Turnitin is an intellectual property verification tool. Papers submitted to Turnitin are checked against a comprehensive database of source materials. Originality reports are generated that list the results of the matching process, flagging text identified as closely matching other internet, article, or student resources.
SIUE also licenses two additional components of the Turnitin suite: GradeMark, an online tool for grading papers, and PeerMark, an online tool for distributing student papers for electronic peer review. Turnitin can be configured to analyze or identify spelling, grammatical, or usage errors by enabling the GradeMark e-rater feature within the Turnitin assignment settings.
Instructors can set up Turnitin assignments in their Blackboard courses to let students submit papers. The instructions below are intended to help instructors use this resource within Blackboard. Information is also available for using Turnitin outside of the Blackboard environment. Consult this Blackboard Tips and Tricks handout for an overview of Turnitin. Consult the ITS Training site to register for an upcoming session on Turnitin.
As with statements regarding academic integrity and disability services, instructors are strongly encouraged to include a paragraph on plagiarism in their syllabus. The following paragraph on Turnitin has been prepared for inclusion in a paragraph discussing plagiarism:
By taking this course, you agree that all required papers may be subject to submission for textual similarity review to Turnitin for the detection of plagiarism. Some papers submitted for review will be included as source documents in the global Turnitin repository to be used in future reviews. You should remove your name and any other personally identifying information from your papers prior to submission to Turnitin. For additional information on and instructions pertaining to Turnitin, consult the SIUE Turnitin resource page at: http://www.siue.edu/its/turnitin/
Creating a Turnitin Assignment - To create a Turnitin assignment in Blackboard:
Consult this tutorial for additional information: Turnitin Help Center Video: Creating an Assignment
Click on the image to the right to view a printable PDF of the recommended options settings for various situations. An online version of the table is also available.
Best Practices for Creating a Turnitin Assignment
Instructors are strongly encouraged to use Turnitin as an educational tool for students to review the Turnitin Originality Report to check their own paper for possible plagiarism and to encourage proper citation. Papers submitted as drafts ("no repository" is selected in the "Submit papers to" section of the settings when creating the Turnitin Assignment) are not uploaded into the standard, global repository of student papers. Final papers ("standard paper repository" is selected in the "Submit papers to" section of the settings when creating the Turnitin Assignment) will be uploaded into the standard paper repository, a global database of student papers.
Note that when students are allowed to make multiple submissions of a paper into a Turnitin assignment ("immediately can overwrite reports until due date" is selected in the "Generate Originality Reports for student submissions" section of the settings when creating the Turnitin Assignment), each submission overwrites the previous submission. In order to preserve each submission (e.g. both a draft submission and a final submission), instructors must create one or more Turnitin Revision assignments. Also note that a student’s paper is never checked against itself in the same course in the same assignment.
While the Turnitin assignment tool itself does not include an option for the instructor to attach a document (i.e. assignment instructions, grading rubric) for the student's review, instructors can create a folder for the assignment and then use "Add Item" for their file attachment(s) and then "+Select: Turnitin Assignment" for the "draft" and/or "final" Turnitin assignments.
Viewing a Turnitin Assignment and Originality Report - Instructors can view the student's Turnitin submission through the Control Panel and the Turnitin Assignments tool.
For more information about how to interpret the report, open the "Getting Started" video that opens within Turnitin. (Note that at this time SIUE does not license the GradeMark product discussed in the "Getting Started" video.) Consult these tutorials for additional information: Turnitin Help Center Video: Accessing the Inbox and Turnitin Help Center Article: Viewing Originality Reports within Blackboard
Grading a Turnitin Assignment - Instructors can view a student's Turnitin submission as well as the associated Turnitin Originality Report and also enter a grade for a Turnitin assignment through the Grade Center. While instructors can grade a Turnitin Assignment through the Inbox, accessing it through the Grade Center is the only way to attach a marked-up copy and include additional comments.
Please be aware that it might take some time for a report to be generated; it is not instantly available for review as soon as a paper is submitted. If a student’s paper has matching text in the Turnitin Originality Report, it does not necessarily indicate plagiarism. Turnitin will flag quotes that the student has correctly referenced, unless the Turnitin assignment was set up to "Exclude quoted materials from Similarity Index for all papers in this assignment." Instructors will need to view the report to determine whether the copied material is correctly referenced.
Using Submit Paper: By File Upload - Turnitin Originality Reports can be generated for papers collected outside of a Turnitin assignment. In these instances, instructors upload electronic versions of papers without student involvement. Submit Paper: By File Upload first requires the creation of a Turnitin assignment and is then accessed through the >>View/Complete link for that Turnitin assignment, logged into Blackboard as the instructor. Both the tool for uploading files as well as the subsequent reports can be found there. Consult this tutorial for additional information: Turnitin Help Center Video: Submitting a Paper
What resources are used by Turnitin to check for plagiarism?
The software checks all submitted papers against:
What file formats does Turnitin support?
Turnitin supports Microsoft Word (.doc & .docx), plain text (TXT), rich text (RTF), PDF, HTML, WordPerfect, PostScript. Files must be less than 20 MB. The maximum paper length is 400 pages.
How do I interpret a Turnitin Originality Report?
Consult this video for details on how to interpret the report.
How many Turnitin Originality Reports can be generated?
According to the Turnitin site, when multiple submissions are permitted, only one Originality Report will be processed in a 24 hour period; reports "for second or subsequent submissions will require a 24 hour delay before the Originality Report begins processing."
What are the technical requirements of Turnitin?
Will there be times when I cannot access Turnitin?
View the Turnitin scheduled maintenance times to see when the system will be unavailable.
For additional information on instructor usage of this tool, view the Turnitin training site or consult the following resources:
For information on student usage of this tool, consult the Turnitin within Blackboard (Students) site.
For more information about or additional help with Turnitin, contact Information Technology Services at (618) 650-5500 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.