How to Beat Turnitin… What Works and What Doesn’t

How to Beat Turnitin… What Works and What Doesn’t

There is much existing writing about Turnitin. Knowledge is power when you’re trying to figure out how to cheat Turnitin.

It is definitely not a perfect piece of software. Consider some of these excerpts from relevant articles.

Paper Writing Services

Of course, a paper being written from scratch does not mean that it is a legitimate paper that follows honor codes. You can still cheat with an original paper.

A major flaw with Turnitin is that it can only detect plagiarism. Other types of cheating can get by. I found this excerpt on a custom writing service’s website who claims that it can help students cheat Turnitin by writing their papers for them:

So what is the trick to get a perfect, original paper that will let you bypass Turnitin and get you a stellar grade? Have someone else write your paper. If someone writes you a fresh paper, it will be plagiarism-free!

Turnitin can’t detect this because it isn’t plagiarism! Turnitin isn’t effective at solving for all types of academic dishonesty.

There is no way in hell that a computer algorithm can detect this kind of cheating. It isn’t designed to. And really, there is no way that it could be designed to do this. During my time as a teacher, this is one way of cheating Turnitin.com that I could never stop.

cheating-turnitin.jpg

Hiring someone else to write your paper is basically the Contra Code of getting around Turnitin. With the right writer, you can get plagiarism-free, original papers every time.

False Positives

Turnitin works by identifying phrases used elsewhere on the Internet and in previously submitted phrases. The problem is that there are many legitimate reasons why an author might use a phrase that has previously been used somewhere else. Consider this excerpt from a news article.

One major problem with the Turnitin software is that many of the phrases flagged by its detection system are not incidents of plagiarism, but commonly used phrases that define the topic of the paper, such as “global warming.”

This can be unfair to students and can artificially raise plagiarism percentages, especially for more general papers. Papers for colleges that reuse prompts are especially subject to this shortcoming.

Content Spinning

The practice of content spinning is to take existing information, such as part of a Wikipedia article, and changing it to be phrased differently, generally by switching words to other words with the same meaning. For example, changing “the dog was really fat” to “his dog was super obese.”

Turnitin says that it has scripts that can figure out if a paper has simply been run through a thesaurus. However, these scripts are flawed. When done correctly, Turnitin can’t detect this.

Essentially, this is uncited paraphrasing. It is an effective method to beat Turnitin. This is perhaps the best method to beat Turnitin besides writing a paper from scratch.

 Conclusions

All in all, Turnitin is a tool that is imperfect. It can detect plagiarism in some cases, but can be flawed. Take it with a grain of salt. And for students: If you need to get around Turnitin, there are some tricks that you can use. Consider the content of this article and you now know how to beat Turnitin.

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Turnitin: Can’t Live With It; Can’t Live Without It

I have a love-hate relationship with Turnitin. I love it because of its accuracy, the highlights and pointing out the text source but I hate it because of the same reason. For a semester, I taught technical writing in a local college and students are given the same page for instruction each time. They write their piece below it and voila, the Turnitin counter goes crazy making them all 100% plagiarized. Here goes accuracy!

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Even if it’s 8:04 PM on the night before your paper is due, you can still take the time to get around Turnitin effectively.

In my campus, we got Turnitin combined with another curriculum-learning portal. The students submit their essays in the portal with an embedded Turnitin system. It was a disaster, at least when students has to follow the same format or the instruction given by the teacher. For the real plagiarism score, I need to look at them one by one.
But certainly, Turnitin as a software itself has many great features. It is also a sure fire way to get your students working diligently. I say, it is a foolproof system if you are serious about catching students who were sleeping on the job.

There are many suggested conventional trick to beat the Turnitin algorithm. Among them include confusing the program by swapping letters, or words, or phrases. Possible but doing so would probably cause more harm than good. Imagine spelling, context and content errors. Similarly, why not swap it with a letter from another language such as archaic, Germanic or Greek letters. Sounds innovative but as a teacher, I would worry about spelling and they certainly will all look like typos.

Another claim made by any is saving the file into .pdf instead of .doc or docx. Sounds clever? Nah. Turnitin reads .pdf too. Doing this silly trick will make screwed more than you already are.

Going against the algorithm of Turnitin is a futile exercise. The software is constantly updated hence there is no way you or your friends can trick the already tricky system.
However, there are ways to make sure you can around Turnitin plagiarism scan system.

  • Paraphrase, Paraphrase, Paraphrase. Next to good researching is excellent paraphrasing. Whenever you need a text from a source, you first need to understand, reflect on and paraphrase the text. Copy pasting is so 2000. Avoid it at all cost.
  • Rewrite but don’t change the meaning. One of the best ways to avoid getting a high Turnitin percentage is to make sure you know what the text is about. Once you have a full understanding, it is time to rewrite. Once rewritten, Turnitin would be able to compare patterns of writing. Yes, there are patterns.
  • Write it yourself. If you have that little gift of writing, nurture it. There is nothing better than celebrating a good honest grade than someone who resorted to the “easy way” out of college.

If you have no skill or time for writing, there are groups of writers who are more than willing to help you with your essay for a modest fee. Check for authenticity and avoid those who tends to overcharge knowledge!

So going back to the question, can you possibly cheat Turnitin?

Unless you are the program develop who knows the sequence codes, then maybe but if you know nothing about system designs, sit down and find time to write your own paper instead!

How to Beat Turnitin 2017

How to Beat Turnitin 2017

I did some research on Turnitin’s website. It seems that they provide information to students. Check out the link below:

https://turnitin.com/static/resources/documentation/turnitin/sales/Answers_to_Questions_Students_Ask.pdf

It is interesting information, although somewhat biased. For example, while they talk about protecting student copyright, that isn’t always the case. Lawsuits have been raised against the company. They use your papers for commercial purposes without your consent.

Students and teachers should think twice before using Turnitin.

Post-Thanksgiving: Back to School

Post-Thanksgiving: Back to School

I had a great Thanksgiving and hope that my readers have too. It has been a great journey so far.

I’ve gotten more and more readers lately, which seems to be in part because of how involved and busy students and teachers are at this time of year.

If you’re thinking about taking some… shortcuts on your papers *cough* plagiarizing *cough* this is the time of year to do it. If you do choose to plagiarize, make sure that you do so safely and effectively.

Wishing you the best of luck at the most stressful time of year…

Louis Stone

Can Macros Beat Turnitin?

Short Answer: No

Long answer: Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

Turnitin strips Macros before checking for plagiarism.

Don’t try this technique: It straight-up doesn’t work.

Do you know how many students I had to penalize for trying this? Not only is it ineffective, it is obvious that you’re trying to trick the program.

Professors see that you are using a macro and immediately know that you are trying to plagiarize. If you want to fool Turnitin, this technique is out of date.

Louis Stone

Prevent Plagiarized References

Reference pages, bibliographies, works cited pages, and what have you often show up as plagiarism in Turnitin.

“That’s not fair!” you may say.

You’re right, it’s not really accurate.

Fortunately, teachers and tutors are generally aware of this. This video discusses how to remove these pages from the plagiarism percent. If you are student, know that just because a certain percentage comes up, in the end your professor (a human) is the one checking for plagiarism.

If you are a tutor or teacher, make sure you take action to prevent a bibliography from counting as plagiarism. Know that Turnitin’s algorithm is flaws in this area.

Halfway There… Tick Tock

Hope you’ve been enjoying your summer break, students. You’re running out of time to relax 😉

Just another month or two, depending on your college and you’ll be back in the lecture hall in no time. Time just keeps passing into the future, like that hit song from that singer. Whatever his name is. I’m not to hip with the young people’s slang and vocabulary and music and get off of my lawn, youngsters!

Anyway, my summer has been great so far. An interesting story from my summer. I was online doing research about plagiarism-scanning software to make a new blog post. During this time, I heard what sounded like firecrackers outside. It turns out, there was a shooting!

A man had a firearm in a convenience store. It turns out, he was mentally ill. There was a standoff with police. The man was shot and killed. He died directly across the street from a hospital, which is interesting to think about.

It’s crazy how many police shootings occur every year. Just look at the info for July here:

http://killedbypolice.net/

Definitely not the happiest experience, but interesting.

Want to make the best of your summer? Here are some fun things I did this year:

  • Visit the beach
  • Made a blanket fort with my daughter
  • Went hiking
  • Tried ghost pepper flakes
  • Learned to make icy desserts

During your time off from school, try these things. Have you done anything fun this summer? Let me know!

For those of you who are in summer classes… ouch! If you want to have some fun like in the ideas above, you’ll have to get through that schoolwork quickly. Check out the rest of my blog for information about how to deal with tricky matters like:

  • Turnitin
  • Plagiarism
  • Writing essays
  • College
  • Turnitin macros
  • Alternatives to plagiarizing
  • Plus tons more content!

Here is a story from a reader. A student got access to a copy of Turnitin for one of his summer classes. He tested out some techniques to get around Turnitin, such as macros and using Cyrillic letter “E”s instead of standard, American “E”s. He found that neither of these techniques worked for him.

Has anyone else gotten access to Turnitin to test techniques like these? What has worked for you? What has been unsuccessful? If you have any great ideas to get around Turnitin, let me know in the comments below!

Thanks again for your support, readers!