Turnitin Originality Reports provide a cross-reference indicating how much of a submitted paper is original. This can be a useful resource for teaching academic writing skills, ensuring students understand how to cite sources correctly.

What Is Turnitin?

How does Turnitin work?

Turnitin works by cross-referencing uploaded papers to produce an Originality Report. Submitted papers are matched against pages on the Internet, both live and archived; journal databases that Turnitin has access to, and a growing archive of previously submitted student papers.

The Originality Report identifies content that has been used previously including “texts that have been substantially altered by paraphrasing or word substitution.” A percentage indicates how much of the paper is unoriginal. Matched sources are listed and colour-coded, so are easy to cross-check. There are also options to not count quoted text and bibliographies.


Turnitin Originality Report

Turnitin Originality Report

There is no percentage that indicates a clear case of plagiarism. Each paper must be considered in terms of context – students may have correctly used direct quotes or paraphrased text. This is good academic writing as long as sources are properly referenced.

Further information

If you would like to learn more about Turnitin please contact tel@plymouth.ac.uk to register for a place on the next workshop.

See also Plagiarismadvice.org, a site established by JISC, which promotes good practice and provides guidance in all aspects of plagiarism prevention.