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).
- 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.
- 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:
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- If this reoccurs, consider filing an Offence, with a penalty to “Rework and Resubmit with an Appropriate Late Penalty.”
- 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.
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
- 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.
Step 4: Setting up Originality Check
Step 5: More Options
Using Grade Mark
Grade Mark – “In Action”
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.