What is Turnitin?

Turnitin is a plagiarism prevention service that allow faculty at Webster University to the ability to check student papers and written assignments for originality against Internet sources, other student submissions, academic databases and more at the same time students are electronically submitting them to the instructor.

Turnitin provides teachers (and students) an "Originality Report," which is a color-coded report matching student writing with matching sources that used identical strings of words.

In addition to creating an Originality Report, based on the settings provided by the instructor, student papers may be added to what is call the Repository. Submitted papers are included in reports on other student papers, or even future assignments submitted by the same student. The instructions provided on this site describe the best settings to minimize student re-submissions matching their own work.

It is important to note that Turnitin does not determine whether plagiarism has occurred. The Originality Report simply shows and codes matches to make it easier to see how passages of text match other sources. It is up to the instructor to find the best way to make use of it in their course, and whether being read by the student or the instructor, the report must be interpreted by the reader to determine if matching text is potential plagiarism or sound academic writing.

How can Turnitin help deter plagiarism?

Turnitin can be used by instructors as an effective tool in teaching students the ethical and responsible use of information created by others.

Turnitin is a powerful and versatile tool that can provide students the resources (or motivation) to produce more academically sound writing. By illustrating matching text in visual manner, Turnitin can be used to help address the challenges of unintentional and malicious plagiarism, copyright ethics, proper and comprehensive citation, and more.

Since misunderstanding what Turnitin can and cannot do can create confusion for students and teachers alike, we encourage a complete review of this site to develop a firm understanding of how to best include Turnitin in your course.

The purpose of this site is to:

  • Provide an understanding of what Turnitin is and how it can be used to deter plagiarism
  • Demonstrate how to create new Turnitin assignments in WorldClassRoom using the most effective options available
  • Explain how to access and interpret Originality Reports
  • Explain the benefits of providing student support and access to Originality Reports to provide a learning encounter and to minimize misunderstandings in the representation of potentially plagiarized student work
  • Explain what GradeMark is and understand how to access and use GradeMark to provide feedback on student writing
  • Describe where to go for questions and assistance with using Turnitin, and how to share similar resources with your students