What is Turnitin?
You may have heard about Turnitin from your lecturers or other students. Turnitin is software the University uses to help you develop good academic practice.
You might be asked to submit an assessment through Turnitin. When you do this, Turnitin checks your work against a large database of sources (textbooks, websites, other essays) to assess how similar your work is to information already written by others.
From this information, Turnitin will produce what is known as an ‘originality report’ with a similarity index.
This report can be a helpful guide to you – it might highlight a quote you have used without referencing or a paragraph where you have borrowed heavily from a source without citing it appropriately.
You may be given the chance to submit your work in advance, review the outcome, and improve your referencing before submitting the final version. Note that your School may also ask you to submit an assignment to Turnitin after the submission deadline if there are concerns about possible plagiarism in the essay.
It is essential that you realise that there is no best number for the similarity score. An essay with a low similarity score might still be judged as plagiarised if all of the similar material is in one block, plagiarised from an unreferenced (or incorrectly referenced) source.
It’s important to remember that Turnitin is only a basic tool for assessing the similarity of your work to other people’s. Following submission your lecturer will review your coursework, the Turnitin Originality Report and use their experience and judgement to review your coursework content and your academic practice.