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MARKETPLACE:  Auto | Jobs | People Search | Personals | Travel | Yellow Pages  January 14, 2005
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The Investigators
We reveal a high tech way to stop cheating
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Detecting plagiarism-it hasn't been easy. But, that was the past. Now there's a new system of catching students who cheat on term papers - and it's being used right here in R hode Island .

Rhode Island College is one of several schools in the state that's going high-tech- using a computer to crack down on cheating. Cheating on term papers....come on...that would never happen. Right? Wrong...according to professors at R hode Island C ollege, its happening at an alarming rate. That's why RIC and several other schools have implemented a program called "turn it in" its a product for professors and teachers that will compare student papers with a large variety of full text sources to test for plagiarism.

"Technology hasn't caught up with education and now people are becoming aware that students are going to lie and just copy right out of the internet and people don't realize that."

Not everyone is thrilled with the idea.

"The way they're checking it out right now is adequate for today's standards."

"I rather be able to check it myself rather than have a professor check it and talk to me about plagiarism when it wasn't my intent."

Turnitin.com is a California based service with a database of tens of millions of pages of information.

Here's how it works.

"Once I log in, my teacher has already created an assignment for me. So I can go ahead and click on the link."

"Once I get into the class, the teacher sets forth assignments that will allow me to turn in my paper."

 Then, the paper is achieved. The company matches the paper against its massive database and finds phrases, sentences, paragraphs and even pages that have been copied directly from another source.

"So we copy the paper. And the evidence is sent to the vice president, and it goes into a locked file. If a student commits plagiarism again, the college begins the procedures for expulsion."

In the past two years, ten percent of all papers submitted to turn it in have been flagged for plagiarism. And they expect the number to go up. Turn in it workshops for the faculty at RIC will take place on the second wednesday of every month. The entire campus will be using it in about six months.

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