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What is Turnitin (Tii)? 

Tii is a tool which support 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 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. It is good practice for colleagues marking the assessment to review the Similarity Report which helps explain and position the student's work. 

Support Workshops

The sessions listed below offer help and guidance in understanding the similarity report.

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. This is not the case. Instead, colleagues and students will need to be able to interpret the SRs. Support in doing this will be made available shortly. 

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.