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Turnitin - Getting Started [UW-Madison]

Turnitin is a similarity and originality review tool that lets you review student submissions and determine if they have correctly sourced and used others’ work. Turnitin is often referred to as a plagiarism detection tool, however it is more accurate to say that Turnitin can help instructors identify instances and evidence of plagiarism by identifying content which has not been authored directly by the student.

Instructor Considerations before Use

General Considerations

  • If you’re using Turnitin in a course that will be taught over multiple semester, consider having submissions added to a Turnitin repository, to ensure that new submissions are original.

Best Practices

  • Allow multiple submissions on assignments and allow students to view originality reports for their submissions to help them identify improperly cited quotations and other mistakes before making a final submission.
  • You can also set up ungraded practice assignments for students to experience Turnitin. Be sure to configure this assignment so that submissions are not stored in any repository.

Information to Share with Students

  • Communicate with students:
    • Which features of Turnitin you are using
    • For which assessments
    • Why you chose to use Turnitin


  • Instructors must make it clear in the syllabus if Turnitin will be used to check originality of student work. Turnitin can aid in the process of identifying possible academic misconduct, but ultimately only an instructor can determine if a particular event warrants additional investigation based on the context for a particular assignment and other course policies. 
  • Instructors who do not have the use of Turnitin clearly stated in their syllabus in any assignment at the beginning of the semester cannot mandate its use on assignment later in the semester. 
  • Turnitin does not have to be used for every assignment. Instructors can choose to use Turnitin on an assignment-by-assignment basis.
  • Turnitin has a low barrier for student use, student’s only need to click theEnd User License Agreement each time they submit using Turnitin
  • Canvas assignments which use Turnitin require that students agree to the TurnitinEnd User License Agreement allowing for the student submission to be checked for originality via Turnitin. 
  • We recommended that instructors make the originality reports available for particular assignments available to students.

Steps to Get Started with Turnitin

To enable Turnitin for Canvas assignments: 

  1. Selecting it in the particular assignment’s settings (near the section labeled “Plagiarism Review”).
  2. Follow this Configuring Turnitin document to set up an assignment using Turnitin in Canvas.

Questions and Support

For technical support, please contact theDoIT Help Desk. Instructors can also request a consultation with the Learn@UW-Madison team. There are also support documents available on the Learn@UW-Madison Knowledgebase and Turnitin's website:

Keywordsturnitin getting started   Doc ID116944
OwnerLearn@UW Madison .GroupLearn@UW-Madison
Created2022-02-23 11:05 CSTUpdated2023-02-08 12:25 CST
SitesDoIT Help Desk, Learn@UW-Madison
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