What is Turnitin?
Turnitin is a text-matching software that is used as part of the submission process at Monash in order to help you demonstrate academic integrity in your work. It checks your written work against a database of online and traditionally published texts, as well as other students’ work. It is a useful tool for improving your academic practices.
Tips for understanding and using Turnitin View
1. Know that Turnitin is a text-matching software, it does not detect plagiarism
When your assignment is uploaded to Turnitin, it is compared to online texts, scholarly publications, and other student submissions. This can include your own past assignments as well as work from students at other universities. Turnitin identifies when texts are similar. It cannot detect plagiarism because it does not make any kind of judgement. It merely provides information for you and the teaching staff in charge of your unit.
2. Understand how Turnitin helps you demonstrate academic integrity
Turnitin will generate a Similarity Report for you which identifies any sections of your text which are similar to other texts. The purpose of the report is to demonstrate the originality of your critical thinking, as well as identify sections of your text that could be improved regarding academic integrity principles.
3. Trust that Turnitin is automatic, but it is not used for every assignment
Unless your unit coordinator explicitly tells you otherwise, you simply need to submit your assignment to upload it to Turnitin. Because, in most cases, Turnitin is connected to the same online submission box that you use to upload your assignment. Additionally, Turnitin is not used for all assignments. So, it is good to check for the report, but if no report is generated there is no need for concern.
4. Check your Similarity Report and use it to improve
Turnitin can take some time to generate the Similarity Report, so upload your assignment early, and then log back into Moodle later in the day to check your report. Depending on the settings, you may have the opportunity to view the report and make changes to your assignment before the final submission, but in many cases the report is generated after the final submission. Looking at the report in detail can help you identify areas for improvement for your next assignment.
5. Seek support when you need it
If you are concerned about the similarity Turnitin has identified in your writing, or are having trouble understanding the report, you can book a consultation with a Learning Adviser for support. You can show your adviser the Similarity Report, and they can help you identify the underlying causes for the similarity and support you in further developing your academic integrity.
All about Turnitin
Turnitin is a text-matching software that checks a student’s written work against electronic texts from the Internet, published works (such as journal articles and books), and assignments previously submitted to Turnitin by other students.
Turnitin is provided by an external company. Monash University staff and students are licensed to use the service however you, as the end-user of the service, are required to confirm that you agree to the terms set out in the End User Licence Agreement (EULA). If you are under 18 years of age, a parent or guardian must agree to the EULA. You only need to do this once, and should only see the agreement the first time you access Turnitin.
The University uses Turnitin as a teaching tool to help students develop a range of skills such as critical thinking, analysis, synthesis, paraphrasing and summarising, and citing and referencing. In particular Turnitin helps students to demonstrate academic integrity in their work by teaching them how to use, generate and communicate information in an original, honest, and responsible manner.
It is important to note that Turnitin does not detect plagiarism. This is because Turnitin cannot make a judgement about whether plagiarism has occurred, it can only tell you whether a particular piece of text matches to text from another source. The lecturer in charge of the subject will decide whether the text that has been identified as matching constitutes plagiarism.
When assignments are submitted to Turnitin a Similarity Report will be created. This indicates any text that matches Turnitin’s database. The report also gives an indication of the overall proportion of matching text within an assignment (the “similarity index”). More information about reading and understanding the originality report can be found on the How do I use Turnitin? page.
Lecturers can use Turnitin in a range of different ways and for several different types of assignments. It is always a good idea to check assignment guidelines for any instructions about the use of Turnitin. Your work might, or might not, be stored in Turnitin’s repository for comparison against future student submissions. This is decided by the lecturer, and depends on assignment settings in Moodle. If entered into the repository, your work will be anonymous (unless you have included personal information within the submitted document), and will only be available to the teaching staff for that unit. On rare occasions, other staff (at Monash or other institutions) can request a copy of your Turnitin report if another student’s work matches your submission, but access will only be granted if your lecturer agrees.