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This guide offers support with using Turnitin for submitting assignments and getting the most out of the Originality Report.

Similarity Score

The overall similarity of your assignment to information in the Turnitin database is shown as a percentage (%). The percentage range is 0% (no similarity) to 100% (a complete match). Your similarity score is linked to the Originality Report containing details of the non-original content. To open the Originality Report, click on the similarity score.

Every similarity icon also shows a corresponding colour

  •               no matching text
  •               one word - 24% matching text
  •               25% - 49% matching text
  •               50% - 74% matching text
  •               75% - 100% matching text

Don’t be fooled! 

A high percentage doesn’t necessarily mean you have plagiarised (and conversely, a low percentage doesn't necessarily mean that you haven't plagiariased!

There is no 'magic number' to indicate plagiarism has occurred. Similarity scores and Originality Reports are simply tools to help your lecturer determine if plagiarism has taken place. Before an assignment is deemed plagiarised, your lecturer will conduct an in-depth analysis the Originality Report.

The Originality Report

Depending on the options selected by your lecturer when the Turnitin Assignment was created, assignments submitted to Turnitin can generate what is called an Originality Report. This is essentially a comparison document that highlights any text that matches Internet content, publications or student submissions within the Turnitin database.

It is up to each lecturer to decide whether students are able to view the Originality Report for their own assignment. If your lecturer gives you permission to view the report, they may select one of the following options:

  1. Single submission + immediate Originality Report - You can view report after submission but cannot resubmit assignment
  2. Single submission + Originality Report after due date - You won't be able to view the report until after the due date
  3. Multiple submissions during a specified period + Originality Reports - You can view reports after each submission and resubmit assignment a revised assignment (There's a 24-hour delay for second and subsequent submissions)

If you see Not Available, rather than a similarity report icon in the assignment inbox, then your instructor has disabled the ability for you to view the report for this assignment. If you would like to view your report, contact your lecturer.​

Viewing an Originality Report

Opening the Report

Originality Reports are normally completed within 10-15 minutes of submitting your assignment (this time may vary!). If your lecturer has set the viewing preference to allow you to access the report, you can simply click the Similarity Score icon.

24-hour reporting delay for re-submitted assignments

If your lecturer has set up the assignment for multiple submissions, and you wish to review, make changes and re-submit your assignment after seeing the first Originality Report, note that for second and subsequent submissions, there is a 24-hour delay.  So, make sure you re-submit at least 24 hours before the deadline if you want to see the new Originality Report. 

Contents of the Report

The Originality Report is separated into three main parts:

  • Document viewer frame - shows the details of the assignment (title and author) and the similarity score
  • Assignment text - shows the submitted paper in its original format. Matching text is highlight in a colour that corresponds to the matching source listed in the Match Overview on the right side of the report
  • Match Overview - shows a list of matching sources for the highlighted text in the assignment to the left

Reading the Report

1. Click a match in the Match Overview sidebar to see the corresponding text displayed and highlighted within your assignment.

2. Click the highlighted area of text and a pop-up window will appear displaying the matching text within the original source. 

3. If the match is with an Internet source, you can click the url  link to view the page within a new browser tab or window.

Filtering the Report

Citations and References

Even correctly cited quotations and references will be identified and reported as matched with other documents in the database. Why? Because:

  • Assignments submitted by other students may have quoted from, or cited/reference, the same sources as you. And/or,

  • Sources you quoted or cited may be in the database. 

These parts of your assignment will increase your overall similarity score. Don't be alarmed though, as your lecturer will check the report and interpret the results.

Filter them out

It is possible to filter quotations, citations and reference list items out of the Originality Report. 

However, note that you are only able to remove this material for your current viewing. Only the lecturer can permanently exclude this information. 

To filter the information

  1. Click the Filter and Settings  icon at the bottom of the Matching Overview sidebar. 
  2. Click the check boxes next to the options you want to remove.                                
  3. Click on the Apply Changes button to save the settings.                            

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