Using Turnitin, avoiding plagiarism, and developing your academic writing
This page provides information and links on how to
Turnitin software helps you to understand and avoid plagiarism and develop your understanding of how to cite sources as part of an academic argument. Staff will tell you if they intend to use Turnitin for your assigment and you will be asked to upload your essay via Moodle or the Turnitin website. The system looks for similarity to other documents and then provides you with an originality report. From this, you can identify where you might have quoted or paraphrased without referencing and also where you may have referenced correctly but relied too heavily on others' work without your own analysis of ideas. The originality report has a percentage score BUT there is no magic number that indicates plagiarism has taken place; your and your marker's interpretations of the originality report are much more important.
For more information on how Turnitin is used, go to
Plagiarism is when you use someone else's words or ideas in a piece of written work without including a reference. Referencing is important because it gives credit to the person's work, it shows that you have taken on the skill of entering into academic discussion, and it allows your reader to trace your sources. As well as being careful to always reference any sources used, you should also be aware of any inappropriate collaboration with other students that might result in similar work being submitted, and of auto-plagiarism where you re-use work which has already been submitted at this or another institution. The University of Glasgow takes plagiarism very seriously. However, it is easy to avoid if you remember to always reference both quotations and paraphrasing and refer to referencing guides provided by your course. If you are given the option to use Turnitin, this will help you to understand your use of referencing.
For further information on plagiarism, go to
Developing your academic writing
There are a number of elements that are essential to producing good academic writing. A clearly communicated argument works: from clearly structured, and grammatically correct sentences; through paragraphs that deal with one issue, developing that point through a presentation and analysis of the evidence; to an overall structure that provides a logically progressed argument with a conclusion or conclusions based on the argument and evidence presented in the essay. Good academic writing also engages with relevant sources and evidence that is used to progress the argument. Others' work, either quoted or paraphrased, should always be referenced and you should also include a bibliography of those sources used within your essay.
For further information on ways to improve your writing, go to