Turnitin Resources for Students

What is Turnitin?

Turnitin is a plagiarism detection service used by many instructors at Gordon State College. After submitting a paper to Turnitin, the paper's content is checked against other content on the internet, periodicals, or within documents previously submitted to the Turnitin repository. Most submissions are kept in the repository after submission so that future uploads are checked against that paper as well. 

How do I access Turnitin?

Instructors and students have two avenues for using Turnitin:

  • Turnitin within Brightspace by D2L: Turnitin has been integrated within D2L. Instructors can "turn on" Turnitin within D2L assignments. You can then submit papers to the D2L assignments area. You will not need a special account to submit to the D2L assigment area. Instructors can add feedback and grade the paper within D2L. The grade can be synced to the D2L gradebook.
  • Turnitin.com (Standalone website): Instructors and students can create free Turnitin.com accounts here. This is particularly useful if the instructor does not use D2L in his/her classes. The instructor will need to create a class and assignment areas for the students to submit their documents. The instructor will also need to provide the students with the class code and enrollment password (so that students can auto-enroll themselves into the Turnitin course.) Instructors can add feedback and grades within the Turnitin Feedback Studio.


What is plagiarism and how does it appear within Turnitin?

Plagiarism can be categorized as:

  • The complete copy of someone else's work. This would be in cases where the paper was "borrowed" from someone else and turned in. In Turnitin, there would be a high match to the person's original paper.
  • The turning in of one's own work from another class. This is self-plagiarism. In Turnitin, there would be a high match to the student's own original paper.
  • The fragmented copy or work without proper citation. This occurs when the student uses other sources (maybe internet, articles, or other people's papers) but doesn't give proper in-text and bibliographic citation. With Turnitin, these works still may show up as a match or a similarity. At that point the student/teacher will need to review the paper to see if the student cited the source correctly. (For example: If a student quoted an article and cited it correctly, Turnitin may still show it as a match because the words align specifically. Discretion is used to determine if the student gave proper credit through citations. An issue arises if there is a significant match but the student didn't provide proper in-text and bibliographic citation.)

Turnitin may also match certain technical terms and phrases to other papers. This is particularly in cases of medical terminology, historical names, etc. Again, discretion must be used for this. To avoid plagiarism, it is best that the student read the material and synthesize the main concepts using their own words (and minimizing quotations). It is also best to cite the source of any ideas or concepts used.


How do I submit papers to and see my feedback within Turnitin?

The following video will provide you with an overview of how to submit papers to Turnitin (either D2L or Turnitin.com). It will also provide guidance in reading the originality report and viewing instructor feedback. (You can use the table of contents on the left of the video to skip to components that fit your inquiries.)

How do I use Turnitin PeerMark within Brightspace by D2L?

Turnitin's PeerMark tool allows students to submit their paper to D2L. The paper is then run through Turnitin. In addition, instructors may allow students to review others' papers and leave comments or markups. The instructors may also ask the students to answers questions about the peer's paper based upon the review.