Turnitin (turn it in) is the originality checking software used by FedUni. It is commonly referred to as plagiarism detection software, although this isn’t technically correct.
Turnitin cannot form conclusions about whether plagiarism has occurred, it only returns a similarity percentage and links to those sources where similarity is detected. It is up to yourself or your lecturer to determine if plagiarism has occurred.
- Log in to Moodle and navigate to the course where the assignment is due.
- Once in the course, navigate to the assignment link. This is generally under the Assessment tab in the banner at the top of the page.
You can also click on This course and then Assignments in the menu at the top of the page. This view shows you all assignments that are located in that course. Simply click the title of the assignment to be taken to it.
- Click on the assignment title. Turnitin assignment upload links are denoted by a red arrow curving around a piece of paper.
- Clicking on the assignment link will open the Turnitin portal. To add a file click Submit Paper.
- In the upload screen ensure that you have Submission Type set to File Upload. You must give the submission a title. Use the name of the file you are uploading but be mindful that your lecturer may have specified the format of the assignment title. A Word document (.docx) is the best file format to use. PDF (.pdf) is another format that works if MS-word is unavailable to you.
- Once the assignment file has uploaded you will be given a receipt number from Turnitin to confirm the successful upload. It is a good idea to save this number somewhere. If you receive an error, don’t panic, the last line titled Message will give you some useful information. The most common issues you will come across are an incorrect file type error (Word and PDF are the best to use) or trying to submit a revision after the close date has passed. You will need to contact your lecturer if you want to submit a revision after the close date.
Once you have saved the receipt number click Close in the top right of the screen.
- When you close the upload screen you will be returned to the Turnitin Portal. The information relating to your upload, including the submission title, the date of your submission and the pending similarity report will be visible. It usually takes 10 to 15 minutes for Turnitin to return the similarity report but is may take longer if the file is large. If you make changes to your assignment and re-upload the file it will incur a 24 hour wait before it returns an updated score.
To review a similarity report, follow these steps:
- Click on the same assignment link you used to upload the file. You will see the similarity report expressed as a percentage with a coloured bar next to it. This bar changes colour from green for low similarity, to red for a high similarity.
- Click on the coloured bar to open the similarity report.
- You will now see your assignment with a sidebar to the right of the page. The sidebar shows you where the matches Turnitin has found come from and also to what percentage they match in relation to the text as a whole.
- Often, Turnitin will find matches to legitimate sources and references. Don’t panic: these can be filtered out. In the Sidebar you will see all of the matches that Turnitin has found. Hovering your mouse over these will show an arrow icon. Click the arrow to expand the details of the similarity match.
To the bottom of the expanded list you will see the Exclude Sources button. Clicking this will enable the checkboxes to the right of the Similarity matches. Click a box to place a tick inside, you can then click the Exclude button. Turnitin will then recalculate the score. Keep in mind that Turnitin should pick up your references and match them correctly with your source.
Learning about academic honesty and plagiarism may ease any concerns you have about Turnitin.