Software helps colleges detect plagiarism

Competition for places at top colleges has never been more intense. As increasing numbers of seniors fill out college applications, some give in to the temptation to submit work that is not their own in an attempt to secure a place. However, according to an article in The Los Angeles Times, many universities are using software to detect plagiarism in students' college applications.

More than 100 universities across the U.S., including the University of California-Los Angeles, are using Turnitin to scan college applications and coursework for work that has been lifted from other sources.

"If you are a very selective institution, or a very prestigious institution, and you have a huge number of people vying for just a couple of slots, admissions people want to make sure they have all the information to make the fair decision," Jeff Lorton, product and business development manager for Turnitin for Admissions, told the news source.

According to the Times Daily, a recent study by Michael Hartnett, an English professor at Long Island University, suggests that between 75 and 98 percent of college students admitted to cheating at some point during their studies.

Cheating or plagiarizing is never a good idea. When you're sending off college applications, only submit original work you've written yourself. 

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