International students in different countries like UK, Australia and many others, have been facing considerable challenges in relation to the issue of academic literacy. While plagiarism is a growing global concern, many studies focus on international students in English-speaking countries where understanding specific academic conventions and avoiding plagiarism are seen as essential skills. There could also be more focus on international students who have non-native command of English, because of changes in discourse style in their assignments. To bring significant improvements in the method of using another author’s data and still making it authentic and original, plagiarism detection Turnitin came into being.
Turnitin plagiarism checker is a text-matching tool first developed by Dr. John Barrie at the University of Berkeley in 1994, used principally as a method of plagiarism detection. As an online resource, it does not require downloading of software. A student’s assignments are simply uploaded to the Turnitin website, which generates an originality report showing up all sections of the assignment that match the text on its database of web sources, books and periodicals, and student work.
Why Do Students Plagiarise?
Before talking about how plagiarism is dealt and what are the challenges faced by the students if the work turns out to be copied, the primary step would be to examine why international students plagiarise. Keeping in mind that there is no easy answer to that question since the studies say that ‘plagiarist practices are often the result of many complexes, challenging and culturally-situated influences’.
- As per the East Asian culture, copying the academic information from other authors are given an importance in their own academic culture. This is better explained by East (2005:3) studies that say, ‘Ample number of international students come from such an educational culture where copying or duplicating is an expected learning practice’.
- Another problem next to this is that, for international students to assimilate the new academic convention that is time-consuming to properly comprehend and also unlearning the former ones. Studies also say that many students end up plagiarising because they do not fully understand the academic requirements of their new academic culture.
Thus, the issues of the cultural practice of copying, cultural influence and the difficulty to adopt a new academic culture are probably the most important issues that are influencing international students’ academic literacy.
Dealing with plagiarism needs to be done in a culturally sensitive way. Hence, providing support to these international students by creating learning and unlearning opportunities with the use of plagiarism detection software, in this case, Turnitin, in academic writing forms the rationale for this study.
Benefits of Turnitin Plagiarism Checker
- Turnitin uses a 5-point scale colour coding to test the plagiarised data; from blue (less than 20 words), through green (0–24%), yellow (25–49%), orange (50–74%) and red (75–100%) to indicate overall similarity. It then provides colour-coded web-based links to each source it identifies to allow for direct comparison. These functions allow for in-depth analysis of the use of sources in student work.
- Turnitin plagiarism checker’s analysis has the feature to showcase the amount of text that had been borrowed, the accuracy of citation, the degree of reliance on sources, the effectiveness of paraphrasing and the competence of the student in avoiding plagiarism.
- As the studies consider that the approach to interpretation is crucial and necessitates clear guidelines and training for tutors to give good feedback to students.
- Turnitin plagiarism checker also helps to appropriately paraphrase. It shows other authors’ words in colour next to the grey paraphrased words and the appropriateness of the re-wording may be discussed which is useful for the international student with non-native English.
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