Credibility of Turnitin questioned

first_imgIn the never-ending war on plagiarism, higher education experts have raised new concerns over the credibility of Turnitin after its parent company launched WriteCheck, which allows students to check for plagiarism for a small fee.Plagiarism · WriteCheck aims to help students recognize plagiarism and avoid grammatical errors. Critics argue, however, that the website allows students to avoid getting caught for plagiarism before submitting a paper. – Photo illustration by Mindy Curtis | Daily TrojanWith the advent of WriteCheck in 2009, college professors nationwide have recently raised complaints that errant students now have a tool to circumvent popular plagiarism detection software.Faculty at USC began using Turnitin in fall 2008 to identify plagiarism in large classes. At USC, more than 100 documented cases of plagiarism were reported during the 2010-11 academic year, according to Student Judicial Affairs.Originally released in 1996, Turnitin detects plagiarism by checking submissions against a database of millions of archived papers, journals, periodicals and books.In an article last week in The Chronicle of Higher Education David E. Harrington, professor at Kenyon College, however, raised the issue that over-reliance on artificial means of detecting plagiarism like Turnitin could lead to some clear violations going unnoticed.Elinor Accampo, a USC history professor, uses multiple means — in addition to Turnitin — to discourage and to detect plagiarism.“I make it really clear that, if a student violates academic integrity in any way, they get an F in the course,” Accampo said.Accampo also said she creates assignments she believes are difficult or impossible to copy from somewhere else and watches out for “red flags,” such as discrepancies between in-class and out-of-class writing.Most professors and students agree Turnitin discourages students from plagiarizing.“When students use Turnitin, they know they have a higher chance of being caught so they aren’t going to pull from wikipedia or something,”  said Moriah Burton, a senior majoring in film and television production. “They know that the website will know what Wikipedia says and they’re going to get caught.”The last plagiarism case Accampo saw dealt with a student she caught “very easily” thanks to Turnitin. Though, he is aware of the program’s limitations, Accampo acknowledged it is almost impossible to get away with plagiarizing from works already within Turnitin’s database.“The work that a student would have to do to get around Turnitin would make it his or her own paper anyway,” Accampo said.WriteCheck, however, provides a student with complete, advanced access to the same database used by Turnitin for $7 per paper.“WriteCheck helps students check for plagiarism and correct grammar, style and spelling errors with user-friendly reports and helpful resources to improve writing,” according to its website.Some students, however, said they would not use WriteCheck because it is not academically honest.“I do find [WriteCheck] unethical,” said Graham Higgins, a junior majoring in film production. “I wouldn’t want anything to do with it.”Many students, however, have never heard of WriteCheck.“If knowledge of WriteCheck were more widespread,” said Holly Morris, a senior majoring in neuroscience. “I’m sure people would use it.”Other students said Turnitin does not know everything and can accidentally accuse honest students of cheating if they have writing styles similar to that of their sources.James Collins II, a professor of classics, said that instructors and students should not rely on technology to detect plagiarism.“I don’t think embracing technology like Turnitin is going to solve the problem,” Collins said. “I would encourage more open dialogue about integrity and honor.”last_img read more

Defensive lapses plague Syracuse in 4-0 loss to Duke

first_img“We knew that they were going to be pressing us before the game, but we didn’t execute our game plan as well as we had hoped to,” Tivnan said. “We really wanted to swing the ball around more, bounce it in and out of their shape … I think if we had stepped it up we could have broken them down more.”Heading into Sunday’s matchup, Syracuse knew all about Duke’s smothering pressure, Tivnan said. The Orange’s game plan was to swing the ball across the back line with pace to make the Blue Devils’ attackers chase, then bounce passes back-and-forth with the midfield to further stretch out the visitor’s midfield and attacking unit. But Tivnan said SU didn’t execute it.“They aren’t team issues,” Wheddon said. “It comes down to an individual decision at any point in time.” Published on September 16, 2018 at 6:11 pm Contact David: ddschnei@syr.edu Comments For 60 minutes, No. 13 Duke had outplayed Syracuse in every facet of the game. The Blue Devils were quicker, made more accurate passes and had converted their chances. Their dominance led to three goals before the hour mark.“More urgency, let’s go!” Wheddon yelled in the 62nd minute as SU chased after the ball. “Up, up, up! High press!”The command was the loudest Wheddon had been all game, and it triggered a response from the Orange. SU immediately applied high pressure to Duke’s back line, won the ball back and linked together six passes to generate a chance for Georgia Allen, who was tackled by Delaney Graham before she could get a shot off. Graham cleared the ball to SU defender Jenna Tivnan, who subsequently gave the ball away to cause a Duke counter-attack.No matter how hard the Orange worked or how many spurts of quality play it had, Duke tenaciously sought after the ball until it won it back. The Blue Devils (7-1-1, 1-0 Atlantic Coast) used a suffocating high press to force Syracuse (3-6, 0-1) into making errors all over the field en route to a 4-0 victory on Sunday afternoon at SU Soccer Stadium.All season long, SU has struggled to produce, scoring just six goals all season. When SU has conceded more than two goals, it’s always lost. When SU has competed, the defense has led the way.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textDefensive lapses on and off the ball were a main factor in the Orange’s loss, Wheddon said. When SU was defending, it gave Duke’s midfielders and attackers too much time and space on the ball. When it won the ball back, lack of composure and the Blue Devils’ constant pressing led to turnovers. The cycle repeated continuously throughout the game as Syracuse struggled to maintain possession in Duke’s defensive half and the Blue Devils outshot the Orange 24-3.“We were a little bit frantic at times,” Wheddon said about SU building out from the back. “A few too many turnovers, and then you’re right back defending again. We need to be better on the ball, we need to move the ball a little quicker and with confidence.”Wheddon praised SU’s performance in the first 30 minutes, but two quick goals from Duke before halftime erased the Orange’s hopes of an upset victory.center_img With 11 minutes remaining in the first half, SU defender Taylor Bennett made two slide tackles in her own penalty area — both of which led to penalty claims from the Blue Devils — before Marykate McGuire skipped past a lunging Bennett to find Taylor Racioppi for Duke’s first goal.“It’s just a lack of focus,” Wheddon said.SU’s lack of urgency and slopiness in defense was not apparent throughout the whole game, but small doses of it led to trouble. With 32 minutes remaining, and the Orange already down by three goals, Bennett’s cross-field pass to Shannon Aviza was too strong. The ball got away from her and Duke’s Tess Boade swiped it, earning a corner kick on the other end.“We knew they were going to press us,” SU goalkeeper Lysianne Proulx said. “We tried to stay calm and get it out the back. Play long. I mean, obviously you could see we tried to play around (them).”After earning a second corner kick off the first one, the Blue Devils played a short pass that led to a cross into the penalty area. Duke defender Taylor Mitchell chested it into the ground and wide of the goal. As six SU defenders in the left-hand side of the box stood still, Mitchell chased down the ball and kept it inbounds before winning another corner kick, one of the visitor’s 12 in the game.Eleven minutes later, Duke forward Kayla McCoy, who caused problems all afternoon and is a “really good player,” Tivnan said, sunk the Orange into an even deeper hole. On another Duke corner kick, Bennett turned her back to McCoy, who snuck toward the near post to easily redirect Karlie Paschall’s cross into the back of the net. Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

New execution dates set for federal inmates on death row, including Dustin Honken

first_imgWASHINGTON — The Justice Department has set new dates to begin executing federal death-row inmates following a monthslong legal battle over the plan to resume the executions for the first time since 2003. That includes north-central Iowa drug kingpin Dustin Honken. Attorney General William Barr directed the federal Bureau of Prisons to schedule the executions, beginning in mid-July, of four inmates convicted of killing children.Three of the men had been scheduled to be put to death when Barr announced the federal government would resume executions last year. A federal district judge had halted the executions back in November, but the US District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia reversed that ruling in April. Honken of  Britt was convicted of the July 1993 murders of 34-year-old Greg Nicholson, 31-year-old Lori Duncan, Duncan’s two children, 10-year-old Kandace and six-year-old Amber, at Duncan’s Mason City home. Honken was also convicted of murdering 32-year-old Terry DeGeus four months later. Their five bodies were found buried in a field southwest of Mason City in the fall of 2000.Honken is now slated to be executed on July 17th. The move is likely to add a new front to the national conversation about criminal justice reform. (The Associated Press contributed to this report)last_img read more