"Did you write this?": Susan Marsh's Answer
Position: 9th Grade Civics/Humaniies Geography Teacher
District/School: Shakopee Junior High School, #720, Shakopee, MN
Number of Students in District/School: District/7,000; School/1,000 (Grades 8 & 9)
I wanted to find a way to check for plagiarism and also to get rid of paper copies. Answering the “Did you write this?” question can add hours to the essay correcting process
I think the only group that didn’t appreciate it were the students who were plagiarizing. Overall, I see more organized papers, fewer technical errors, and desire to get more good comments. Students enjoy the feedback.
It is very easy to learn how to use. I used to spend 3-5 hours for each assignment just checking lines through Google. Now, I am more focused on content, and whether or not students understand concepts, and questions asked.
How We Use It:
My honors students have four major essays to turn in and regular students have two. All major essays in my class are turned in through Turnitin. This checks papers against the Internet, as well as other students using Turnitin—anywhere in the country.
I understand the middle school is looking at using it. The high school already does. The high school doesn’t have to teach students how to use it because we’ve already done it, and have set student expectations.
Students now type their essays, and think more carefully about using their own words. It organizes all of their papers on line so that paper is not wasted printing at school. Students have become better editors. When the essay is returned, they note where their technical writing skills need improvement.