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

Using Turnitin in Canvas

There are two ways to use Turnitin in Canvas; the first is via an External Tool. Using the external tool option will allow you to use Turnitin’s Grademark to provide comments back to students. The second is via the Plagiarism Framework, which allows you to use Canvas’ SpeedGrader to provide feedback to the students while still accessing their Originality Report. Depending on how you want your assignment setup will determine which you will want to use. The video below walks through adding each type to your course in Canvas.

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 SpeedGrader for the assignment that is using Turnitin.
  2. Click on the Turnitin number on the right-hand side to open the Similarity Report.

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 Service Desk at (309) 677-2964 or walk up to the desk in the Library for assistance.