Last Updated: March 3rd, 2017

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Turnitin is an originality checking and plagiarism prevention service used by students and faculty. Turnitin encourages best practices for using and citing other people’s written material. The service offers a complete web-based service to manage the process of submitting and tracking papers electronically, providing faster feedback to students.

Although accounts can be created separately on their website, Turnitin can also be integrated into a variety of Learning Management Systems. When Turnitin is integrated, instructors can select which assignments will utilize Turnitin. Default settings usually allow students to see their report immediately, though the service takes time to complete. For instance, it takes about 15 minutes to run a two page document through Turnitin’s databases, and the student can see the report as soon as the comparison is complete when that option is selected.

Best practice suggests that instructors remove the default setting “Include in Repository,” so that when students resubmit assignments after correcting their citations, Turnitin does not compare the new version against the first version. Otherwise, Turnitin may erroneously flag original content as plagiarized though it was submitted by the same author. Once a document has been posted to the repository, it cannot be removed.

Application to All Courses

Turnitin is a tool that allows instructors to evaluate and promote student creativity and originality of authorship with proper citation. It is used across multiple disciplines and in a myriad of languages. It can be used to achieve multiple classroom objectives:

  • Reduce plagiarism and promote original and creative thinking
  • Train students in the skill of proper citation
  • Help students to better understand the importance of proper citation in the broader context of scholarship and academia

Getting Started

  • Turnitin offers several trainings at Turnitin.com: Training.
  • UF eLearning Support staff can help you setup and use Turnitin. Details are available on the eLearning Support Supported Systems page.
  • Follow the instructions on the eLearning Support Turnitin Wiki to set up and use Turnitin on your own.

Additional Resources

UF’s e-Learning help page on Turnitin.

Turnitin has several additional resources available:


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