That got your attention, didn’t it? Yeah, universities are increasingly using TURNITIN so as to catch what they call plagiarism. A lot of message boards and Ehow articles out there are telling you that you can beat TURNITIN by doing weird stuff with macros in word, by adding random letters or punctuation to sentences, or by sacrificing a baby goat over the altar of your favorite copy-pasting mouse. I hate to break it to you, but that’s a bunch of horse shit.
When I teach, I use TURNITIN. I used TURNITIN when I was a graduate student, and a TA. The software, and its algorithms, are foolproof and constantly updated. You cannot beat TURNITIN using conventional methods. It analyzes the raw data underlying the assignment you turn it, and can totally see through any of the lame manipulations that are recommended on the Interwebs. If you copy-paste, you are honest-to-god screwed.
Let me tell you a bit about what TURNITIN looks like from the inside, and why you can’t beat it. When I open TURNITIN, I see the names of all the students in my class. The filenames that they uploaded are next to their names, followed by an originality measure, and a bar that’s either green, yellow, or red. (DUDE WHAT HAPPENS WHEN IT TURNS RED? THAT’S SOME OMINIOUS STUFF). That’s TURNITIN matching the text that you submitted (forget about the macros – I’ve tried it myself – it does not work) with everything in its database.
If you copy a Wikipedia article into TURNITIN, it will come in as somewhere around 100% plagiarized. If you copy-paste 25% of your essay, it will come back as around 25% unoriginal. That gigantic block of text that you copied? Your prof will see it highlighted in glorious color on his or her computer monitor. Oh wait, did you chop up the text, and add a word here or there? Nope TURNITIN will catch that too. If your essay gets a little yellow line next to it, you’re pretty much fucked. Let me put it simply – you do not want to fuck with TURNITIN. It will fuck you. It is impossible to beat TURNITIN. It’s like death and taxes…
While I speak the truth above, this is obviously self-serving. Myself and my fellow Unemployed Professors write custom essays for a living. What does that mean? Well, TURNITIN is awesome for us. The only real way to beat TURNITIN is to write your own stuff. The fact of the matter is that a lot of college students out there, whether English is their second language, or whether they’re in a science program and don’t give a goddamn about their English and Humanities classes, can’t or don’t want to write lame essays. These guys and gals need us. Because you know what? The only way to beat TURNITIN, if you don’t have the time or skills to write an A paper, is to hire an Unemployed Professor like me.
With that, I Professor Rogue am officially declaring April of 2012 to be BEAT TURNITIN month. If I bid on your project, and you mention BEAT TURNITIN month on the message board, I will knock 10% off my quoted rate.
So let’s sing and dance together – and BEAT TURNITIN!