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Promoting TurnItIn to Students

Students are likely to feel less anxious and better able to benefit from using Turnitin if they understand its aims, what it can and cannot do, and how their lecturers will use it in the marking process.

The aims of TurnItIn can be realised greatly by:

  • Collaborating with your school-assigned Academic Skills Advisor, who can provide in-course sessions on: academic integrity, referencing, and academic writing. Academic Skills Advisors can also provide guidance to your students in one-to-one appointments.
  • Encourage your students to check our Libguides resource on using TurnItIn.
  • When providing briefs and feedback on assignments, explain that Turnitin is just one of many tools that markers use to observe plagiarism.
  • Explain that it is the marker, not the system, who makes judgments about whether a student has plagiarised.
  • When configuring TurnItIn for assignment submission: avoid setting a threshold percentage for the Similarity Index. This can encourage students to employ an approach that focuses on reducing their similarity index to below the threshold. This may have a negative impact on the quality of student work.

Students also need support to make sure they know what they can learn from using Turnitin and what strategies to use to do so.

In lectures and tutorials, lecturers can inform students of TurnItIn by:

  • Grounding discussions on Turnitin in the context of understanding academic integrity and becoming a good academic writer.
  • Make sure students know how you and the department use the results in the assessment process, giving examples if possible.
  • If your students see their originality reports, encourage them to investigate all matches that are identified, whatever the overall index score.
  • Encourage students to view the Turnitin report as feedback on their writing. Draw their attention to what the originality report can show them, such as poor paraphrasing or lack of quotation marks or citation.