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Turnitin Tips for Faculty

Learn how to create a generic Turnitin folder for students to check their work, as well as how to set up Turnitin for assignments and how to use Grade Mark.


IMPORTANT: Please note that these are general guidelines, and all situations must be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

For support interpreting Turnitin Similarity Scores and Academic Penalties, please consult Cory Scurr (Academic Integrity Coordinator).

  1. Turnitin Similarity Report
    • The Similarity Report should be visible to students.
    • Students should have the option to submit their assignment to Turnitin multiple times and make changes up to the due date.
  2. Analyzing Similarity Reports
    • Similarity Reports that yield a score of 10% or under are typically not plagiarized. Depending on the assignment, a common Table of Contents or Reference Page will produce 10%.
    • For anything over 10%, review the assignment: 
      1. If the copied portions are properly cited and referenced – all is good!
        • Remember, an assignment can technically have a very high Similarity Score and not be plagiarized, despite it likely being poor practice.
      2. If an attempt has been made but the APA format is incorrect – talk to the student, and try to deal with the issue in the rubric (i.e. deduct marks for poor APA formatting).
      3. Please keep intentionality in mind. If a student did not cite and reference properly (or at all), but it appears there was no intention to deceive, filing a Warning and pointing students to our APA supports is a sound option. Where appropriate, deal with the issue within the Grading Rubric.
      4. If this reoccurs, consider filing an Offence, with a penalty to “Rework and Resubmit with an Appropriate Late Penalty.”
      5. If it reoccurs again, an Offence and a “Zero on the Assignment with no Chance to Resubmit” is appropriate. (Please note that students with an Academic Offense are not eligible for a Supplemental Exam)

Generic Turnitin Assignment Folder

Consider Creating a Generic Turnitin Assignment Folder for students to submit any/all of their assignments to check their work.

IMPORTANT: If you create a Generic Assignment Folder, you must remember to change the Submission Settings (find in More Options - Optional Settings). See below how to get to this point.

Under the heading “Submit papers to” select Do not store the submitted papers.  

Setting Up Your Assignments with Turnitin

Step 1.

Click on the Edit Assignment tab in the Submissions section for a particular Assignment on eConestoga. 

Step 2.

On the Edit Assignment page, click on the Turnitin tab.

  • Once in here, you can turn on GradeMark and adjust the Originality Check setting.

Step 3: Setting up Grade Mark (Optional)

  • This is not automatically selected.
  • It allows you to grade assignments using Turnitin.

On the Turnitin screen, under GradeMark: Evaluation, select the checkbox next to "Enable GradeMark for this folder". Under Transfer, select "Automatically sync grades as Draft in Brightspace".

Step 4: Setting up Originality Check

On the Turnitin screen, click on the "More Options in Turnitin" button under the Originality Check settings.

Step 5: More Options

In More Options, under "Submission settings", make sure to check the "Attach a rubric" checkbox. Under "Compare against", consider checking off all three of the following options: "Student paper repository", "Current and archived web site content", and "Periodicals, journals and publications".

Under Similarity Report, there is a drop-down list with three options: “Generates reports immediately (student can resubmit)”; “Generates reports immediately (student cannot resubmit)”; and “Generates report on due date (students can resubmit until due date)”. Please select the "Generates reports immediately (student can resubmit)" option.

Using Grade Mark

Grade Mark toolbar, showing icons for Quickmarks, Rubric, and Feedback Summary. QuickMarks shows commonly used feedback which you can drag and drop into the assignment. Rubric shows the assignment rubric. Feedback Summary lets you select “Text Comment” or “Voice Comment” to leave general or overall comments about the assignment.

Grade Mark – “In Action”

Screen showing Grade Mark in action, with the QuickMarks window open and comments showing. You can simply click anywhere in the assignment to write a comment. In the QuickMarks window, select the gear icon (upper right) to create your own customized QuickMarks. You can drag and drop QuickMarks into the student’s assignment.

Interpreting the Similarity Report: A Few Things to Remember

  • There exists NO magic number.
  • Consider a few factors:
    • Is there a template? (this will cause scores to be higher)
    • Should there be similar answers?
  • A high similarity score does not necessarily mean plagiarism.
  • Consider working with your students on how to effectively use Turnitin.