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Turnitin: How do I use Turnitin?

Quick Notes

  1. You access Turnitin through Moodle.
  2. Your first report should generate quickly, within 5 to 15 minutes.
  3. It will take at least 24 hours after the first 4 submissions to generate a report for each resubmission, sometimes much longer, so plan ahead!
  4. 0% similarity is possible, and acceptable.
  5. Resubmissions might be allowed (not all lecturers allow you to resubmit). Any resubmission will overwrite previous generated originality reports in the same dropbox.

Accessing Turnitin

You access Turnitin through Moodle. It will usually be in an assignments or assessments block, but different lecturers might put the dropbox in different places. Look for the Turnitin assignment symbol Turnitin logo

Note: Your lecturer may also use the integrated Turnitin feature in a normal assignment moodle assignment icon in which case the originality report may look slightly different and you may not be able to resubmit depending on how the assignment was set up.

Submitting your work

Submitting your work

Click on the My submissions tab.

My submissions tab in Turnitin

You can submit work in two ways:

File upload - where formatting is important, or where you need to submit the whole document. Word (.doc and .docx), Portable Document Format (.pdf), rich text (.rtf),  plain text (.txt), Corel WordPerfect, HTML, Adobe Postscript, Open office (.odf)  files can be uploaded (see File requirements for information on what file types and sizes Turnitin accepts). Note: if text is saved as an image it will not be processed and an error will be generated.

If your work is in a different format, you will need to export it as one of the above, or use a word processing/text editing package to copy and paste the text into a new file in one of these formats. (Rich text is almost universally available, but might lose some formatting). You can also consider the text submission option below.

Text submission - where you only want to check a section of your assignment, or where formatting is not important. Text can be copied and pasted into the submission box.

If your work is successfully submitted to Turnitin, you should see a message notifying you of the successful upload. Note: for privacy purposes, we suggest that you do not include your name or student ID in the header, footer or body of the document.

The first time you access Turnitin, you will see a screen asking you to agree to the Turnitin Terms and Conditions. You should only need to do this once.

If your submission attempt returns you to the submission screen, ensure you have given your work a title (this can be anything, but will be visible to your lecturer!).

Submitting an Integrated Turnitin Assignment (Multiple Attempts)

Click on the assignment dropbox:

Screenshot of assignment dropbox

Click on Add submission:

Screenshot of add submission button

Click on the Add file icon, select a file and then click on Save changes (see File requirements for information on what file types and sizes Turnitin accepts):

Screenshot of add file icon


Your assignment has now been queued to receive a Turnitin report/similarity score (please note that Turnitin reports can take up to fifteen minutes to generate):

Note: Do not click on Submit assignment as this will finalise your submission and no further changes can be made or Turnitin reports generated.

Screenshot of Turnitin report status queued


Once you have received your similarity score you can review your Turnitin report (by clicking on the % icon):

Screenshot of reviewing Turnitin report by clicking the percentage icon


If your Lecturer has allowed multiple submission attempts, make changes to your assignment and upload the updated document to the assignment dropbox by clicking on Edit submission and uploading the new file. Your submission will once again be queued (you are permitted up to three resubmissions).

If you are ready to finalise your submission, click on Submit assignment:

Screenshot of submit assignment button


In most cases you will now need to accept the following submission statement:

Screenshot of accept student statement clickbox


This is how your final submission will look like:

Screenshot of final submission

No further changes can be made.

Receiving your Originality Report

It usually takes just a few minutes for your originality report to be generated for your first 3 submissions. Note that you can only get one originality report every 24 hours (per dropbox) after the first 3 submissions, so if you resubmit and upload quickly you might have a long wait for your fourth (or subsequent) report to be generated. Remember, if you want the chance to re-submit be sure to make your first 3 submissions at least 24 hours before it is due. Note: not all lecturers will allow you to make multiple submissions. Check the information in your unit guide before submitting your work.

Accessing your report

You can access your report through the same dropbox where you submitted it. If your report is ready, you will see a coloured box in the similarity column. Note that 0% similarity is possible and acceptable! Pending means that your report has not yet been generated.     

Check back later or use the refresh submissions button to update the page.

turnitin submission status bar sample

To resubmit your work (after interpreting the originality report) use the Add Submission option at the bottom of the page. Not all lecturers allow you to resubmit. Note:  resubmitting will overwrite any previous submissions and reports.

You can Download your originality report if you want to, or are required to, by clicking the printer icon at the bottom of the page.

turnitin download option