Turnitin.com is a program that we use at Irvington to check for plagiarism. Many colleges use Turnitin as well.
Plagiarism comes from the Latin word for "kidnapping" or "literary thief!" It includes any instance where you take another person's ideas and use them without giving credit. It doesn't matter if you use that person's exact words or not; using their ideas without citing is plagiarism.
Plagiarism is taken very seriously at IHS; see the Student Handbook in your planner under "Academic Honesty" for specific consequences. Beyond IHS it is even more serious: you can be kicked out of college, fired, or sued in court for stealing another person's ideas.
Turnitin.com checks your paper to see if any parts are copied from the Internet or from any other student's paper that has ever been submitted to the system.
If you ever have technical difficulties with Turnitin.com: 1. Tell your teacher, 2. Come see Ms. McAuley, the Turnitin.com administrator, in the library.
It is always better to do your own work, and WHEN IN DOUBT, CITE YOUR SOURCES.