Turnitin Assignment Quickstart Guide

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This page will show you how to set up a Turnitin assignment in ten steps. Turnitin is a web-based text-matching software system. It produces a similarity report that needs to be interpreted by an academic and can then be used as part of the evidence in an academic misconduct case. It can also be used formatively to teach students how to properly acknowledge quotations. Turnitin provides a report on text matches. Turnitin does not interpret the report nor dictate action in response to the report, nor does access to the software, in itself, imply any requirement to act on the report. Those questions remain properly the responsibility of the University's academic processes. It also offers a Feedback Studio function that allows assignments to be marked and commented on online. Turnitin does not currently support Group assignments.

 Turnitin maintenance

All Turnitin services may be unavailable for use during scheduled maintenance times. Times for these scheduled maintenance windows are the first and third Saturdays of each month. We recommend you avoid scheduling assignment deadlines outside of core working hours and you should avoid scheduling any marking on the first and third Saturdays of each month. Check the My Moodle page for information about upcoming Turnitin maintenance.

 Accepted File Types

Turnitin currently accepts the following file types for upload into an assignment:

  • Microsoft Word™ (DOC and DOCX)
  • Corel WordPerfect®
  • HTML
  • Adobe PostScript®
  • Plain text (TXT)
  • Rich Text Format (RTF)
  • Portable Document Format (PDF)
  • Microsoft PowerPoint (PPT, PPTX, and PPS) (May not generate an Originality Report) 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, narrations and animations. Text with visual effects is not supported, and it is recommended that any visual effects such as shadows and 3-D be removed prior to submitting to Turnitin.
  • Hangul (HWP)
  • Microsoft Excel® (.xls and .xlsx). The version of the file that can be viewed in Feedback Studio 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 students 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. 

For assignments that accept any file types the following image file types can be displayed and rendered in Feedback Studio, but will not generate a Similarity Report:

  • JPEG
  • GIF
  • PNG
  • TIFF
  • BMP
  • PICT

Non-supported file types

  • Microsoft® Works (.wps) file types.
  • Apple Pages file types.
  • Spreadsheets created outside of Microsoft Excel (i.e. .ods).
  • GDOC files (.gdoc) which are just links to online Google Document files, but don't actually contain text or the document's content. Google Drive must be used to upload Google Docs.
  • Microsoft Word 2007 macros-enabled (.docm) files
  • Zip files

All other file types that are not one of file formats listed above will be accepted by Turnitin when the setting for Allow submission of any file type is set to Yes, but the file may not be displayed in Feedback Studio. When files cannot be displayed in Feedback Studio, Lecturers and Tutors are still able to download the original files.

 File names

File names

Punctuation in file names can generate errors when submitted to Turnitin. When students name their Turnitin assignment files, they should avoid using any punctuation except underscore '_'.

 Digital Receipts

On submission of a Turnitin assignment, students will receive a notification to their University email stating that the submission has been submitted. The full digital receipt can be viewed and printed from the Turnitin My Submissions screen. If you find you are also getting these receipts as a staff member refer to the Switch off email for Turnitin assignments guidance

 Turnitin and Nova Fonts

Students using Windows 10 and/or Microsoft Office 2016 may experience issues submitting work to Turnitin, if using one of the new fonts such as Arial Nova. A work-around to this would be to ask students to change the font to a type commonly used in previous versions of Word (such as Arial) before submission to Turnitin.

 Loading Data from Turnitin message

A number of staff have reported problems in opening Turnitin Submission Inboxes using Internet Explorer or Chrome on Windows. At this time we recommend that you do not use Internet Explorer to access Turnitin. Please note that Turnitin has ended support for Internet Explorer 9.

If the Submission Inbox hangs with the message Loading data from Turnitin, try refreshing your browser. If this does not work try using Firefox while Information Services investigate this issue. If you are a Mac user, please ensure that you using OS X 10.4.11 (Tiger) or above.

Not all departments use the Turnitin Assignment plugin. We advise staff to contact IT Self Service Portal to request training if you have not used Turnitin before.

Make sure you are using a supported browser and have configured your settings to work with Turnitin. Check out Turnitin's system requirements

Never duplicate a Turnitin assignment as it will break the assignment.



StepHow toImage

1

Create Turnitin assignment

  • Turn editing on. 
  • Click on the section header to open the topic/week where you want the Turnitin assignment to be located.
  • Click Add an activity or resource.
  • Select Turnitin Assignment 2 from the Activity list
  • Click Add.
     

2

Give your assignment a title and summary

  • Give your assignment a name using the Turnitin Assignment Name input field. Choose something that will be meaningful for students and help them to distinguish between different assignments on the module.
  • Provide assignment information and instructions in the Summary field. If you are planning on using Feedback Studio (Turnitin's online feedback system) you should ask students to submit their assignments with double-spaced text so you can use Turnitin's feedback features effectively. Select the tick box under the summary to display this information on the module page.
  • Do not add in a link to a file in the Summary field as this will render the link to the file unusable if accessed via the Module Events or Calendar blocks.
  • We recommend that you avoid including links to files or websites via the Summary. The text does not display as a hyperlink to students so it is not apparent that there is a link to click.

 3

Set submission type

  • For most assignments, you will not need to change most of the default values in this section.
  • You may need to change Number of Parts for multipart assignments. Note: Multipart Turnitin assignments default to an equal percentage weight attached to each part of the assignment. If you have a multipart assignment and require different weightings on each part of the assignment or even different due dates you can change these under step 5 of this guidance.
  • Change Allow submission of any file type? to Yes if students are required to submit a variety of file types. Please note that not all file types will generate a Similarity Report
 Accepted File Types

Turnitin currently accepts the following file types for upload into an assignment:

  • Microsoft Word™ (DOC and DOCX)
  • Corel WordPerfect®
  • HTML
  • Adobe PostScript®
  • Plain text (TXT)
  • Rich Text Format (RTF)
  • Portable Document Format (PDF)
  • Microsoft PowerPoint (PPT, PPTX, and PPS) (Unable to generate an Originality Report )
  • Hangul (HWP)

For assignments that accept any file types the following image file types can be displayed and rendered in Feedback Studio, but will not generate a Similarity Report:

  • JPEG
  • GIF
  • PNG
  • TIFF
  • BMP
  • PICT

Non-supported file types

  • Microsoft® Works (.wps) file types.
  • Apple Pages file types.
  • Spreadsheets created outside of Microsoft Excel (i.e. .ods).
  • GDOC files (.gdoc) which are just links to online Google Document files, but don't actually contain text or the document's content. Google Drive must be used to upload Google Docs.
  • Microsoft Word 2007 macros-enabled (.docm) files.

All other file types that are not one of the file formats listed above will be accepted by Turnitin when the setting for Allow submission of any file type is set to Yes, but the file may not be displayed in Feedback Studio. When files cannot be displayed in Feedback Studio, Lecturers and Tutors are still able to download the original files.

  • If you want students to view their Similarity Report so that they can use Turnitin as a formative assessment tool to support the development of their academic writing you will need to change the Display Originality Reports to Students to Yes.
  • Anonymous Marking: Default is No. Please refer to the Turnitin Anonymous Quickstart Guide for information on how to set up an Anonymous Turnitin assignment.
  • If you find the defaults don't meet your requirements for Turnitin assignments, change the defaults for your first Turnitin assignment and then check the box alongside Set these values as assignment defaults. The system will remember your defaults and apply them each time you set up a Turnitin assignment.

4

Set Grade

  • In the Grade settings, you can set the Maximum points for the Turnitin assignment.
  • You can set the Grade to pass if required: This setting determines the minimum grade required to pass. The value is used in activity and course completion, and in the Grader Report, where pass grades are highlighted in green and fail grades in red.


5

Settings for each Assignment Part

Set your Start, Due and Post DateNote: For multipart assignments, you will need to set the dates for each assignment part.

  • Start Date is when the Summary text area becomes visible to students.
  • Due Date is when the students are expected to submit their assignment, we recommend setting this between 9-5 Monday to Friday so IT, educational technology and course office support is available. Please note that Turnitin maintenance periods may occur on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month.
  •  Post Date is when the feedback comments and marks are released to the student.
  • For multipart assignments, you might need to change the Max Marks on each Assignment Part. For example, many assignments are set up as multipart assignments to enable students to submit supporting evidence, but only Part 1 of the assignment is graded. In this example, you would set Assignment Part 1 to 100 and all other Assignment Parts to 0.

6

Originality Report Settings

This is the most important set of settings for a Turnitin assignment and you will need to change some of the defaults.

  • Allow Submissions after the Due Date: We recommend changing this setting to Yes. Submissions attempted after the due date are often not received by Turnitin and cannot be marked using Feedback Studio, making them very difficult to manage.
  • Report Generation Speed: Default is Generate reports immediately (students can resubmit until the due date, After 3 submission, reports generate after 24 hours). Similarity Reports for the initial submission by each student to this assignment will be generated immediately. Students may resubmit as often as the student wishes until the assignment due date. Similarity Reports for the third or subsequent submission will require 24-hours before it begins processing. Only the latest submission is available to the lecturer or student. Previous versions are removed. Student submissions will compare against their peers submissions within the assignment on the due date, which may result in a change in the similarity index on the due date. 

     Report Generation Speed Options

    The other options available under the Report Generation Speed are:

    Generate reports on due date (students can resubmit until due date): Similarity Reports will not be generated for any submission until the due date and time of the assignment. Students may resubmit as many times as needed until the due date and time without receiving reports. Resubmissions may not be made after the due date and time of the assignment.

    Generate reports immediately (students cannot resubmit) - Similarity Reports for all submissions will be generated immediately. Students cannot resubmit papers. Submissions must be deleted by the lecturer/course officer to enable resubmission. This option is not recommended as students are unable to resubmit and submissions are not checked against each other.


  • Store Student Papers: The default option is Standard Repository which is suitable for most submissions. For formative submissions use option No Repository so the student's formative submission is not matched to a later summative submission. For a confidential project of dissertation work you might also need to change the option to No Repository to ensure that the student's assignment remains confidential. 
  •  The remainder of the options enable you to exclude certain database searches from a Similarity Report and we do not recommend that any of these options are changed.   
  • You can opt to exclude the following from a Similarity Report, again we do not recommend excluding any of these options:
     
    • Bibliography: Excludes text underneath the title references, bibliography.
    • Quoted Material: Excludes text enclosed between double quotation marks or content that is indented.
    • Small Matches: Matches that are not of sufficient length can be excluded. The number of words or paper percentage to be excluded is determined by yourself and entered into the text box.

7

Attach a Rubric

If you are not using a Rubric for marking your Turnitin assignment you can skip this step.

This setting allows you to attach a rubric in order to provide feedback to students that highlights strengths and areas for development against the assignment criteria. If you have previously created a rubric this will be available in the rubric drop-down menu.

If you would like to create a rubric click on Launch Rubric Manager and follow the rubric guidance. We recommend using an excel spreadsheet to create a new rubric as Turnitin has an hour time-out limit.

8

Facilitating multiple markers using Groups

If you have multiple Lecturers grading and providing feedback on student assignments you can set up groups/groupings to manage the marking.

  • Students must first be added to groups
  • Set Group mode (under Common module settings) to Separate groups.
  • When you view the assignment you can then filter by separate groups to facilitate the marking process.

9

Restrict access

You can use the restrict access setting to restrict access to Turnitin assignment by using a number of different restrictions. If you want the assignment to be available to students during a certain date range you can use the Date restrict access settings to manage this.

Please note if you link a file in the Summary field and show the description on the module page that the link will be accessible even though the access restrictions have not been met. 


Review the Restrict access guidance for more information about the possibilities with this setting.

10

Save and display

Click Save and display to review your Due and Post Dates.

  Additional Resources