Category Archives: Turnitin

What is Turnitin?

Turnitin is a leading plagiarism detection tool that allows faculty and students to check their work for originality and also gives faculty the ability to digitally grade and provide feedback on papers.  At SPU, we are using Turnitin within Blackboard which includes the following options:

  • Turnitin’s OriginalityCheck compares submitted documents against internet sources, Turnitin’s document repository, and other publications.
  • e-rater Grammar Check scans a submitted document for possible spelling, grammar, usage, mechanics, and style errors.
  • GradeMark is a grading function that allows faculty to score papers, add written or audio comments, and create interactive grading rubrics to organize specific feedback for students.  For more in-depth information, please visit the Turnitin Instructor Manual

*Please note: There’s not an option to add words to the Turnitin dictionary at this time.  Also, Turnitin cannot be used to check writing for MLA or APA style. Turnitin simply has an “Advanced” e-rater grammar check option.

What sources does Turnitin use when comparing documents?

Originality Reports allow faculty and students to check documents for potential plagiarism against a variety of sources, including the internet, Turnitin’s document repository, periodicals, journals, and other publications (list provided by Turnitin):

  • CrossCheck -  participating STM publishers have provided Turnitin with more than 30M published research articles, books and conference proceedings (title list on CrossCheck home page)
  • Gale InfoTrac One File - (includes over 11,500 titles–periodicals, broadcast transcripts, travel guides, magazine, journals, and books)
  • Emerald Journals 
  • ABC-CLIO -  history resources; title list is proprietary
  • Acumen- research papers
  • SAGE Reference - 160 encyclopedia titles (title list is proprietary)
  • PubMed/MedLine  more than 1M  abstracts and citations; medical resources
  • Pearson, McGraw-Hill, and Wiley - more than 1850 academic textbooks
  • EBSCOhost - nearly 1M content items from a cross-section of databases periodicals, biographies, brochures, encyclopedias, magazines, journals and books (title list is proprietary)
  • The ‘publications’ database includes over 110 million content items all together.

For more in-depth information, please visit Turnitin Instructor Manual – Originality Reports

Is there evidence that using Turnitin actually reduces student plagiarism?

According to Turnitin:

A statistical analysis of 7 years of data from high school and college submissions to Turnitin found that after two years of Turnitin use, serious instances of unoriginal content and plagiarism in student writing decreased by 20 percent or more. After four years, institutions experience improvements of 35 – 70 percent.  Read more…

We also invite you to review the Turnitin within Blackboard: Evaluation of Spring 2012 Pilot report.

Creating Revision Assignments

If an instructor would like students to submit multiple drafts of an assignment without overwriting previous drafts, s/he could a) manually go through the process of creating new, separate Turnitin Paper Assignments or b) they could use the Revision Assignment option.  In short, a Revision Assignment simply copies settings from an existing assignment thereby reducing the time spent in setting up the assignment.  Instructors still have the option to modify Revision Assignment standard and advanced settings, if desired.

To create a Revision Assignment:

  1. Log into your course site with Edit Mode set On.
  2. Click on the content area (i.e. Content, Course Documents, Information) where you would like the link to the assignment to appear.
  3. Click Assessments > Turnitin Assignment.
  4. Select Revision Assignment and click Next Step.
  5. Select the assignment this revision should be based on.
    Enter the point value for this revision assignment.  Please note:  Point values must be whole numbers.  Turnitin does not accept decimals.
    Select the corresponding Start, Due, and Post Dates.
    Enter any special instructions, if applicable.
  6. Make your Originality Report selections, and click Submit.

Creating a PeerMark Assignment

PeerMark is a tool that allows students to provide feedback on each other’s papers.  Before this tool may be used, however, an instructor must first create a Turnitin Paper Assignment to which students submit their individual work.  Once that is in place, then the instructor can elect to create a PeerMark Assignment that pulls documents from the original Turnitin Paper Assignment pool of papers to be distributed to and assessed by students.  For step-by-step instructions about how to create a PeerMark Assignment, please see page 12 in the Turnitin Blackboard Learn Integration Manual.

Viewing Turnitin Submissions and Originality Reports

Watch a video on how to access Turnitin Submissions and Originality Reports.

To view Turnitin submissions and Originality Reports, please do the following:

  1. Under the Control Panel, click Course Tools > Turnitin Assignments.
  2. Click the name of the assignment.
  3. Click on the percentage in the Similarity column to view a paper’s Originality Report.

To learn more about Originality Reports, please visit the Turnitin Instructor Manual Chapter 2: Originality Check.

Submitting Papers on Behalf of Students

To submit a paper on behalf of a student to Turnitin, please do the following:

  1. Log into your course site with Edit Mode set On.
  2. Locate the Turnitin Assignment, and click the corresponding View/Complete link.
  3. In most cases you just be submitting a single file.  So select Single file upload.
  4. Select the AuthorPlease note:  If you do not see the name of the student listed under Author, you may need to sync your Blackboard course roster with Turnitin.
  5. Type a Submission Title (i.e. name of paper).
  6. Browse for the file to upload.
  7. Click Upload.
  8. You’ll then have the opportunity to preview the paper to ensure you’ve selected the correct document.  When ready, click Submit.
  9. Once you’ve submitted the paper, you should see a digital receipt confirming that the paper was successfully submitted.  The student will also receive an email notification.

*Please note: File size may not exceed 20 MB. For a complete list of file types and sizes Turnitin accepts, please visit the Turnitin Blackboard Integration Instructor User Manual.