What is Turnitin?
Turnitin is an internet-based originality checking and plagiarism prevention service that allows instructors to verify the originality of text. Turnitin’s service compares text submitted by students with their database of sources available on the web, and with materials archived in Turnitin’s databases. It can be enabled within an Assignment Submission Folder in TCU Online, or used as a stand-alone tool through Turnitin.com.
Regardless of whether you are using Turnitin within TCU Online, or as a stand-alone account, Turnitin produces an originality report for students’ text submissions. The report provides the instructor with the entire student submission, highlights areas of concern, and then lists potential outside sources for these areas. Originality reports are usually issued within 48 hours. There is no cost to faculty or students when using Turnitin and no software download is required.
Teaching with Turnitin
Turnitin is best utilized as a teaching tool to educate students about plagiarism, and to help them learn and practice proper citation. Using Turnitin’s originality checking service as a teaching tool helps students build writing confidence and improve writing practices by taking ownership of their work and learning and practicing proper citation.
Once the paper has been submitted through either a TCU Online Assignment Submission Folder, or to the Turnitin website, Turnitin will generate an originality report. To teach students about how Turnitin works, you may choose to show students a sample Turnitin originality report. The report provides a similarity score denoting the amount of material in the paper that Turnitin found elsewhere.
To teach students about plagiarism and let them practice properly citing sources, you can adjust the Turnitin settings for a particular assignment to allow students to submit a limited (or unlimited) number of drafts and receive similarity scores. They can then revise areas of concern. TCU’s Turnitin license also includes the GradeMark feedback tools. These tools are useful for providing actionable feedback to improve student writing in your course.
Should I use Turnitin for my professional or scholarly research publications?
We recommend that faculty, graduate students, editors, authors, and researchers use Turnitin’s sister program iThenticate to review the originality of written work before publication. iThenticate is developed by Turnitin, the leader in plagiarism and originality checking for educational institutions worldwide. Learn more about iThenticate and request an account.
Instructor Tips and Best Practices
As the instructor, it is important to review the full originality report and not rely on the summary score alone, as some similarities may be based on a famous quote, a lengthy discipline-specific term or text, a publically available graphic or image, or other innocuous content.
Before students begin an assignment that uses Turnitin, you will want to clarify expectations about academic integrity. The TCU policy on academic integrity can be found in the student handbook. The TCU Library also provides information about citation tools and guidelines for various citation formats.
Your syllabus should contain the TCU policy on academic integrity. If you are using Turnitin, or wish to reserve the option to use Turnitin at some point during the term, you will want to add Turnitin information to your syllabus. The academic misconduct section of the Koehler Center syllabus template enumerates the TCU academic integrity policy and has sample Turnitin language.
If you are using Turnitin as a stand-alone tool via the website, you might add information about the proper registration protocol. See the sample student information handout for using the website. Note that you will want to edit this handout to include your course name and Turnitin class code.
Interested in learning more?
Getting Started with Turnitin
To use Turnitin as an integrated service* within your TCU Online course:
- Enable Turnitin for an Assignment within TCU Online.
- View Similarity Reports for each student submission within the Assignment Folder.
*No additional faculty or student accounts are required to use Turnitin within TCU Online.
To use Turnitin as a stand-alone account via the Turnitin website:
- Please submit the form to Request a Turnitin Account.
- When you receive your account info, login to Turnitin.com.
- Review the Instructor Quick Start Guide to create classes attached to your Turnitin account.
- In order for students to submit papers, they will need to register online and join your class. Students register either by using a class code you share with them or by following directions on the enrollment email that Turnitin will send if you have entered or uploaded student email addresses on the website.
Turnitin has the capacity to accept text submissions of up to 10 MB (approximately a book-length amount of digital material).
Turnitin functions well with both Macs and PCs and across a wide variety of Internet browsers. For users accessing Turnitin via TCU Online, the detailed platform requirements and mobile information will apply. For users accessing Turnitin via the website, Turnitin website technical specifications are also available.
For technical assistance with Turnitin, consult the Instructor Support pages as needed, reach out to Turnitin Support at Tiisupport@turnitin.com, or visit Turnitin Support Center. If you have instructional questions about Turnitin, please submit your question to the TCU Online Support Form.
- For instructors who will use Turnitin as an integrated product with TCU Online, additional Turnitin integration information is available concerning:
- For instructors who will use Turnitin as a stand-alone tool via the website, additional Turnitin website videos are available concerning
Typically Turnitin access for students is provided through courses at the instructors discretion. In order to access Turnitin as a student, you will need to have a faculty member set up a course and provide you with the course number and password in Turnitin. You then can “join” the class in Turnitin and submit your assignment.
- Student Quick Start Guide
- Feedback Studio Support (using Turnitin from Turnitin.com)
While a Similarity Report is generating, the Similarity Report icon will appear in gray. Please note while Similarity Reports for a student’s initial submission to an assignment will generate within ten minutes of the submission, Similarity Reports for resubmissions to an assignment can take up to 24 hours to generate.
For additional information regarding Turnitin’s accessibility, view Turnitin’s Voluntary Product Accessibility Templates and resources list.