Turnitin (can also be referred to as Turnitin.com in University of Toronto communications) is an efficient way to identify common writing issues and deter plagiarism in course assignments. Instructors using this tool can create a Turnitin Assignment in their Quercus course to which students submit their assignments electronically for analysis. With the integration of Turnitin into Quercus courses, instructors and students should not access the program through the Turnitin.com website.
Each submitted paper is checked for textual similarity using millions of resources stored in the Turnitin.com database. Instructors can access and view the Similarity Report (formerly referred to as Originality Report) in their Quercus course. The Turnitin program can help students develop their writing skills, save instructors time in the investigation of the similarity of student work, and allow for efficient citation verification. Using this information, as well as any other relevant information, it is then up to the individual instructor to determine if these passages represent plagiarism. Before using Turnitin instructors must adhere to U of T’s Turnitin Conditions of Use.
Similarity Reports highlight suspicious passages and do not make judgments as to whether a paper has been plagiarized. Users may use the report’s information, as well as any other relevant information, to determine if these passages represent plagiarism.
CONDITIONS OF USE
CREATE A TURNITIN ASSIGNMENT
HOW DO MY STUDENTS SUBMIT AN ASSIGNMENT TO TURNITIN?
REVIEW STUDENT ASSIGNMENT SUBMISSIONS
QUESTIONS & HELP
CONDITIONS OF USE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO
The use of Turnitin.com by our instructors is completely voluntary. Those wishing to use Turnitin.com in their courses must adhere to the following conditions of use:
- Turnitin.com is a tool that will assist in detecting textual similarities between compared works. Instructors must exercise their independent professional judgment in, and assume responsibility for, determining whether a text has been plagiarized or not.
- Instructors must include the following passage (as is) on the course outline at the start of the class. Please note that the statement cannot be altered in any way.
“Normally, students will be required to submit their course essays to Turnitin.com for a review of textual similarity and detection of possible plagiarism. In doing so, students will allow their essays to be included as source documents in the Turnitin.com reference database, where they will be used solely for the purpose of detecting plagiarism. The terms that apply to the University’s use of the Turnitin.com service are described on the Turnitin.com web site”.
- Students are permitted, under our conditions of use, to opt-out of using Turnitin. If a student chooses not to submit their assignment through Turnitin, instructors will need to find alternative arrangements to check their work as rigorously. (It should be noted that very few students choose to opt out.) Students cannot be penalized for choosing to opt out. If students choose to opt out, they should let their instructor know well in advance of submitting their paper. Ideally, they should communicate this during the first class, when the instructor is reviewing the course outline. In this case, you may ask them to submit all of their rough work for an assignment or you may have a short meeting with them and ask pointed questions about their research methodology. Instructors should not be asking students to do anything that might be perceived as additional work. We ask that instructors consult with the Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation when establishing these alternatives.
The Turnitin Conditions of Use statement is available in all Quercus courses for instructors to copy and paste in the course syllabus.
On the Quercus course home page, navigate to the right-hand sidebar menu (under Course Status) and click on the Turnitin Conditions button:
It is recommended that you also take a few moments in class at the outset of your course to discuss the use of Turnitin and the issue of academic integrity with your students. Please note that while students’ papers are stored in the Turnitin database, students do retain the copyright on their work.
You may wish to print out student assignments that have been submitted via the Assignment tool in your Quercus course.
CREATE A TURNITIN ASSIGNMENT
Instructors can create a Turnitin assignment in their Quercus course.
NOTE: Instructors do not need to contact CTSI to create an instructor account.
The following Quercus course roles can create and view submitted student assignments for textual similarity analysis:
- Teaching Assistant
Students can submit to a Turnitin assignment by taking the following steps:
- Student: Turnitin page: https://q.utoronto.ca/courses/46670/pages/student-turnitin
- Quercus for students blog: How to get Turnitin to Work for You: https://qstudents.utoronto.ca/how-to-get-turnitin-to-work-for-you/
You can view any submitted paper from the SpeedGrader, which is accessible from the Assignment or the Gradebook.
The Similarity Report highlights textual similarities found within an assignment and provides links to sources that contain similar text. Those wishing to use Turnitin must adhere to the Conditions of Use for the University of Toronto. Similarity Reports highlight passages that may be of concern, but do not automatically report whether a paper has been plagiarized. Determining if plagiarism has occurred requires analysis by the instructor.
The Similarity Report can be viewed side-by-side with the original paper to facilitate comparison. Textual similarities are highlighted in colour. By clicking on these passages you will be linked directly to the related internet source. If the source of the matching text is a student paper from your class this will be indicated. However, if the match is with a student paper from another course you will be provided with the contact information for the instructor of that class. Thus, Turnitin is part of a larger set of tools and resources that assist students with developing their writing and citing skills.
Download pdf for more information on Understanding TURNITIN and the Similarity Report
For information on what constitutes plagiarism at U of T please see Additional Resources.
Academic Integrity at the University of Toronto
Instructors who have questions about the process for the handling of academic offences should contact their department/division (in many cases this would be the undergraduate chair or associate chair/dean). In addition, divisional offices (or individuals) are also to provide advice regarding particular academic integrity issues or to discuss a specific situation. These include:
- Office of Student Academic Integrity, Faculty of Arts & Science at 416-946-0428 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Lucy Gaspini (Manager, Academic Affairs, Office of the Dean, UTM) at 905-828-3964 or email@example.com
- Prof. Wanda Restivo, Prof. Christine Berkowitz & Prof. Nick Cheng (UTSC Dean’s Designates for the Administration of the Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters) at firstname.lastname@example.org
QUESTIONS & HELP
- Send questions to: email@example.com
- Students should contact their instructor, TA, or Writing Centre