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Turnitin Guide for Instructors: Interpreting Originality Reports

Turnitin is a web-based solution that that can find and highlight matching or unoriginal text in a written assignment.

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Interpreting Originality Reports

Match Percentage

There isn’t a magic number for the percentages or matching word count in the Turnitin reports. Acceptable match levels can vary significantly for each document. The main function of the report is to catch phrases or passages that may not have been cited and used correctly. Recommended adjustments that need to be made are at the discretion of the instructor.

Originality Reports

The Originality Report can be viewed in one of four modes. These modes allow users to view and sort the information contained in the Originality Report in any way best suited to their needs. The four modes for viewing an Originality Report are:

  • Match Overview (show highest matches together): A list of all areas of the paper which have similarity to information in the Turnitin repository. Matches are color coded and listed from highest to lowest percentage of matching word area to the submission. Only the top or best matches are shown, all underlying matches are visible in the "Match Breakdown" and "All Sources" modes
  • All Sources: Allows a user to view matches between the paper and a specific selected source in the Turnitin repositories. Contains a full list of all matches found rather than the best matches per area of similarity. This listing is exhaustive but will show all matches found, including any that are obscured in the "Match Overview" by virtue of being in the same or similar areas as other, better matches
  • Match Breakdown: Displays matches that are obscured by a top source. Allows instructors to compare the match instance of a underlying source with the match instance for a top source
  • Direct Source Comparison: An in depth view that shows an area of similarity compared side by side with a specific match from the Turnitin repositories. Not available on all types of repository matches