Turnitin is an online service for educational institutions used to determine the originality of a written report. Through OWL, students submit their assignments to Turnitin. Turnitin compares submitted assignment papers to its extensive online database of public Web content and to previous student assignments in search of large amounts of text taken from these sources. Turnitin ranks each paper based on the amount of unoriginal text, allowing the instructor to act according to the results. The Turnitin integration in OWL has made the Turnitin process easier to use for both the instructor and the student. This manualette will demonstrate how to:

Create a new Turnitin Assignment

To create a new Turnitin Assignment, make sure you are under the BUILD tab, and click on ADD CONTENT LINK. Select TURNITIN ASSIGNMENT from the drop-down menu and click on CREATE TURNITIN ASSIGNMENT.

On the following page, type the assignment’s title in the text box and click CREATE TURNITIN ASSIGNMENT. OWL will connect to Turnitin.com. You will be asked to select an Assignment Type. Choose PAPER ASSIGNMENT and click NEXT STEP. A new assignment form will appear. Complete it by filling in the appropriate information:

  1. Re-enter the title for the assignment
  2. Enter a point value. This should match the point value as defined in your OWL section.
  3. Enter a start date - when students can begin to submit their papers
  4. Enter a due date - when the papers are due
  5. Enter a post date - the final date when the papers will be accepted

Once you have entered the above information, click on MORE OPTIONS to see additional parameters for your Turnitin Assignment. Each parameter is described below:

You can enter additional instructions in the SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS text field, but this is optional).

Selecting GENERATE ORIGINALITY REPORTS FOR SUBMISSIONS will generate reports that describe the degree of similarity in the submission.

Under GENERATE ORIGINALITY REPORTS FOR STUDENTS SUBMISSIONS you can select from three timeframe options for generating reports.

EXCLUDE BIBLIOGRAPHIC MATERIALS allows you to include/exclude bibliographic materials when generating reports

EXCLUDE QUOTED MATERIALS allows you to decide whether to include/exclude quoted materials when generating reports

EXCLUDE SMALL MATCHES allows you to include/exclude matches less than a certain percentage or word count when generating the Originality Report.

ALLOW STUDENTS TO SEE ORIGINALITY REPORTS allows each student to see their own similarity report.

ALLOW SUBMISSION AFTER THE DUE DATE allows students to submit assignments after the due date, until the post date

SUBMIT PAPERS TO allows instructors to save submissions to the standard Turnitin repository or not to save at all. If the NO REPOSITORY option is selected, submissions cannot be compared to other submissions in the assignment

SEARCH OPTIONS provides options for three types of digital resources turnitin can search. To remove any of these, click the checkmark on the left of the option

When you have set the parameters, click SUBMIT. A Turnitin link with the assignment’s name will be added to the Turnitin Inventory and will also appear on your OWL course page.

Synchronizing Your Student Roster with Turnitin

Click on the TEACH tab and navigate to the Turnitin assignment just added. Click on the assignment. You will see the Turnitin assignment inbox.

At the top of the inbox, click on ROSTER SYNC. This will synchronize the students your OWL Gradebook with the Turnitin Assignment. You may want to do this again as the due date approaches. Roster Sync may take some time, patience is required.


Add an Existing Turnitin Assignment from the Inventory

If you have already created a Turnitin assignment, you can use that assignment again at another time for the same course or for multiple groups within a course, or if you wish to add an additional link from another page. Instead of creating a new Turnitin assignment, you can select the assignment name from the Turnitin Inventory.

Starting from the BUILD tab choose ADD CONTENT LINK and click on TURNITIN ASSIGNMENT. All of your previously created assignments will appear in the inventory list below. Click on ADD SELECTED. A link to your Turnitin Assignment will be added to your course page.

Remember that a turnitin assignment can only have one set of dates and one marking scheme/options. These can be modified using the “Edit Assignment” tab in Turnitin.





Submit a Paper to a Turnitin Assignment

Instructors and students can submit to an assignment in their course. Both methods of submission are very similar.

Under the TEACH tab, click on the Turnitin assignment icon for which you wish to submit a paper. OWL will connect to the assignment inbox. The instructor sees the status of each student’s submission. The student sees only his/her own submission.

Click on submit paper located at the top right of the assignment inbox. The Submit Paper page will appear.

Enter in your First and Last name in the respective text fields. Provide a title for your submission. Select CHOOSE FILE and navigate to the paper. Click CHOOSE and then UPLOAD.

The assignment is submitted to the inbox and displays a Turnitin Digital Receipt.

NOTE: Students will not have the option to change their name. Turnitin automatically recognizes enrolled students by their usernames.



View Submitted Papers

To View submitted papers, make sure you are under the TEACH tab, click on the Turnitin assignment icon for which you wish to view papers. OWL will connect to the assignment inbox listing the status of each student’s submission.

The inbox lists the “author”, the paper’s “title”, the (originality) “report” (percentage), its “ID”, and submission “date”. The list also provides the ability to download the files to your computer by clicking on the icon under the File column. The listing can be sorted by any of the column labels that are underlined by clicking on the column label.

To access a student’s originality report, click on the student’s percentage in the report column (in the example above, no percentage is listed as the file was very small and therefore unlikely to have any similar material).

On the report page, the text of the submitted paper is displayed in the left-hand column. In the right-hand column, you will see information regarding the originality of the submission.

Here you will see the percentage of the submission's similarity to outside sources, and a breakdown by percentage of what types of sources were found to be similar. A list of the outside sources is provided below. Clicking on a referenced passage in the paper will compare it to the text from the original source.

Turnitin provides an excellent training video on the orginality report which can be accessed here.