A long time ago, last month in fact, I was discussing plagiarism
and spoke of turnitin.com
. Well, today I had a chance to use it, for the first time, as part of a class I am taking. Summer Session #1 started yesterday, so for the next 4 weeks I will be taking Biology 101: Origins of Life. Why on earth is someone with an English BA, getting a BS in Business Administration (Management), taking Bio 101, you may ask? Advanced General Education requirement, of course. It fits the Area R, "Earth & Environment", requirement. I'm actually excited about it, as I the last science class I took was 14 years ago (wow), and this one in particular is geared toward non-science majors (yay). As such, there is plenty of writing, and all of our little essays have to be uploaded and checked through turnitin.com. Since this is the first instance I've seen this system applied in the classroom, personally, I figured it was specific to this instructor. Apparently not -- according to her explanation, the college of science at my school has the worst cheaters in the university, "even worse than engineering", she said. Given what I've seen in the Business school, and the fact that the b-school doesn't require usage of turnitin.com, the science and engineering schools but really
have a lot of cheaters.
So, I wrote my 500 word essay. As an aside, I don't think it really qualifies as an essay. I mean really, three paragraphs? That's less than a blog entry. :) I uploaded it to turnitin.com (it was a very straightforward process so points for them) and I have to say, I'm actually anxious about it. Of course, I have absolutely no reason in the world to be anxious, as I know that I sat at my laptop for twenty minutes and busted it out all on my own, but what if I'm a terribly unoriginal writer? What if my phrasing is so unoriginal that it matches that of other people? Obviously, this is a completely irrational fear, but until I see my little content-matching (or not) report in a few days, it'll still weigh on my mind. Not terribly heavily, but there nonetheless.