Turnitin: How to Submit an Assignment

Submitting a Turnitin Assignment

This 4:54-minute video demonstrates how to submit a Turnitin assignment in eLearn: (www.youtube.com/embed/JmQtVqN4LH4)

Submitting a Turnitin Assignment for Peer Review

This 2:25-minute video demonstrates submitting a Turnitin assignment that is to be peer reviewed: (www.youtube.com/embed/H-QDMfEpyes)

Conducting a Peer Review Using PeerMark

This 4:22-minute video demonstrates conducting a peer review of another student's Turnitin assignment submission: (www.youtube.com/embed/hyBVB0nwr_s)

Accessing the Report

  • If your instructor has enabled Turnitin.com for a dropbox assignment, a report will automatically appear in the eLearn dropbox a few minutes after you submit work. (You do not have to visit another website or do anything to generate the report.)
  • Navigate to the assignment dropbox and click the number in the submission column for that assignment:
    Submissions column identified
  • At first, the status will show as “In Progress.”
    • If you do not see “In Progress” or the report itself, then your file is not in a readable format. You'll need to resubmit in a different format.
      • If Turnitin.com can't open your document, your instructor probably cannot, either. Documents will be counted as late until submitted in an accessible format. 
      • Acceptable document formats are .rtf (Rich Text Format), .doc, and .docx. Use the "Save As" pull-down menu in your word-processing program to save your file in one of these acceptable formats. Formats that Turnitin.com cannot read include .wps, .odt, or .pptx.
  • Usually, reports appear within 10 minutes, but if the system is down, Turnitin.com stalls on “In Progress.” If this happens, contact your instructor.
  • To open your report, click on the colored box that also has a percentage number.
    Click on the originality report icon

Reading the Report

Turnitin.com reports have two parts:

  1. The number in the colored bar is the percentage of non-original material in your document. There is no “magic” number. Ideally, the bulk of your submission is original.
    • An acceptable amount of plagiarism (which can only be determined by opening the report and looking at what’s highlighted): 0%.
    • An acceptable amount of non-originality (quotations + "small matches"): ideally, less than 20%.
  2. To open the full report, click on the colored bar. You will then see your document with all non-original text highlighted.

Understanding the Report

Turnitin.com matches your work to other student submissions and to internet material.

Screenshot of a turnitin report

  • Numbers in the highlighted text on the left correspond with a number (and color) in the box on the right.
  • The software can't tell where YOU got the highlighted material: it just identifies one source that resembles your submission. Possibly, highlighted material did not come from the place that Turnitin.com names. If material is highlighted, however, then it is probably not your wording and thus must be attributed to a source.
  • The software cannot tell plagiarized material from material that is properly cited (in quotation marks and naming the source). Students and instructors must review the report to make that determination.

Using the Report to Revise Papers


  • The highlighted language is a common phrase that any writer is likely to use.
  • com highlights Works Cited entries. This only means that you have cited a source that another writer has also used.


  • Plagiarism:
    • Language is borrowed from another source but is not properly credited. proper credit: name the source in the sentence or in parentheses AND use quotation marks
    • The document was previously submitted by another Vol State student.
    • Note: possibly, you previously submitted the work because you are re-taking a course or are re-using a paper from another course. Check with your instructor about whether either re-use is acceptable for your current course.
  • Originality:
    • Even if you have properly credited your sources (with name AND quotation marks), a submission should be mostly your words. Use quotations sparingly.
    • An assignment may ask you to include the instructor’s questions or prompts. Turnitin.com will highlight that language. This would not be a case of plagiarism, but the report (the percentage number and the highlighting) is a good way to check that your answers are longer than the questions.

Revising and Resubmitting

  • Submit your assignment early enough so you can review your report and revise your submission BEFORE the deadline.
  • If you resubmit your paper to be checked again, DO NOT change the title. You want to use the same title so turn it in doesn't compare your document against your previous version.
  • Contact your instructor BEFORE the deadline with any questions about your report.

Plagiarism can have serious consequences. (See the plagiarism policy in the syllabus.) You have ample opportunity to review your own reports in advance of the deadline to find and correct any issues!


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Article ID: 61516
Thu 8/30/18 9:08 AM
Thu 12/21/23 2:18 PM