Circumventing Mosaic Plagiarism

I was using SafeAssign for many years, and it did not detect Mosaic Plagiarism.  Thankfully TurnItIn does, BUT now I have a whole new problem.  I allow student groups to pre-submit so they can be sure their name is going on a paper that someone else did not add plagiarism to.  However, they are now using the pre-submission space to see all their mosaic plagiarism and then "fix" it by simply slapping in a ton of quotations and cites.  This is technically NOT plagiarism, but it is a horrible habit.  It looks awful.  Some of my students have artfully strung together as much as 2.5 pages of direct quotes, one after another (with cites for each).  I call this "artificial writing".  It's not something they would ever do except to circumvent the anti-plagiarism software.  I am finding this problem widespread.  It's a quick, down and dirty way to just get their paper done and not be guilty of plagiarism.  Are there any articles on this problem?  Has there been any research on this problem?  Does anyone have any solutions?  I am trying a ham-fisted approach of limiting their papers to three quotations.  I don't like this solution.  Thanks!

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  • Does anyone have any similar experiences of this kind of "mosaic plagiarism" and any solutions they can share with Andrew Czaplewski

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  • I guess I'd see that as using Turnitin not as the "Plagiarism Police", but as a "writing teacher" - and get them (it'll take time!) to understand what, in your subject area, is seen as good academic writing; which generally isn't a string of quotes, (that's often labelled as poor scholarship); but a well written essay that demonstrates they've understood what they've found. 

    There's already an alert that lets you know if more than 30% of your essay is quoted (when you/the students use the ignore quoted material filter), but that's often not appropriate for a particular assignment, some that might be OK, some you might want to worry about >20 ... 

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