These resources will provide an overview of Turnitin, It explains how to access Turnitin, how to submit assessments using the software, and how to understand an original report.

What is Turnitin?

Turnitin is an electronic text matching software used by the university to prevent plagiarism.

How does Turnitin work?

The software compares students’ assessments against a database containing copies of academic publications, assessments submitted by other students, and a slew of Internet content, and produces an originality report that indicates how much of the assessment has been plagiarised.

What do you use Turnitin for?

When you submit an assessment via Moodle, you may be required to do so through Turnitin. If your subject coordinator has set up the appropriate permissions, you are able to retrieve the originality report for your assessment to check that you have referenced appropriately. In some cases, you can then resubmit your work after improving any errors.

Submitting your assessment through Turnitin

If you are required to submit your assessment via Turnitin, the Turnitin icon turnitin icon will appear next to the assessment title.

To submit your assessment, click on the Submit Paper button. In the window that appears, upload your assessment file by clicking on the Add File turnitin add icon button and following the prompts. When you have uploaded your file, type the title of your assessment in the box provided, and click the ‘Add Submission’ button.

Upon uploading your assignment, you will receive a digital receipt to acknowledge that your assignment has successfully been uploaded to Turnitin. Take note of your ‘Turnitin submission id:’ in case you need to refer back to it in the future.

What is an originality report?

The original report identifies how similar your assessment is to existing works and provides information about the sources that it matches.

What can I use the originality report for?

You can use your originality report as a guide to help you improve your assignment and academic writing skills. The report provides an overall matching similarity percentage and feedback about your work in terms of:

  • Content: correctly acknowledging someone else’s ideas and writing
  • Punctuation: correct use of punctuation to identify direct quotes that have been properly cited
  • Quality of references: inclusion of recognised authors and well cited papers
  • Format of references: presented in the correct format with all details

Retrieving an originality report

The first time that you upload your assignment, it will take 10 minutes for Turnitin to generate an originality report. To retrieve the report, click on the assessment link on your subject’s Moodle site, and then click on the similarity score next to your assessment (see image below).

turnitin entry

Navigating an originality report

Your original report will open in Turnitin’s document viewer. On the right-hand side, you will see the toolbar pictured below.

Active layers button

Active layers button. When viewing your originality report, you can choose to view it with two layers – grading and similarity. The grading layer will only be available after your assessment has been marked.

Instructor Feedback button

Instructor Feedback button. You can use this button to access feedback from your marker.

Match overview button

Match overview button. The number displayed here is your similarity percentage. When you click on this number, the Match Overview will be displayed.

All sources button. Clicking on this will show a detailed report on each match, including the source of the matching text Turnitin has identified.

Filter button. You can use this button to filter the report to exclude quotes, bibliographies, or sources that are a particular length or percentage.

Download button turnitin

Download button. Click on this button to download a copy of your originality report.

Submission information button. Clicking on this button will display details on your submission, including the submission ID, submission date and file name.

Using originality reports

The similarity percentage

The similarity percentage indicates how much of your paper matched to similar works.

There is no “magic number” percentage that you should aim for. Generally the lower the percentage, the better. A high similarity percentage may be caused by incorrect referencing (i.e., incorrect punctuation in citations) or by text that is too similar to other’s works.

To reduce your similarity percentage, double check you’ve applied the appropriate referencing style and try to summarise or paraphrase your sources.

If you are unsure if your percentage is too low or too high, contact your subject coordinator.

Identifying matches

When you open your originality report, a match overview will appear. This displays a list of sources that Turnitin thinks may be too similar to your work.

When you click on a match in the match overview panel, the software will jump you to the part of your submission that is related to the match, as well as displaying a pop up of the text Turnitin has found in its database that has similarities (see image below).

turnitin originality report

Resubmitting your assessment

In most cases, you are able to resubmit your assessment after viewing the originality report. After correcting any errors, simply resubmit your assessment the same way you did the first time.

NOTE: Turnitin will take 24 hours to generate new originality report for any resubmissions.

Accessing assessment grades and feedback

To view your assessment grades and any feedback provided by the marker, click on the Instructor feedback button.

The marker may have also left comments throughout your assessment. To view these comments, ensure the ‘Feedback’ layer is selected using the Active Layers button. You can then scroll through the assessment document to find the comments. Click on the comment icons turnitin comment to view the comments.

Downloading and printing your originality report

Before printing your originality report, ensure the similarity layer is selected as active by clicking on the Active layers icon Active layers button in the main toolbar and checking the box next to ‘Similarity’.

turnitin similarity

Then, click on the Download icon turnitin download . This will download the entire document. Your similarity report will appear in the last pages of the document. Print the document as normal through the PDF viewer.