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Turnitin: What is Turnitin

What is Turnitin?

Turnitin is web based ‘text matching’ system that is widely used across the world by many Universities and provides a service that allows for student electronic submitted work e.g. assignment to be compared with a wide variety of resources. 

  • The Internet, archived web pages
  • Student assignments submitted to Turnitin, from other Universities including DMU
  • Other digital publications

Turnitin does not specifically identify plagiarism however it’s text matching tool can be used by your tutor to identify plagiarism and poor academic practice as a direct comparison is displayed with ‘matched sources’ found.

How will Turnitin be used

Typically, your tutors will set up specific Turnitin Assignments link in the assessment area of your Blackboard module. You will then need to upload an electronic version of your work (e.g. as a MS Word document, PDF) by the submission date.

Turnitin will compare your submitted work with other sources as mentioned and a produce ‘Similarity (originality) report’, highlighting an overall percentage to matched sources and percentages of all matched sources if any. Turnitin does not make any judgments on your work and explicitly state whether plagiarism has been detected. This is a decision that your tutor has to make upon analyzing the similarity report.

Marking and Feedback 

Turnitin also allows for your tutors to leave electronic feedback and a mark for your submitted assignment using a tool called GradeMark. Your tutor will let you know if they are using this tool and there is further help topics (see below) on how you can access your mark and feedback if this tool is being used.

Types of Common Matching 

It’s useful at this point to highlight what common matches can be found:

  • References and Bibliography – other students wil have used the same references at some point. These can be filtered out.
  • Quotations – similar to references quotations properly referenced may be used by others in the internet and by students
  • Data tables/Charts showing same data
  • Appendices (if part of your submitted assignment), again can be matched to others work if used by them
  • Small common matches  – common phrases or subject terminology can be detected. Matching formats e.g title essay will be picked up A filter can be used to exclude such smaller matches.
  • Paraphrasing from another source will be matched, your tutor will judge if this has been appropriately written

Get Support with Writing Skills

DMU’s Centre for Learning and Study Support provide writing support.


Turnitin Interactive Demo  

Turnitin interactive demo link


Library Learning Services Support Quick Links