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What is this?

Turnitin is the global leader in evaluating and improving student writing. The company’s cloud-based service for originality checking, online grading, and peer review saves instructors time and provides rich feedback to students. is now available through Blackboard. This integration allows Blackboard users to check papers for originality without leaving the Blackboard environment. It is important to note:

  • Profiles for student and faculty will be created automatically when they use Turnitin through Blackboard.
  • No separate Turnitin registration is required for faculty and students.
  • Single login for both Blackboard and Turnitin.
  • Classes and assignments created in Blackboard are mirrored in Turnitin.

Faculty and students accustomed to using Turnitin may still access the system through the Turnitin website.

Why would I use this?

Institutions license Turnitin on an annual basis. The institutions are encouraged to communicate with students about their use of Turnitin and how their academic integrity policies work. An instructor sets up a class and an assignment in the Turnitin service. Students or instructors then submit papers to Turnitin via file upload or cut-and-paste. Turnitin consists of three core tools: OriginalityCheck®, GradeMark® and PeerMark®.

OriginalityCheck compares the paper's text to a vast database of 24+ billion pages of digital content (including archived Internet content that is no longer available), over 250 million papers in the student archive, and 120,000+ professional, academic and commercial journals and publications. The software is regularly updated with new content acquired through new partnerships. For example, Turnitin partner CrossRef boasts 500‐plus members that include publishers such as Elsevier and the IEEE, and has already added hundreds of millions of pages of new content to our database. Turnitin offers institutions a wide variety of flexible options for handling students' submissions including options that let students choose to keep their papers in an institution-only private zone.

Once assured of the paper’s originality, instructors use GradeMark to provide rich feedback using drag-and-drop marks, voice comments, and rubrics. ETS® e-rater® technology is integrated with GradeMark to identify spelling, grammar, mechanics, usage and style errors so instructors can focus on providing more substantive feedback. Instructors can track student views of the graded paper, customize and share comments and rubrics, track grades using a grade book, and assess students over time.

PeerMark facilitates the management of peer review exercises so students can evaluate and learn from one another’s work. It automates paper distribution, allows for anonymous reviews, and provides standard or customizable assessment questions.

Simultaneously layering the feedback from these three tools onto the student paper provides both the instructor and student with a comprehensive view and deeper insight into the student’s writing.

Who is using this?

One of the most widely distributed educational applications in the world, Turnitin is used by more than 10,000 institutions in 126 countries to manage the submission, tracking and evaluation of student papers online.

It is used by several of our faculty here at Hofstra University.

How do I use this?

Below are detailed steps on how you can create, review and grade Turnitin assignments.

Turnitin Assignment

An Improvement to Similarity Scoring

At Turnitin, we appreciate the importance of the Originality Report, and we are constantly seeking to deliver more reliable matches and a comprehensive Originality Report to our users.

  • What’s changing?

When the bibliographic material is excluded from an Originality Report, we will recalculate the Similarity Score based on the remaining content only. This update will provide you with a more accurate score.

  • What does this mean?

As an example, this means that by opting to exclude a bibliography that constitutes 10% of a paper, we will now generate a report according to 90% of that paper, rather than calculating reports out of 100%.

  • How will this affect my assignments?

For assignments that have not yet passed their due date, all reports will automatically regenerate in line with the improvement. Rest assured that reports for closed assignments will not be updated. If you have open assignments, we advise logging in to check regenerated reports, as this update may cause a slight increase to a paper’s Similarity Score.

  • How can I ensure that all Originality Reports are aligned with this improvement?

If you’d prefer that all existing reports are aligned with our update (specifically for papers submitted to current assignments), you can simply opt to regenerate reports from the Document Viewer.

  • If I extend the due date for a closed assignment, will this affect current Originality Reports?

By extending a closed assignment’s due date - therefore reopening the assignment - all reports in the assignment will regenerate to align with our update.

  • If you have any questions concerning the Turnitin changes that have not been satisfactorily answered by Turnitin support, please contact Professor Alan Bailin (Hofstra Turnitin contact person) in the Axinn Library. He can be reached by email at or by telephone at 516-463-5973.

Creating a Turnitin Assignment

  • Make sure the Edit Mode is ON
  • Click into any Content Area (Course Documents, Assignments, etc.)
  • Select Create Assessment and then click on Turnitin Assignment

Create a Turnitin Assignment

  • Select your Assignment Type and click on Next Step

Paper Assignment: The paper assignment type is the base assignment for all other assignments types (PeerMark, Revision, and Reflection).  When creating a paper assignment there are three dates that instructors will need to set: the start date, the due date, and the post date.

PeerMark Assignment: The PeerMark assignment type allows students to review their peers' papers based on scale and free response questions selected by the instructor.

Revision Assignment:  If the instructor would like students to submit multiple drafts without overwriting the previous drafts/submissions, the instructor can create additional assignments using the revision assignment type. Revision assignments are duplicates of the 'parent' assignment's advanced options and standard settings but may have the new start, due, and post dates.

  • Give the assignment a title
  • Provide a point value
  • Select the start date, due date, and post date.
    • Set the Post Date to release the grades and Comments to the Students. Prior to the Post Date, the students cannot see their grades or your comments..


Turnitin Optional Settings

The Optional Setting opens up some important choices.

When creating a paper assignment the user may select to view and change any of the advanced assignment options. The advanced assignment options are viewed by clicking on the Optional settings link at the bottom of the assignment creation or assignment update page.

Late Submission

An instructor can enable submissions after the due date and time. To enable late submissions, use the Allow submissions after the due date? option and select yes. The default setting is no. When enabled, students will be able to submit papers after the due date and time has passed as long as that student has not already submitted a paper to the assignment.


Student submissions after the due date and time will be marked with red text in the date column of the submission in the assignment inbox. A student cannot overwrite a submission past the assignment due date and time, even if the late submission option is enabled.

Available Assignment Options

Generate Similarity Reports for student submissions -

  • immediately (first report is final) - Similarity Reports for all submissions will be generated immediately. Students cannot resubmit papers. Submissions must be deleted by the instructor to enable resubmission.
  • immediately (can overwrite reports until due date) - Similarity Reports for the initial submission by each student user to this assignment will be generated immediately. Students may resubmit as often as the student wishes until the assignment due date. Similarity Reports for the second or subsequent submission will require a 24-hour delay before the Similarity Report begins processing. Only the latest submission is available to the instructor or student. Previous versions are removed. Student submissions will compare against one another within the assignment on the due date and time, which may result in a change in the Similarity Report similarity index and results at the due date and time. This option is typically used when students are self-reviewing and revising their submissions and able to view the Similarity Report. No resubmissions after the due date and time of the assignment.
  • on due date - Similarity Reports will not be generated for any submission until the due date and time of the assignment. Students may resubmit as many times as needed until the due date and time without receiving reports. Resubmissions may not be made after the due date and time of the assignment. 

Exclude bibliographic material from Similarity Index for all papers in this assignment?

This feature of assignment creation provides instructors with the ability to control the option of whether the bibliographic material will automatically be excluded from Similarity Reports. The default is no. Bibliographic materials can also be included and excluded when viewing the Similarity Report. This setting cannot be modified after the first paper has been submitted.

Exclude quoted material from Similarity Index for all papers in this assignment?

This feature of assignment creation provides instructors with the ability to control the option whether the quoted material will automatically be excluded from Similarity Reports. The default is no. Quoted materials can also be included and excluded when viewing the Similarity Report. This setting cannot be modified after the first paper has been submitted.


Exclude small matches?

This feature of assignment creation provides instructors with the ability to automatically exclude small matches from all Similarity Reports generated within this assignment. To exclude small matches click yes.

Once yes has been clicked the Exclude matches by: option window will open. Enter into either the Word Count: or Percentage: fields the numerical value for small matches that will be excluded from Similarity Reports in this assignment. 

Instructors can adjust the exclude small matches assignment setting at any time by clicking on the edit icon to the right of the assignment name. The excluding small matches feature can be adjusted within each Similarity Report as well.

Allow Students to see Similarity Reports

This feature of assignment creation provides instructors with the ability to control the option to allow students to see Similarity Reports within each created assignment. This option gives instructors more flexibility and control when creating assignments. Select yes to allow students to see the Similarity Report for the assignment. The default setting is no.

Reveal grades to students only on post date

This feature of assignment creation provides instructors with the ability to control when grades are revealed to students. Select yes to reveal grades to students on the post date of the assignment. This means that the gradebook column will be hidden for students until the post date. If no is selected, grades will be revealed to students once an instructor grades their paper.

Repository Options

If the repository options are enabled for an instructor 2 or 4 options will appear within the Submit papers to: pull-down menu. Instructors will be able to set the Submit papers to: assignment option to store student papers in the standard paper repository, in the institution paper repository, no repository, or to allow students to choose between the standard paper repository or the institution paper repository

Repository Sources for Similarity Reports

The instructor is able to select the available repository sources to compare submissions to the assignment against. This allows an instructor to disregard a source type if the comparison against this type of source is not needed.

The available search targets are listed under Search options. The targets with a check mark are those that will be searched. To remove a search target repository, click on the checkbox to remove the mark. Clicking on an empty selection box next to the repository will re-add the repository as a search target. This selection will not alter any currently generated Similarity Reports or Overall Similarity Index scores.

Search Targets

Currently, available search targets are:

  • student paper repository - works previously submitted in classes and assignments on Turnitin
  • institution paper repository - works previously submitted to the institution’s repository
  • current and archived internet - a repository of archived and live publicly available internet pages containing billions of pages of existing content and tens of thousands of new pages added daily
  • periodicals, journals, & publications - third party periodical, journal, and publication content including many major professional journals, periodicals, and business publications

Attach a rubric to the assignment

If you would like to use a rubric to grade the papers submitted to the assignment you may use the rubric list drop down menu to select a previously created or imported rubric or you can launch the rubric manager by clicking on the Launch Rubric Manager link and create a new rubric to attach to the assignment.

Enable e-rater® grammar check?

This feature of assignment creation provides instructors with the option to enable the e-rater grammar and spelling check for all submissions to the assignment. When enabled student submissions receive detailed grammar feedback in GradeMark automatically through the e-rater technology. Select yes to enable the e-rater engine for the assignment. If this assignment option is not available then the e-rater grammar check is disabled for the account. Contact the Turnitin account administrator to enable the e-rater grammar check for the account.

(Optional) Select the ETS handbook level from the drop down menu. The ETS handbooks provide students with in depth information about the grammar errors the e-rater technology finds in their paper.

Select the dictionary used for the spelling check.

The Categories enabled by default option allows instructors to choose which categories of feedback are enabled when viewing assignment submissions in GradeMark. The default is to show the feedback for every category.

Changing Advanced Assignment Option Defaults

If any changes have been made to the advanced assignment options, an additional option will be available at the bottom of the options panel. The instructor is asked Would you like to save these options as your defaults for future assignments? Select yes to save these advanced assignment options as the default for all future assignments created within this course. These default advanced assignment options will not apply to new assignments created in any other course on the Blackboard 

Learning System, but will be applied to all assignments created in the current course by any instructor.

The default settings can be changed at any time when creating a new assignment or updating an existing assignment. 

The Turnitin Assignment was created in a particular folder in the Blackboard class site. In this case, it was created in the Assignments folder.

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Students Submitting their Paper

  • The student clicks the Assignment link at the left to get into the Assignments folder and then clicks View/Complete under the Assignment Title to enter the Turnitin Assignment.

  • The student will provide their information (name and title of their paper) and then upload their paper from the provided choices.

  • Then click on Upload

Confirmation of the Student Submission

This step shows the student a preview of the paper she or he is submitting.

If this is the paper, he or she wants to submit, the student clicks Confirm

Turnitin Digital Receipt

Turnitin Returns a Digital Receipt with a note stating

Reviewing Turnitin Reports

To retrieve the Turnitin Reports, the instructor goes to the Course Tools section of the Control Panel and clicks Turnitin Assignments.

View Turnitin Reports for an Assignment

Keep in mind that Turnitin will count and highlight correctly cited text, so while a number like 30% may seem high at first, if the 30% is correctly cited, it is not an indication of plagiarism.

Download Original Submissions from a Turnitin Assignment

Starting in the Blackboard course and logged in as an instructor in the course:

Control Panel > Course Tools > Turnitin Assignments > Select Assignment >

There are checkboxes to the left of each assignment and to the left of the column heading. You can select individual assignments or Select All by choosing the box next to the author.

When you select a box, Turnitin opens a dialog that allows you to select “Download” and then choose “Original File.”

Another dialog opens asking if you want to compress [zip] the files. Choose Ok.

Another Dialog opens asking you to choose Originally submitted format(s) or PDF format. Click Either.

And Another dialog opens asking you to Click here to begin the download.

The zip file will be saved with your downloads.

Where can I find additional resources? help center [ TurnitIn Help]

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