How to improve your writing

When our students turn in their school papers teachers automatically see if the students have plagiarized. This is done in our LMS. (Learning management system it’s learning) Plagiarism  is a serious offense and most high schools spend time teaching their students how to write papers. Colleges and universities assume their students know it is a crime to assume ownership work done by others. It is therefore a good strategy to show the students how to use citations and name sources.

Paper Rater is a free service designed to help high school and college students improve their writing. It is easy to use and the students do not have to register or sign up for an account. They just paste the paper directly into  Paper Rater They are told if their paper has elements of plagiarism,  grammar mistakes, how many words, sentence structure, spelling mistakes and percentage of sophisticated vocabulary. (very useful).

Before I’m accused of plagiarism; let me reveal my source! (free technology for teachers)

I would also like to direct you to this sight “Larry Ferlazzo’s the best online resources to teach about plagiarism


  1. Now this is really cool. Using this site (even being able to understand the feedback it gives) requires mastering many of the points that pupils struggle with in the year 2 English course here (International English). Showing pupils this site could motivate them to work at grasping the material and could at least provide them with an example of this type of thinking (and its terminology) ‘out there’ in the world

  2. I agree that this is a potentially very useful tool. However, I have trouble making sense of the output myself. I have tried pasting in student essays as well as other texts (for comparative purposes), and the numbers and specific advice provided by the program does not seem all that helpful. For example, in one student essay the word “achieve” was underlined and marked as “too complex”! Do we really want students to substitute a common word like “achieve” with something even simpler?

    Most student essays would probably be marked as lacking a sufficient number of sophisticated vocabulary words. But what does it mean when an essay of about 800 words is marked as having exactly two – 2 – vocabulary words, amounting to .37 per cent of the total?! The percentage recommended is 1.85. 1.85 out of what?

    This is the same problem I had with a similar tool that I found last year, this vocabulary profiler: Great in theory, but how do I get from the seemingly informative output with neat percentages to actual improvement in student writing?

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