Is my dissertation similarity high

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Anonymous #1
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Submitted my undergraduate dissertation last night and my similarity percentage is 29% is this a good or bad sign? I also checked what was highlighted and some appeared to be from the literature cited & referenced and some were submitted to different people's uni's and came up as a student paper. Should I be worried or just forget about it. Help
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ThatOldGuy
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Submitted my undergraduate dissertation last night and my similarity percentage is 29% is this a good or bad sign? I also checked what was highlighted and some appeared to be from the literature cited & referenced and some were submitted to different people's uni's and came up as a student paper. Should I be worried or just forget about it. Help
Yes. 29% is really high. You shouldn't be quoting large tracts of what other people are. My similarity is often in the 2-3% area.
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chazwomaq
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Well did you copy anything? It's usually quite clear from looking at the turnitin comparison if a student has copied. Similarities due to citing and referencing are nothing to worry about, unless it's all the same citations as someone else in the same order.
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Always_Confused
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Always ignore the similarity report. The percentage will depend on the nature of your dissertation. Does it contain a lot of quotes, have you said things that are fact and can't be worded any other way?
Your uni might get a flag for similarity, but they will probably read the report and check what is highlighted. If you've correctly cited all sources and credited all quotes etc, you'll be fine.
I wouldn't worry about a similarity report unless you actually copied your work.
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anosmianAcrimony
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That’s sort of borderline. It might be a good idea to go back through and rephrase some things to reduce similarity, and avoid writing the exact same prose as you find in your sources next time - and especially avoid copy/pasting directly into the document you’ll eventually submit.
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one_two_three
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It depends on your dissertation. If it is based highly on others research as opposed to original research then it is going to be a higher percentage because of quotes so don't worry because you will have correctly cited them.

If you have chosen a popular dissertation topic then it is more likely that your score will be higher than a more niche topic. There are only so many ways that you can phrase something so you have potentially used the same string of words as over 10 other students on 10 different papers. Nothing to worry about.

You would know if you cheated and that is what it is looking for. If you know you didn't cheat then do not worry.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by chazwomaq)
Well did you copy anything? It's usually quite clear from looking at the turnitin comparison if a student has copied. Similarities due to citing and referencing are nothing to worry about, unless it's all the same citations as someone else in the same order.
I just wrote what the author said in the literature but the words are all highlighted. I paraphrased most of what the author said and it even came up :/. The only time I was copying was when i used a direct quote and I cited the author/year and page number.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by anosmianAcrimony)
That’s sort of borderline. It might be a good idea to go back through and rephrase some things to reduce similarity, and avoid writing the exact same prose as you find in your sources next time - and especially avoid copy/pasting directly into the document you’ll eventually submit.
It's too late now... I've already submitted it. I wasn't writing exactly what the authors were saying, I paraphrased/summarised and changed what they were saying to get an ideal of how to word it. I used my own judgment.
Only time I copied was using direct quotes from author which I cited. I also used the authors more than once so you think that's why it's high? And I also think I didn't reference properly and I'm worried I'm going to fail the whole thing...
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Always_Confused)
Always ignore the similarity report. The percentage will depend on the nature of your dissertation. Does it contain a lot of quotes, have you said things that are fact and can't be worded any other way?
Your uni might get a flag for similarity, but they will probably read the report and check what is highlighted. If you've correctly cited all sources and credited all quotes etc, you'll be fine.
I wouldn't worry about a similarity report unless you actually copied your work.
Yeah it contains a few quotes. I've re-worded the whole dissertation 4 times to make sure it was written another way and it still came up high. I paraphrased what the authors said within the literature & it still came up.
I also used a lot of references, approx 200 and continuously used them within the literature.
If the uni gets a flag what does that look like for me?? Will I be asked todo it again?? I believe I've correctly cited all the sources but I don't know. Because I didn't use citations in the literature,(where you add the number) I just kept on writing the authors name (didn't want to get confused).
I'm getting really scared now. I don't know what todo.'
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by one_two_three)
It depends on your dissertation. If it is based highly on others research as opposed to original research then it is going to be a higher percentage because of quotes so don't worry because you will have correctly cited them.

If you have chosen a popular dissertation topic then it is more likely that your score will be higher than a more niche topic. There are only so many ways that you can phrase something so you have potentially used the same string of words as over 10 other students on 10 different papers. Nothing to worry about.

You would know if you cheated and that is what it is looking for. If you know you didn't cheat then do not worry.
It's a literature review I did on social media - it's a common topic & theme to explore. So I'm sure the score is higher because of that (especially as there is so much information to discuss)
I was asked to gather what literature said about the topic and I did. I reviewed the literature and gave my judgment/opinion. Repeat!

I might of used the same string of words without even potentially knowing and I'm certain I didn't copy anything.

I just phrased what each author said in another way.
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one_two_three
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With it being a popular topic then I wouldn't worry about it.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by one_two_three)
With it being a popular topic then I wouldn't worry about it.
I feel so sick!!! Should I email my supervisor and if so what should I say?
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chazwomaq
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I just wrote what the author said in the literature but the words are all highlighted. I paraphrased most of what the author said and it even came up :/.
It would seem you did not paraphrase enough or it would not be highlighted. I see this a lot with students who think changing a word or two per sentence isn't copying. It is.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by chazwomaq)
It would seem you did not paraphrase enough or it would not be highlighted. I see this a lot with students who think changing a word or two per sentence isn't copying. It is.
I didn't just change one word or two. I changed the whole sentence.
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chazwomaq
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I didn't just change one word or two. I changed the whole sentence.
Sentence singular? So did you rewrite sentences one at a time? That is still copying.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by chazwomaq)
Sentence singular? So did you rewrite sentences one at a time? That is still copying.
No. I inferred what the literature said about the topic.
I used my own brain to write and brought along literature to back my argument.
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chazwomaq
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(Original post by Anonymous)
No. I inferred what the literature said about the topic.
I used my own brain to write and brought along literature to back my argument.
If you say so. I don't see why Turnitin would flag this though. But if you've done nothing wrong that will be obvious and you have nothing to worry about.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by chazwomaq)
If you say so. I don't see why Turnitin would flag this though. But if you've done nothing wrong that will be obvious and you have nothing to worry about.
The only way I think the flag is so high is that..

- Every student is required to use the SAME template to submit their dissertation/research project.
- I've mentioned the authors MORE than once in the literature.
- I've used a approximately a total of 200 references.
- My topic area is POPULAR.
- I'm reviewing literature of what people have already written in the area and I'm adding my own opinion on what I think of the situation!
- I've over-used certain terms and phrases like "overall" / "similarly" / "in another way" / "however" / "for example" / "and" etc.
- I have used direct quotes and cited the author.

But I'm still worried because I've heard that the % should be between 10-15%.. and mine is 29%..... should I email my supervisor about my concerns bc I feel like it's getting to me? I'm feeling quite emotional :/ 😭
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Always_Confused
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Yeah it contains a few quotes. I've re-worded the whole dissertation 4 times to make sure it was written another way and it still came up high. I paraphrased what the authors said within the literature & it still came up.
I also used a lot of references, approx 200 and continuously used them within the literature.
If the uni gets a flag what does that look like for me?? Will I be asked todo it again?? I believe I've correctly cited all the sources but I don't know. Because I didn't use citations in the literature,(where you add the number) I just kept on writing the authors name (didn't want to get confused).
I'm getting really scared now. I don't know what todo.'
Honestly, if it's all your own work, correctly quoted and sourced, I don't think your university will do anything.
If your percentage is one that will make them check the similarity report, they'll see that it's similar because of quotes etc. If they are concerned about plagiarism, they might question you and check you make the same claims you did in your dissertation. Once everythings checked that would probably be the end of the matter. I doubt they'd immediately fail you without being sure about it.
If you have paraphrased, that should all still be cited etc. But I do think you will be fine. If you know you wrote the work yourself, you have no worries.
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