Those of you who read my plagiarism series will be happy to learn that the war against plagiarism has just acquired a smart weapon.
Darren Hom, who teaches "science, Bible, and study skills classes" to "middle and high school students at Highlands Christian Schools in San Bruno, California," grew tired of tracking down plagiarism using Google:
I ... had to spend a lot of time doing several Google searches on each paper, as some students would copy parts of their papers and write the rest themselves. Using this method, I had to remember to type quotation marks around each phrase, or else the search engine would not find exact copies of the phrases I was typing in.Rather than just complain like the rest of us, he decided to do something positive about this problem. First, he checked available services:
I spent a few months looking around for a better way to check for plagiarism. I rejected most of the solutions I saw because they wanted me to buy subscriptions to their services. Some were free but required me to submit an entire student's essay online, which was not possible for me because my students turn in printed copies of their work. The remaining free solutions were not any easier to use than Google, since they also required me to type special operators and would only search for one phrase at a time.At this point, I would have given up and reconciled myself to using Google ... but not Darren Hom:
I'm impressed -- and even more impressed by his search engine. Here's what it offers:
Because I didn't find a free and easy way to check for plagiarism, I learned Web programming and created one myself.
PlagiarismChecker.com allows you to search for several phrases from a student's paper at the same time without having to type quotation marks or special operators, which most search engines require if you're trying to look for exact copies of a student's writing. This site automatically adds the quotation marks and special operators for you .... PlagiarismChecker.com is free and works on any papers, whether students e-mail them to you or turn in hard copies.So if you're tired both of plagiarism and of Google, try out Darren Hom's Plagiarism Checker.
Jim Davila will be happy.