I recently had an opportunity to play around with Turnitin. If you are unsure of what Turnitin is, it is an incredible tool to assist teachers in flagging plagiarized work. The student uploads their paper within this program. Turnitin then processes and gives the student a percentage of what is plagiarized. Most teachers will have a percentage for the student to keep their plagiarized number under. For example, my class had to keep ours under twenty-five percent for the specific assignment.
This assignment was two-fold. The first being to plagiarize a report to see what it means to plagiarize. After my submission I received a 98%! That is NOT a good number.
For the second part, my assignment had to be under twenty-five percent. I received a 2%. So much better than that prior 98%, wouldn't you say?
When I went through high school in the 90s there was no Turnitin software loaded on my school's computer system. Everything was turned in by hand, by a typewriter. I cannot imagine how hard it was for professors to flag plagiarism. Now teachers use Turnitin and this helps catch students who cheat as well as it helps students get a feel for what true plagiarism really is.