be one of the largest plagiarism scandals in academic history.

According to the school, approximately 125 students are expected to have hearings before the school’s Administrative Board on allegations that they colluded improperly on a take home exam.

The 125 students represent nearly half of Government 1310: Introduction to Congress class where the test was assigned. The school became aware of the alleged collusion after a teaching fellow noticed similarities between the turned in assignments. This prompted Harvard to investigate the matter and determine that 125 of the tests were suspicious.

The test was given out with strict rules about how the test might be taken, reading in part:

"The exam is completely open book, open note, open internet, etc.... However, in all other regards, this should fall under similar guidelines that apply to in-class exams. More specifically, students may not discuss the exam with others.”

Though the university declined to say how the collusion was done, officials indicated that the believed electronic communication was involved.

The university’s dean of undergraduate education, Jay Harris, said that the level of cheating is “unprecedented in anyone’s living memory” and that the school would attempt to turn the incident into a “teaching opportunity.”

Punishments for those being brought before the board range from a simple warning to being forced to withdraw from Harvard for a year. However, the results of Administrative Board hearings are confidential.

Students returning to class after their summer break have expressed shock at the scandal. With one freshman saying that “You think of Harvard as somewhere where people are academically honest and interested in their course work.”

Harvard gave no timetable for its investigation to conclude but officials have said that they will begin almost immediately in working on its education of students on academic dishonesty issues.

POLL - HOW SHOULD HARVARD DEAL WITH THE 125 STUDENTS CAUGHT CHEATING?

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Current Events

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