Understand Similarity Scores
and how to use them to ensure you've cited appropriately and not plagiarized.
Turnitin Similarity Score is just a percentage of material in the paper that matches sources in the Turnitin databases. Text quoted and cited may appear as a match in the Similarity Report if quotes have not been excluded from the report; this offers a great opportunity to check for proper citation. Review our infographic to learn how to interpret your Similarity Report.
How to use Turnitin Percentage Range as a Tool to Check your Work?
As a reminder, no specific Similarity Score demonstrates if your assignment is plagiarized. However, you can use your similarity score to edit your assignment.
- Blue (No text matching): Your paper is likely all original writing. This may be good, but are your ideas and words supported sufficiently with research?
- Green (1% to 24%): This may be ideal if your ideas and sources are integrated well. For all ideas, words and images from other sources, cite and reference properly.
- Yellow (25% to 49%): If there is no plagiarism, your assignment would strongly benefit from more paraphrasing and analysis of your research. You may want to focus on including more of your own thoughts and ideas.
- Orange (50% to 74%): This is not ideal. Whether or not your assignment is plagiarised, you need to revise your assignment significantly.
- Red (75% to 100%): Make sure your assignment is not matching up with an earlier version of the same paper or is submitted to the wrong dropbox. Check to see if the sources are from just one or two sources and ensure they are cited and referenced properly. When the similarity score is high, it may demonstrate that there is little originality or your own ideas. (HPU Libraries, 2022)
How to Avoid Plagiarism?
- Use your own words and paraphrase where you can.
- If you copy information from another source, it must be properly cited and referenced using APA @ Conestoga formatting. See Conestoga's APA Website for guidance.
- Do not copy information and change every other word (i.e. do not use software that changes words for you). It is better to copy the entire sentence or paragraph in quotation marks (inverted commas) and properly cite and reference the information.
- Your professor uses Turnitin similarity scores to determine whether students have cited and referenced their sources properly.
- Be sure you understand the assignment expectations. If your professor is asking you to put things into your own words, be sure to paraphrase. But remember…
- You must cite and reference information you paraphrase.
For Help With Citing & Referencing, visit Conestoga’s APA Website.
- High Point University Libraries. (2022). Turnitin: Interpreting your results. https://guides.highpoint.edu/c.php?g=756453&p=5423257