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The online grading system www.Turnitin.com , which began as a place for plagiarism checkers at the University of California – Berkley in 1996, is now one of the largest online paper analysis websites of its kind. Searching hundreds of thousands of written papers, essays and other writing assignments by secondary, high school and college students, Turnitit.com begins by assuming the students guilt before they even turn in the paper.  

Turnitin.com assumes each and every paper it will receive has some plagiarism attached to it and sends it through a rigorous plagiarism checker. Even the simplest, everyday phrases come back as stolen and not ‘unique enough’ for Turnitin.com. This sets up a bad president for students from the beginning because if they realize they are perceived guilty before they even begin, why are they going to try in the first place?  And why would teachers want to teach this way? With mistrust from the beginning of the assignment, by handing their students an assignment but telling them, ‘oh, by the way, I know you are going to plagiarize most of this anyway so I’m going to use an online plagiarism checker.’ 

Teachers and school boards say they are using Turnitin.com as a deterrent for students, but it is not perceived that way by students. It is lacks of trust in the students that the students see and hear when they find out their papers are being thread through Turnitin.com. This sort of mistrust also stifles their creativity in a way that is shameful on the teachers and schools part. They should be encouraging the students to express themselves without limitations and see what becomes of the papers, not putting them down before they begin to blossom.