Preventing Plagiarism - Turnitin

What Is It?

Turnitin is web-based service that indicates what parts of submitted work match other textTurnitin can check submissions against material available in its repository of submitted papers, and/or against text on the Internetincluding many books, journals, and newspapersChecking for text similarity works best to discourage plagiarism when it is part of an overall course policy that promotes academic integrity and helps students recognize plagiarism 

Turnitin is integrated into Canvas Assignments, and, when activated, creates a report automatically when the assignment is submitted online. It can be used in a Canvas assignment without requesting an account. The IU Knowledge Base offers information about Using Turnitin in Canvasas does the Canvas instructor guide. 

Turnitin can be used through the company's website or through the Canvas learning management system via an assignment. To use Turnitin through its website, instructors must request an account from UITS administrators. For more information about submitting via the Turnitin site, see the IU KB document, At IU, how can I submit papers directly to Turnitin?  

What Can I Do With It?

Turnitin helps prevent plagiarism by returning a report indicating material that may have been poorly paraphrased or properly cited. This is called a "similarity report". To help students improve their citation and paraphrasing, instructors can allow students to see their initial reports and make corrections. Both rough drafts and final drafts of papers can be submitted and checked. The IU Knowledge Base offers an article on Best Practices for Using TurnitinTurnitin supports submissions in over 30 languages. 

Helpful Resources

  • Contact CITL consultants: call 855-9023 to speak with a consultant about your Canvas Turnitin assignment settingsor fill out our online form. 
  • Stappenbelt, B. & Rowles, C. 2010. The effectiveness of plagiarism detection software as a learning tool in academic writing education. 4th Asia Pacific Conference on Educational Integrity (4APCEI). 

The authors conducted a study showing a decrease in the levels of plagiarism in their class as a result of giving students access Turnitin.com.