What is Turnitin?

Turnitin is a tool that allows users to check for unoriginal text in electronic documents.  Documents, which can be submitted from within Course Site, will be compared against various search targets selected by the instructor (search target options include current and archived internet websites, databases of journals and periodicals, and Turnitin’s archive of previously submitted student work).  After the work has been reviewed, Turnitin generates both (a) an ‘Originality Score’ that indicates the percentage of text in the submitted document found in the search targets and (b) an ‘Originality Report’ that highlights matching text and shows the source of the match. 

It is our hope that Turnitin will be used primarily as an instructional, and not merely a policing, tool.  Turnitin is powerful, but it will not catch all instances of plagiarism, nor does every match reveal an act of plagiarism.  The Originality Report therefore requires careful interpretation by the course instructor.  Moreover, some uses of Turnitin may be counterproductive to your efforts at cultivating academic integrity in your students. Before deploying Turnitin in your classroom, please consider some of the caveats and guidelines offered in the article “On the Effective and Appropriate Use of Turnitin” online at https://citl.lehigh.edu/turnitin, where you’ll also find resources for encouraging academic integrity, alternate means of deterring and detecting plagiarism, and contact information for individuals who can be of help using Turnitin and interpreting results. 

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See also:

Turnitin Documentation   

Research Success for your Students (for faculty, including tips on preventing and checking for plagiarism)

Tutorials for Research Success (for students, including tutorials on how to cite, avoiding plagiarism)

Instructor Guide for Turnitin: