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Can college plagiarism checkers be wrong?

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College plagiarism checkers are sometimes wrong, according to a study by Texas Tech. While programs are able to locate matching words, phrases or even paragraphs, such matches do not necessarily indicate plagiarism.

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Can college plagiarism checkers be wrong?
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In order to detect plagiarism, the original plagiarized text must be in the program's database, according to Texas Tech Today. One of the programs used in the study, Turnitin, returns a potential plagiarism flag for papers when it finds a phrase in eight other articles it retrieves through a Google search. Turnitin is more likely to flag papers using common phrases such as "a recent study by" or "global warming" than those papers that do not use these phrases.

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