What is Turnitin?

Turnitin.com is a web-based service that checks a paper’s originality and helps to prevent plagiarism. When a paper is uploaded to Turnitin, it is compared against all the material already stored in the Turnitin database. This database includes current Internet documents, archived Internet data, periodicals, journals, publications, and previously submitted student papers. If there is text in the new submission that matches something already in the database, the matching text will be highlighted in a Turnitin Originality Report. The Originality Report indicates by percentages how similar the submission is to other work in the database. Turnitin does not detect or determine plagiarism; it just detects matching text and provides a report for review. 

Interpreting the Turnitin Report 
When an assessment is submitted to Taskstream, it is uploaded to the Turnitin database, and in most cases an Originality Report is generated.

 

  1. Select the “Scores/Results” tab. 

 

 

 

 
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  1. Click on the “Request Report” button.  After a short time, the “Originality Report” button will populate in Taskstream.  Click on it to open the Originality Report page. 
 
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  1. This page shows the title of the work, date submitted, and a colored square icon with the Originality Score. The colored icon is linked to the overall similarity percentage:

 

  • blue - no matching words
  • green - one matching word - 24% matching
  • yellow - 25-49% matching
  • orange - 50-74% matching
  • red - 75-100% matching

 

WGU allows no more than 30% of a submission to be quoted or closely paraphrased from sources and no more than 10% from any individual source.


 

 

  1. Click the “Full Report” button. The report opens in a new window.
  2. If necessary, click on “Text-Only Report” in bottom right-hand corner.
  3. The "Text-Only Report" has three main sections: Paper Information, Paper Text, and Matching Sources. 

 

  • Paper Information: The top section of the report shows the information about the paper, including the title, author, date of submission and similarity information. 
  • Paper Text (student paper): The left side of the Originality report shows the text-only version of the submitted paper. Any text matching to text in the Turnitin database will be highlighted and numbered to correspond with the sources on the right side of the report. 
  • Matching Sources: Any matching sources will be listed on the right side of the report in order of magnitude. In order to accurately view the highest individual match percentage, you will need to go to the drop down menu at the top of this section and choose “Show Matches One at a Time.” The percentage that shows in the first box in that list is the highest individual match.

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Note: The source listed on the right side of the screen may not be the source actually used in writing the paper. It may be a secondary source, which also matches the source used by the writer. 

 

  1. Click on a colored section of the work to view the matching source text. If the match is to another student’s paper, the matching source text will not be shown.
  2. Evaluate the report:

  

  • Does the paper match work previously submitted to Taskstream? 
  • Is the highlighted section cited appropriately? 
  • Is the paper paraphrased correctly? 
  • Is the majority of the text original writing (not quoted or paraphrased)? 
  • Is the match to the given information in the task directions? 
  • Is the match to the references? 

 

A high percentage does not necessarily mean a plagiarized paper. However, remember that WGU, in most cases, only allows a 30% overall similarity index with no more than 10% from any individual source, even if cited correctly. 

 

 

 
Article Number: 48108

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