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What is TurnItIn?


What is TurnItIn?

Turnitin or Tii is a tool which supports staff and students in identifying plagiarism. It does this by checking student work against a database or catalogue of papers, journals, books and websites, and matching words and word combinations. This helps students and academics in observing how and where referencing has been used, how arguments of others have been presented (e.g. paraphrased) in relation to their own perspective, and it can also help to check spelling and grammar in written submissions.

It is important to note that Tii should not be used as the sole method in establishing if plagiarism has taken place. Instead, after submission a 'Similarity Report' is generated which helps explain and position the student's work.

When introducing Tii as a tool, within our EMA processes, it is important that a clear message about what Tii does - and does not do - is presented. Common misconceptions are that Tii is a tool which identifies cheats, and is the sole method of checking student work for academic integrity. In enabling the use of Tii to check draft submissions of assessments it may also be thought that there is an 'acceptable level' of plagiarism, i.e. an acceptable percentage in a Similarity Report (SR) is one which is low, rather than one which is high.

The impact of these misconceptions is that it may lead students to cut important pieces of work in the hope of reducing SR percentage scores, rather than developing skills in paraphrasing or citation.

We encourage staff to be particularly aware of how Tii is introduced to students in the lead up to first assessments.

The above advice and guidance has been added to our LibGuides EMA Support opens in new window site, where we will continue to offer support including workshops.

It's worth noting that Tii doesn't allow submission of zip files which contain multiple files. If this is a requirement for your assessment, email us at, where we can support you in unpicking your assessment model and finding an effective solution.


Can my students see their Similarity Reports?

Students will be able to submit draft assessments to Tii before submitting final versions to view their Similarity Reports. The number of times a draft submission can be made will reduce as the student progresses through their course, and increases confidence and capability in academic writing and integrity.

  • at Level 3 (Foundation), Level 4 and Level 5 a student will be able to make unlimited draft submissions.
  • at Level 6 and Level 7, a student will be able to only make one draft submission.

Students will still not be able to see their similarity reports for their final submissions.

If you have any queries about this process, you can check out our LibGuides EMA Support site.