Interpreting Turnitin Originality Reports


Interpreting the report

The Originality Report indicates the amount of matched text that Turnitin has found in your assignment with the sources of any matched text found.

What it is….

  • a copy of a piece of written work with any matching text from another source(s) highlighted within the paper. The report contains text only and does not show the original formatting or any diagrams.
  • only an indication! Marks are not awarded on the basis of the similarity score alone. The similarity index (total percentage) on the report is related to the amount of text in the document you submitted that has been matched with text available elsewhere.
  • simply a tool for students and lecturers to identify the submitted work that contains text similar to other submitted papers or sources. The tutor has discretion to decide whether the quoted material is legitimate or not; Turnitin only finds matching texts from electronic sources available to it. The decision to deem any work plagiarised must be made carefully, and only after in depth examination of both the submitted paper and suspect sources in accordance with the standards of the class and institution where the paper was submitted (Source: Turnitin Instructor Manual, pp.43-44).
  • up to the individual lecturer whether or not to allow students to have multiple submissions before the final due date.
  • a useful tool for students to self-check their own work before the final submission and before the due date.

What it is not…

  • designed to identify or judge whether the assignment contains plagiarised material. The similarity index (the total percentage) is not used to “detect” how much plagiarism a piece of work contains. Instead it provides evidence upon which plagiarism can be more readily identified.

  • to be used in place of the student’s own conscientious approach to acknowledging sources used in their work.
*• possible to set a specific similarity index (total percentage) figure as an “acceptable” threshold.

Find out more about the Similarity score.

Video overview of reporting tools

This video gives a basic overview of viewing the Originality Report in Turnitin Feedback Studio and how to use the tools.

Viewing the similarity report

Access your Blackboard module, select the Assessment page and then click the View Assignment link for the relevant assignment. You will enter the Submissions Inbox. From there click on a student’s percentage score.

Viewing similarity matches

Find out more about how you can drill down into any of the overview matches to view the full source of the text.

View and compare all sources

To view each match within the selected source, simply use the navigation arrows at the top of the All Sources side panel. As you navigate through, a new on-paper source box will appear.

Filtering and excluding sources

It is possible to fine tune and refine a similarity report in order to adjust the similarity index.

Find out more about refining a similarity report and the report filters you can use and view some examples of why/what you might do.

To make the adjustments you will need to select the red filter.

Find out more about Changing the filters and settings