After running on the Turnitin software, it was found that the previous assignment had a similarity index of 23%, which in the real sense was too high. The high similarity index was triggered by the inclusion of more directly quoted information in the assignment.
Reports generated by Turnitin must be interpreted carefully before an assignment or piece of work is considered or deemed plagiarized or not, and this implies that academic judgment is vital in such situations. A report might indicate a high similarity index, but this might not necessarily indicate plagiarism. In such cases, a high similarity index might give a suggestion that a student included several quoted facts or properly cited facts in the assignment (Bensal et al, 2014). On the other hand, a low similarity index does not necessarily indicate a lack of plagiarism but would mean that a student paraphrased content without taking time to include the appropriate citations or might have neglected to include sources used in an analysis. Turnitin cannot detect plagiarism in content that does not include citations, and thus, a low similarity would indicate that the paper was not researched or cited properly (Bensal et al, 2014).
Turnitin remains one of the key tools used in plagiarism prevention. Using Turnitin in the future to prevent or minimize issues with plagiarism would involve uploading a paper or assignment on the platform. It will then indicate the similarity index and match overview, the latter highlighting the areas and sources from which a given content was obtained (Graham-Matheson & Starr, 2013). The highlighted content in the match overview will then be rephrased or paraphrased so that it appears differently from how it appears in the source from which it was obtained. Essentially, a reduction in the match overview would mean a reduction of the similarity index, and through this, issues with plagiarism will have been minimized.
Bensal, E. R., Miraflores, E. S., & Tan, N. C. C. (2014). Plagiarism: Shall we turn to Turnitin. Computer-Assisted Language Learning-Electronic Journal, 14(2), 2-22.
Graham-Matheson, L., & Starr, S. (2013). Is it cheating–or learning the craft of writing? Using Turnitin to help students avoid plagiarism. Research in learning technology, 21.