Turnitin, a text-matching tool, that allows instructors to check for plagiarism in student’s uploaded papers. Turnitin generates “similarity reports”on student submissions, providing both instructors and students with information about possibly plagiarized sources.  It can be used as an effective learning activity to support students in improving their writing skills.

What is Turnitin?

Turnitin is a writing tool and plagiarism prevention tool. The originality report for promoting academic integrity by Turnitin.com database. Students easily submit writing assignments through Turnitin assignments in Canvas. It allows instructors and students to view a Similarity Report (Similarity Reports provide a summary of matching or similar text found in a submitted paper.) of written work or other homework assignments. Turnitin generates originality reports for matching text to help students understand proper citation and improve writing.

Turnitin application in browser window

Why Use Turnitin?

It will help your students to practice academic integrity. Turnitin is a learning technology tool that can help students meet the academic integrity needs and learn how to properly reference and cite in scholarly work. (This faculty guide was developed by combining several guides from Turnitin – they are CC-BY-NC licensed).

Magnifying glass over papers

Plagiarism detection and a culture of integrity

Turnitin is designed to help instructors and students develop a better understanding of plagiarism in the information era.  It also teaches students how to plan, organize, and use citation skills essential for producing quality writing and research.

Data on a laptop

Formative Learning (a Teaching Tool)

Reports show results within the student’s assignment; clear and actionable data points are provided in every student’s submission. Turnitin helps students learn how to cite appropriately and write higher-quality academic papers; it is a tool for helping students learn academic writing skills.


A time-saving tool

Turnitin flags similarities with other work in their database; it helps instructors by pre-reviewing the student assignments in their database so that instructors don’t need to worry about trying to detect if a student has plagiarized. The Similarity Report saves instructors time on grading their students’ assignments. Save time grading and get a clear picture of how your students are doing.