Using Turntin

Turnitin checks your assignment against other available resources for similarity and provides you with a report. Instances of similarity that are not referenced correctly could be an indication of plagiarism. However, Turnitin should be seen as a tool to help improve your academic writing and not as a means to try and catch you out.


Submitting your assignment to Turnitin

The majority of courses will have Turnitin set up as part of the assignment submission process. To obtain a report, you will go through the normal assignment submission process (see below) but without clicking the final submit assignment button.

Some courses may also have Turnitin available as a separate function from the assignment submission area. If the setup is not clear from the course information in EIT Online, check with your tutor.

Most courses allow you to submit your assignment to Turnitin as many times as you wish (up until the due date/time), but this is not always the case. Please read any instructions in the assignment area carefully and check with your tutor if you are not sure.

  • Go to the appropriate assignment area in EIT Online and click add submission.

  • Click the blue arrow or the add file icon. If you’re using Google’s Chrome browser, you can drag and drop your files into the file submission area.

  • Clicking one of the above icons will open the file picker. Upload a file should be selected by default. Click choose file and locate and select your assignment.

  • Your assignment file name will then be displayed next to choose file. Next click upload this file.
  • Note:Turnitin will only accept Word (doc & docx), PDF, Corel WordPerfect, HTML, Adobe PostScript, TXT, RTF, & ODT files. If you have used Google Drive to create your assignment, you will need to download it as a Word doc or PDF prior to submitting it to Turnitin.


  • After clicking upload this file you will be returned to the file submissions screen; your assignment will now be displayed in the box. Click save changes at the bottom of the screen.

  • You then be taken back to the main assignment submission area with the submission status stating draft (not submitted). You will see your assignment in the file submissions area with the Turnitin status pending.

  • If this is the first submission for this assignment, the Turnitin report should be returned in approximately twenty minutes, but it could take longer. Any subsequent resubmissions will normally take 24 hours to be returned.

  • You will receive a Turnitin receipt via email. This is just to confirm that it has been submitted to Turnitin, it has not been submitted to your tutor, and you will still need to wait for the report.

  • You can resubmit your assignment, perhaps after making changes based on the Turnitin report, by selecting edit submission. This will take you to the file submission box. Using your mouse, right click on the previously submitted assignment and delete it. You can then submit an updated assignment following the steps above.

  • Most assignments allow you to resubmit as many times as you like up until the due date/time, but not all. If this is not clear in the assignment instructions then check with tutor to be sure. Remember, resubmissions normally take 24 hours for you to receive the new report.

  • Once you are satisfied with your assignment, click submit assignment to submit it; you cannot make changes once this has been done.


Reading your Turnitin report

  • When Turnitin has finished analysing your assignment, you will see a percentage displayed underneath your assignment in the file submissions area. The percentage represents how much of your assignment matches other sources. Click on the percentage to access your Turnitin report.

  • Your Turnitin report will have any text matches highlighted.

  • There is no rule as to what the percentage should be. However, you don’t want your work to be comprised of other authors’ work more than your own. And you don’t want so few references that you come across as unfamiliar with the relevant literature, and do not have enough credible references to back up and support your line of argument. Note that paraphrased citations are often not picked up by Turnitin, so a low percentage does not necessarily mean you do not have enough references.

  • Focus more on writing a solid essay rather than trying to meet a certain percentage. See a Learning Advisor if you are unsure about your referencing.

  • You can scroll through your assignment or use the side bar to go to directly to the detected matches.

  • Matches that are correctly referenced quotes should be fine.

  • Matches that are not referenced correctly should be checked and altered where necessary.

  • The above purple highlighted text is quoted correctly, so there would be nothing to worry about.

  • The green highlighted text is cited, but as the text is exactly as it appears in the original and is not included in quotation marks, it could potentially be a problem. The author could resolve this by making the green highlighted text part of the quote that follows it (as it is in the original).

  • The odd matching word or two, like the above blue highlighted text, is (usually) nothing to be concerned about.

  • Clicking on the highlighted text or the corresponding number on the side bar will give you more information about the matching source.

  • Your reference list will normally be included in your similarity percentage. You can filter this out by clicking the funnel icon on the bottom right of the screen, selecting exclude bibliographythen apply changes.

  • You can download a copy of your report by clicking the printer icon at the bottom left of the screen and selecting download PDF of current view for printing.

  • Once your assignment has been marked, you can use Turnitin to view your tutor’s comments. Open the returned assignment from the submission area as above. Once in the report, click on GradeMark at the top of the screen to see the comments.

  • Using the printer icon (see above) will provide you with a PDF version of your marked assignment. Comments will be indicated by a number which will correspond to the numbered comments at the end of the PDF.

If you have any concerns or queries, feel free to speak to someone at the library desk.