Turnitin.com, what is it?

Turnitin.com is a for-profit electronic plagiarism detection service. The service works by having students submit written assignments to Turnitin.com. It then scans assignments for potential sources of plagiarism through matching word-for-word content. Assignments are checked against internet sources, online books, newspapers, journals, and papers submitted by other students. A key feature that makes the service so profitable is the inclusion of students’ assignments. These assignments become part of the Turnitin.com database. While students make no money by submitting their assignments to the plagiarism service, as more and more assignments are submitted to the provider, the database grows, increasing the value for Turnitin.com.

For a hefty price, Turnitin.com sells their services to educational institutions. In turn, the institutions that purchase the program end up promoting the database’s growth by having students submit their assignments to Turnitin.com.