Student users of Turnitin submit papers to a class from the class portfolio page. The class portfolio page is viewed by clicking on the name of the class from the student homepage. The class portfolio page lists assignments created by the instructor for students to submit to.
Note: If there are no assignments listed, students will not be able to submit any papers to the course until the assignments are created. Ensure that the correct course is being accessed and contact the instructor if no assignments are available to submit to. Only the instructor controlling the class will be able to create assignments for students in the class.
Note: Anonymous marking is now available for all assignments, globally. Anonymous marking is a system of assessment where a student's name and any other identifiable information is unknown to an instructor. Speak to your institution administrator for more information on this method of marking.
File Types and Size
Allow any file type
If an assignment is set to allow any file type, Turnitin will accept any file:
that is less than 40mb;
that has a minimum of 20 words; and
that is less than 400 pages.
File types checked for similarity
If the assignment is set to allow only file types that Turnitin can check for similarity, Turnitin will only accept files that can generate Similarity Reports.
|Microsoft Word® (.doc/.docx)|
Hangul Word Processor file (.hwp)
|OpenOffice Text (.odt)|
Rich text format (.rtf)
|Plain text (.txt)||PostScript (.ps)|
Google Docs via Google Drive™
If submitting with Google Drive™, third-party cookies must be allowed in your browser, otherwise, any attempts to sign into Google to upload from Google Drive will fail. Note that Google Drive functionality is not supported in IE8 or below. Do not upload Google Doc (.gdoc) files directly to file does not store the document, but contains a reference to it online, in Google Docs.
Turnitin will not accept PDF image files, forms, or portfolios, files that do not contain highlightable text (e.g. a scanned file - usually an image), documents containing multiple files or files created with software other than Adobe Acrobat®.
Microsoft PowerPoint® (.pptx, .ppt, .ppsx, and .pps)
It is possible to submit PowerPoint® files through Turnitin.com, TurnitinUK.com, Turnitin Basic integrations, newer versions of the Turnitin Direct integrations, and LTI compliant integrations only. Turnitin converts the PowerPoint® slide deck into a static PDF, leaving all text and images in their original format but leaving out features such as presenter notes, embedded video, and animations. Text with visual effects is not supported, and it is recommended that any visual effects such as shadows and 3D be removed prior to submitting to Turnitin.
Microsoft Excel® (.xls and .xlsx)
The version of the file that can be viewed in the Document Viewer will look the same as it would if the Excel file had been saved as a PDF and submitted to Turnitin. We highly recommend that users pay attention to the image preview provided in the single file submission to verify that the file is presented in an acceptable manner. Users can adjust the way the file looks by editing the page setup and print area settings for the file prior to saving it and submitting it to Turnitin.
If you are using an unsupported word processor, you may need to save your plain text file as .txt or .rtf in order to upload to Turnitin.
File types not checked for similarity
Turnitin will not accept the following to generate Similarity Reports:
Password protected files
Microsoft® Works (.wps) files
Microsoft Word 2007 macros-enabled .docm files
OpenOffice Text (.odt) files created and downloaded from Google Docs online
Document (.doc) files created using OpenOffice, as they are not 100% Microsoft Word equivalent
Spreadsheets created outside of Microsoft Excel (i.e. .ods)
Text with visual effects
When converting a file to a new file format, users should rename their file with a name other than that of the original file. This is suggested to prevent permanent loss of the original formatting or image content of a file due to it being overwritten.
Viewing a Rubric or Grading Form Before Submission
Rubric scorecards and grading forms can be used to evaluate student work based on defined criteria and scales. If your instructor has attached a rubric or grading form to the assignment, ahead of submission, you can view the criteria they will use as a guideline to grade your paper.
To access the rubric or grading form attached to your assignment, click the rubric or grading form icon from the relevant class' assignment inbox.
Note: If your instructor has not attached a rubric or grading form to the assignment, the rubric icon will be unavailable in the assignment inbox.
Your rubric or grading form will open in a new window, so if your browser has a pop-up blocker active, you may need to add Turnitin to its exceptions list in order to view the scoring card or form.
Submitting a Paper
To submit a paper to an assignment on Turnitin, the user must log in and upload a file to an existing assignment. Assignments in Turnitin cannot accept student submissions until the assignment start date and time has passed. Assignments may also reject submissions after the due date and time set by the instructor.
To check the start date and due date information, either click on the name of the assignment in the class portfolio page or view the start and due dates located under the assignment name. This action opens a pop-up window showing assignment preference information, including start and due dates/times as well as other assignment information or special instructions.
Note: After the submission has completed, a digital receipt is displayed in your browser window. A copy is also sent via email. It is important to use a valid email address to receive this copy of the digital receipt. Save the receipt and the submission ID it contains, as this is proof of a completed submission.
Warning: If the digital receipt is not shown on screen after submission, return to the class portfolio page and view the assignment to ensure the paper submission completed correctly. Submissions can be checked and viewed by clicking on the title of the paper under the title column to the right of the assignment name.
File Upload Submission
1. Start by clicking on the class name you would like to submit to after logging in to Turnitin
2. Click on the Submit button to the right of the assignment name
3. If necessary, select single file upload from the Submit: pull down menu
4. Enter a title for the submission
5. Once the requirements for single file upload have been reviewed, students have a choice to upload a file from:
- the computer
- or Google Drive
Click one of the submission buttons and then select the file you would like to upload
6. Click Upload to upload the file
7. Review the preview panel. Click the Confirm button to upload the file to the assignment
8. After the submission is complete a digital receipt is displayed on screen. A copy is also sent via e-mail to the address for the user login. Save the receipt and the submission id it contains, as this is proof of a completed submission.
The digital receipt contains a unique submission id number, the name of the user profile submitting, the assignment title, the paper title given by the submitting party, the file name, the file size, the page count, word count, character count, the submission date, as well as the body text of the file submitted.
Cut and Paste Submission
Note: If the add to: pull-down menu appears within the submit paper screen, select whether to store your paper in the standard paper repository or in the institution paper repository.
1. Start by clicking on the class name you would like to submit to after logging in to Turnitin
2. Click on the Submit button to the right of the assignment name
3. Select cut & paste upload from the Submit drop down menu
4. Fill in the submission title field and copy the text from the text document. This must be done from a word processor able to open the file you wish to submit content from. Do not manually type an entire paper in the copy/paste field, which could cause the user login to time-out, losing all the entered data
Tip: To cut and paste text, highlight the text of a paper in a word processing or text editing program and select copy from the edit menu. To transfer the text into your browser, place your mouse cursor in the text box of the submission page and select paste from your browser’s edit menu
5. Click Upload to complete the cut and paste submission of the text pasted into the content box
After the submission has been completed on step 5 a digital receipt is displayed on screen. A copy is also sent via e-mail to the address for the user login. Save the receipt and the submission id it contains, as this is proof of a completed submission.
The digital receipt contains a unique submission id number, the name of the user profile submitting, the paper title given by the submitting party, the assignment title, and the e-mail address for the user submitting, as well as the body text of the file submitted.
Viewing Submitted Files
After a submission has been completed it will be immediately available to view from the class portfolio page for the student or the assignment inbox of the instructor. Submissions made previously can be viewed in any active or expired class that the student is still enrolled in on Turnitin. Instructors may delete classes or unenroll students which prevents the student from viewing submissions that were made in the class.
Every paper that has been submitted can be viewed by clicking on the View button next to the assignment name. This will open a new window in a separate screen that displays the paper information in the heading at the top and the full text of the paper beneath.
Downloading Submitted Papers and Digital Receipts
Previously submitted papers can be downloaded by the student user. This allows a student user to download and save a copy of any submission in the class made by this user. The downloadable version of the file is in the original format of the submission, indicated by the file type name to the right of the file download icon. Some accounts allow the student to select either the PDF version or the original format version to download.
Students may download the digital receipt for submissions at any time from the student’s class home page.
To download a file navigate to the Turnitin class home page for the class the file was submitted to.
Click on the download button to view and select one of the three download options: Originally submitted format, PDF format, and Digital receipt.
Some users may be prompted by pop-up windows or toolbar icons on their web browser to continue and approve the download or open the file.
Resubmitting a Paper
Some assignments may allow students the ability to overwrite their previous submissions until an assignment's due date. This option is activated by an instructor on an assignment-by-assignment basis. If resubmissions are not enabled, your instructor must manually delete your previous submission to allow you user to submit your second file.
If resubmissions have been enabled or an instructor has deleted your first submission, resubmitting a paper is handled in an identical manner as a first-time submission.
Similarity Report Generation after Resubmission
You are allowed three resubmission attempts where the Similarity Report will generate immediately. After three attempts, you'll have to wait 24 hours before a new Similarity Report can be generated.
Resubmission attempts are shared between you and your instructor. If they attempt to resubmit on your behalf one of your attempts will be used.
Uploading Multiple Files to One Assignment
Only a single file may be submitted to a Turnitin assignment. Any second or subsequent submission will overwrite the original submission in this assignment. Contact your instructor if there is more than one file that must be submitted to complete the directions given by your instructor; additional assignments may be created or you may need to combine multiple documents into a single file of an acceptable file type to be uploaded into Turnitin.
Instructors may create different assignment types based on the Turnitin products that have been purchased. The full list of assignment types is:
- Paper Assignment - the standard Turnitin assignment, allowing students a single submission of a file which can then be viewed by the instructor or used with other. Turnitin products on the account.
- Revision Assignment - a copy of a Paper Assignment which an instructor may create to allow for revisions or rewrites.
- Reflection Assignment - an assignment for submitting self-written assessment of the writing process of a Paper Assignment. Based on a specific Paper Assignment.
- PeerMark Assignment - an assignment which allows students to peer-review the papers written by other students in a Paper Assignment. Students are given free response and scale questions for the review. Peer reviews may be anonymous, and allow students to comment directly on the paper.
Training Video: Submitting a File or Paper
What is Turnitin?
Turnitin is a Web-based service that can find and highlight matching or unoriginal text in a written assignment. It uses data-mining to compile a large database of electronic academic materials which it indexes and stores. Faculty can send their students' assignments to the Turnitin database or else set up to allow students to send their own assignments to the service for checking.
Turnitin basically checks the assignment against its database of materials to look for matches or near-matches in strings of text. Turnitin then generates an Originality Report online. The Originality Report summarizes and highlights matching text.
Students find the Originality Report useful for editing papers that include too many quotes and paraphrases. Faculty find the Originality Report useful as a tool to teach students proper citation practices and highlight the need for more student originality. Faculty can also use Turnitin as a tool to detect possible instances of plagiarism.
It is up to the users of Turnitin to analyze and interpret matching text in the Originality Report. Help screens within the Turnitin interface go into more detail.
What are UMUC's guidelines for faculty using Turnitin?
- Undergraduate School
Undergraduate School faculty may either upload students' work themselves on behalf of their students or else require their students to enroll in a Turnitin class created by the faculty member.
- Graduate School
Graduate School faculty should upload students' work themselves on behalf of their students. They should not require their students to enroll in a Turnitin class created by the faculty member. When uploading students' work be sure to use an alias first name and last name, like Student One, Student Two, and so on.
- Faculty must notify their students in advance that they may be using the Turnitin service. This notice will appear in the academic policies section of your syllabus:
Note: Your instructor may use Turnitin, an educational tool that helps identify and prevent plagiarism from Internet resources, by requiring you to submit assignments electronically. To learn more about the tool and options regarding the storage of your assignments in the Turnitin database go to http://sites.umuc.edu/library/libresources/turnitin.cfm
- Student papers are protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. If faculty send a paper on behalf of a student to Turnitin for evaluation, use an alias instead of the student's name.
- Please do not submit papers prepared by UMUC students to other plagiarism service providers not supported by UMUC.
- Please see the full copy of the Faculty Guidelines for Using Turnitin.
How can Turnitin be used as a teaching and learning tool?
It is easy for faculty to set up Turnitin classes and assignments in such a way that students can see their own Originality Reports and can turn in multiple drafts of an assignment. This way students can edit their first draft and resubmit their assignments if the Originality Report shows more matching text than they desire.
Note to Faculty: Login to Turnitin Instructions for UMUC Faculty for instructions on how to set up assignments so that students can submit multiple drafts to Turnitin and correct their own work. Use the Originality Report for the first draft to point out to students whether they need to improve their citations or include more original analysis and comment.
Note to Students: If the Originality Report for your first draft shows a high percentage of matching text, for example, review and edit your assignment for proper citation. Include more original analysis and comment, then send it to Turnitin again. Turnitin will know not to match the text in your second draft with text in your first draft, and so on.
How does Turnitin work?
Turnitin uses data-mining to compile a large database of electronic academic materials that it indexes and stores. Use your Web browser to access the Turnitin Web site, then submit assignments electronically by copying and pasting a digital copy of the work (e.g., a Word document or an html document) in a Turnitin text box or by attaching a file, much like in your online classroom. The service then checks the new submission against its database of materials to look for matches or near-matches in strings of text.
Users then login to Turnitin to access the Report Inbox within Turnitin to view an Originality Report generated for each assignment that is uploaded. Faculty can view Originality Reports for each student in the class, but students can only view the Originality Report for their own assignment, not the assignments of other students.
How complete is Turnitin?
Turnitin has a database of over a million papers and assignments sent to them by students and teachers, a digitized version of the Gutenberg Collection of Literary Classics, and papers pulled from the Internet and various "paper mills," (i.e., services that sell term papers). However, the Turnitin database currently does not search books or articles in subscription databases available through the UMUC Library Databases. It may not find matching text from those sources or from subscription database such as The New York Times on the Web unless those materials also appear in assignments previously sent to Turnitin. For those resources, it is best to search the UMUC Library Databases and/or supplement your Turnitin review by using a Web search engine (e.g., Ask, Google, etc.)
The Faculty Guidelines for Using Turnitin to detect possible plagiarism provide the following cautionary notes about completeness:
"When a paper is evaluated, Turnitin provides originality reports which tell you that text in the evaluated project or paper is similar to or identical to text Turnitin has in its database. Faculty must still evaluate the quality of the report independently and determine if the parts identified by Turnitin that are similar or identical, are actually plagiarized text. This is because all matches are shown, even those where students cited properly. As a result, faculty must critique the report they receive, use their best judgment and follow University policy before approaching a student about possible plagiarism.
"Similarly, if a paper is reported as "original" by Turnitin, that is not necessarily airtight evidence that the paper is original. Instead, it may mean that the student plagiarized from a work that is not available in the Turnitin database. If a faculty member has a concern, and strongly suspects plagiarism, it is best to ask the library staff to assist him/her to check further and/or check the student's paper references in addition to digital sources. No database is entirely comprehensive and many sources are not digitally available. Therefore, plagiarism can occur and be undetectable by services such as Turnitin."
Are student papers kept confidential?
Yes. Faculty are not permitted to release student assignments either to other UMUC faculty or to faculty from other institutions. If a faculty member receives a request for permission to release a student's assignment, faculty shall deny the request. The UMUC license with Turnitin specifies a privacy pledge in accordance with FERPA, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. The U.S. Department of Education's FERPA Regulations give the requirements on the confidentiality of student records and information. If faculty are concerned about student privacy, it is a good idea for them to use aliases for actual student names when submitting assignments for review by Turnitin. UMUC recommends that faculty use aliases to ensure that student privacy is protected.
What about student copyright?
The UMUC license with Turnitin also specifies that students retain copyright to their submitted assignments and that the assignments will be stored only for the duration of UMUC's contract with Turnitin and solely for the purpose of using such papers as source material to prevent plagiarism of such papers.
The University has a license agreement with Turnitin, an educational tool that helps prevent or identify plagiarism from Internet resources. The instructor may use the service in the UMUC class by requiring students to submit assignments electronically to Turnitin, by submitting assignments on their behalf, or by providing the option for students to submit their work to Turnitin and check their work for originality. The Turnitin Originality Report will indicate the amount of original text in the students' work and whether all material that was quoted, paraphrased, summarized, or used from another source was cited as appropriate.
If the student or the instructor submits all or part of an assignment to the Turnitin service, Turnitin will ordinarily store that assignment in its database. The assignment will be checked to see if there is any match between that work and other material stored in Turnitin's database. If the student objects to long-term storage of their work in the Turnitin database, the student must let the instructor know no later than two weeks after the start of the class so that the instructor can make appropriate arrangements. The student has three options regarding the assignment being stored in the Turnitin database. One, if the student does nothing then the assignment will be stored in the Turnitin database for the duration of UMUC's contract with Turnitin. Two, the student can ask the instructor to have Turnitin store the assignment only for the duration of the semester or term, then have the assignment deleted from the Turnitin database once the class is over. Three, the student can ask the instructor to change the Turnitin settings so that the assignment is not stored in the Turnitin database at any time.
Faculty who need assistance setting up these options should contact the library directly.
Can students revise work that they submit to Turnitin?
This is up to the instructor. In some classes, students may revise their submissions to Turnitin to try to lower the score on the Originality Report. In other classes, this may not be an option for students. Student should check their assignment requirement to know if their first submission is going to be final or not.
Depending on how the instructor sets up assignments, three things may occur.
- Some instructors will set up assignments so that the first submission is going to be final. No revisions will be allowed.
- Some instructors will set up assignments so that students can submit their work but then overwrite it with edits and corrections until the due date. In this scenario, however, note that it will take 24 hours for Turnitin to process each overwrite. Plan your time accordingly.
- Finally, some instructors will set up assignments so that students can review their work, edit it, and resubmit revised drafts within minutes. The way this works is that instructors set up a baseline assignment called a Paper Assignment. Students submit the first draft of their work to this Paper Assignment. The instructor also sets up one or more Revision Assignments, which is where students submit one or more revised drafts of the work submitted earlier to the Paper Assignment.
What about group projects in Turnitin?
If you are part of a group working on a project that must be submitted to Turnitin, appoint a team captain to submit the project on behalf of all the team members. If each team member submits the project, then of course Turnitin will detect that you are matching one another.
How long does a Turnitin check take?
Initial Submissions/First Drafts
Originality Reports should usually be ready within 15 minutes. However it may take up to 24 hours during peak times such as the middle or the end of semesters when many papers are being submitted to Turnitin.
If students are allowed to view their Originality Reports, revise their work, and resubmit to Turnitin, see Can students revise work that they submit to Turnitin?
Depending on how the instructor sets up assignments, students may have to wait 24 hours before overwriting their work with edits, OR they may be able to submit edits of a Paper Assignment to one or more Revision Assignments within minutes. Plan accordingly when working on a deadline.
Where do I go for technical help?