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Turnitin plagiarism detection uses an extensive online database of original content to help you identify potential cases of plagiarism. Upon submission you will be provided with an Originality Report that highlights key areas, shows a breakdown of matching scores, and provides direct links to matching content.

Originality Report


  • Blue: >= 0 and < 20%
  • Green: >= 20 and < 40%
  • Yellow: >= 40 and < 60%
  • Orange: >= 60 and < 80%
  • Red: >= 80 and <= 100%

As an instructor you can choose a baseline within these ranges where you might choose to take a closer look at a students work. EX: 15%, 20%

The Originality Report not only allows you an overview of whether or not a student may have plagiarized but it also offers insight into determining if the writer over cited, quoted too much, or cited incorrectly. Turnitin also offers the ability to exclude quoted material or the reference list.

Suggestions for use/implementation:

  • Be explicit with your intention of using Turnitin. Include a statement in your syllabus. Go over it with students on the first day of class. Point students to Bradley’s Plagiarism awareness page.
  • Set multiple due dates for writing assignments, allowing students to make revisions based on their Originality Reports so that they can add references, better paraphrase, or correctly quote their sources.
  • Provide students with a one-page example of a commonly used reference format in your discipline and in-text citation guidance.
  • Make the writing style guide a required text: APA, MLA, Chicago, AMA...
  • Point students to both local and online help.

Instructions/ Video Tutorials

Create an Assignment in Sakai

Add an assignment:

  1. Click the Assignments tool.
  2. Click "Add" to add a new assignment.
  3. Fill in the title, open date, due date, accept until date (consider making this later in the semester).
  4. Set the "Student Submissions" option to "Attachments only." Inform your students that Turnitin accepts Word files (.doc or .docx), HTML, PDF, RTF, and TXT. If files were created in word processors other than Word, students should save the files as RTF or TXT.
  5. Choose if you would like to "Allow Resubmissions." (Note: a report will only be generated for the first paper)
  6. Choose the Grading Scale and add the Assignment Instructions.
  7. Under the heading "Turnitin Service" check the box to "Use Turnitin."
  8. You will see the following information and options appear.
  9. Complete the other options on the page, then click the "Post" button at the bottom when you are ready for this assignment to be posted to Sakai.

If you would like the students to submit a draft and a final version, you could set up two separate assignments - one for the draft and one for the final copy. Note that if you choose to save the paper to the repository, the student's next submission will have matching text with the first draft.

View the report generated by Turnitin

  1. Go to the Assignment List and click the "Grade" link under the Assignment you intend to grade
  2. Across from the student's name, click the icon in the "Turnitin" column.
  3. The Similarity Report will open in a new browser window.

To learn how to read the Similarity report, view this tutorial created by Turnitin.

It will take between 15 minutes and 24 hours for Turnitin to generate the report. If no report has been generated after 24 hours, there may have been a problem with the assignment settings or with the student's file. Call the Bradley Helpdesk at (309) 677-2964 or walk up to the desk in the Library for assistance.

Adding an Assignment that Uses Turnitin to Sakai video

Please view the below video for a demonstration of how to add an assignment that implements Turnitin to your Sakai course site.

Accessing Similarity Reports from Assignments on Sakai video

Please view the below video for a demonstration on accessing Turnitin originality reports for assignments on your Sakai course site.