E-Learning

Technology Enhanced Learning


Understanding your Originality Report

Introducing the Originality Report

The Originality Report indicates the amount of matched text that Turnitin has found in your assignment. It will also indicate the sources of any matched text found. For some assessments, your lecturer may allow you to view your Originality Report. If you're not sure whether you should be able to see your Originality Report, please check the assessment guide for that module or contact the module convenor. The information below only applies if your lecturer has permitted you to view your originality report.

Accessing the Originality Report

  1. Click on the title of the appropriate Moodle module from your My Modules list.
  2. Locate the Turnitin assignment and click on its title to go to the My Submissions tab.
Submission inbox view

Submission inbox view with originality percentage displaying

The 'overall similarity index' indicated by 'similarity' shows how much matching text as a percentage of the whole document has been found. This percentage includes both correctly referenced and unacknowledged text. Clicking on the coloured box next to the percentage figure will open the originality report within the Turnitin Document Viewer.

Navigating the Originality Report

Originality Report (click to view larger image)

Paper Info (click to enlarge)

  1. Click on the red number in the toolbar to the right of your submissionRed no. This number shows the percentage of matching text Turnitin has found. This does not mean that the paper has been plagiarised; Turnitin reports any text that it has found somewhere else.
  2. The bottom two, grey, icons on the toolbar allow you to download your paper and to see summary paper info.
  3. Match Popup

  4. The main section on the left displays your paper with text that Turnitin has found to be matching highlighted in different colours and identified by a number which refers to the source displayed in the Match Overview panel on the right. Clicking on a highlight on your paper will open a popup box with the text in the context of the source that Turnitin has found. Click on the similarity percentage to open the match overview panel.
  5. The Match Overview shows the top or best matches. Clicking on a match in the Match Overview panel will take you to the Match Breakdown which shows you all of the sources that Turnitin has found for the matched text. You can scroll through all of the matches for that source by clicking on the arrows. Click on the white arrow at the top to return to the Match Overview.

    All sources (click to enlarge)

  6. On the toolbar, click the All sources icon to view All Sources to see every source found that matches part of your paper.
  7. The filter icon at the bottom of the Match Overview panel will display options to allow you to exclude quotes, bibliography or small matches.

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Understanding the percentages

The originality report does not identify plagiarism: it identifies matching text. It may identify common phrases such as "on the one hand" or the assignment title and it does not separate correctly cited sources from other matching text.

  • A low percentage indicates a low incidence of matching text. A low percentage may indicate:
    • Low use of direct quotes. Good academic writing does not rely on the use of direct quotes.
    • Use of paraphrased or summarised text. Make sure that all the sources you have used, including ideas, have been acknowledged accurately.
  • A high percentage of matching text may indicate:
    • Relying too much on direct quotation resulting on poor academic writing.
    • Cut and paste from sources.

A 100% match may indicate the accidental resubmission of work, resubmitting an assignment when this has not been allowed by your tutor, or your assignment has been submitted to Turnitin previously.

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What percentage matters?

The percentage of original writing will vary depending on the type of writing and the subject area involved. It is important to use your own academic judgement in each individual piece of work. In order to avoid any possibility of plagiarism, ensure that you write the original work for each assignment you submit. Ask yourself:

  • Have I written an original piece of work?
  • Have I clearly acknowledged all of my sources?
  • Are my sources in my reference list?
  • Has any work in this assignment already been submitted to Turnitin?

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What do I do with matching text?

The percentage of original writing will vary depending on the type of writing and the subject area involved. It is important to use your own academic judgement in each individual piece of work. In order to avoid any possibility of plagiarism, ensure that you write the original work for each assignment you submit. Ask yourself: Have I written an original piece of work? Have I clearly acknowledged all of my sources? Are my sources in my reference list? Has any work in this assignment already been submitted to Turnitin?

  • Exact words (written or spoken).
  • Summarised or paraphrased text.
  • Data.
  • Images (graph, tables, video, multimedia etc).
  • Illustrations.
  • Concepts.
  • Theories.
  • Opinion or analysis.
  • Music or other performance media.
  • Computer code.
  • Designs, drawings or plans.

Check which referencing style is used by your School (ask your tutor) and thoroughly check your work. Pay attention to the exact format shown in the referencing style guide, including the use of italics, commas and abbreviations.

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Curriculum Development Team - Unit for the Enhancement of Learning & Teaching - © University of Kent

The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T: +44 (0)1227 764000

Last Updated: 19/05/2017

Banner image courtesy David Brossard