Turnitin Study Shows Significant Reduction in Unoriginal Writing Among High School Students

Eight-year study of over 2,800 U.S. schools reveals the impact of plagiarism prevention technology on student writing

OAKLAND, Calif. (Sep. 25, 2013) -- Turnitin, the leader in originality checking and online grading, today announced a new eight-year study analyzing the levels of unoriginal content in student writing among U.S. high schools using Turnitin. The study, which groups schools by state, indicates that schools using Turnitin reduced unoriginal writing by 33 percent over the course of the study's time span. Forty-three of the 50 states show reductions ranging up to 83 percent.

The study analyzes over 36 million student papers from 2,862 high schools to determine the percent change in papers that contain more than 50 percent unoriginal content.

View an interactive map with the study results and methodology.

Download a detailed report.

Turnitin will discuss the findings in the report during a 30-minute webcast on Thursday, October 10.
Register for the webcast.

Schools in some of the most populous states experienced significant reductions in levels of unoriginal writing after four, six and eight years of using Turnitin.

Change in Papers with 50-100% Unoriginal Content after:
4 Years 6 Years 8 Years
United States -7% -21% -33%
California -9% -30% -31%
Texas -11% -35% -22%
New York -20% -38% -46%
Illinois -3% -12% -32%

"There's been a good deal of accepted research showing how plagiarism is a growing problem in education," said Chris Caren, chairman and CEO of Turnitin. "This study reveals how consistent use of educational technologies deliver measurable improvements to student outcomes by engaging students around issues of proper research, citation and writing."

Other key study findings include:

  • All 50 states showed a reduction in unoriginal content at some point over the course of the study
  • Sixteen states—including the populous states of Texas and New York—experienced consistent decreases in unoriginal content over the entire course of the study;
  • Massachusetts showed the most dramatic reduction of 83 percent over eight years.