Centre for Teaching and Learning

Centre for Teaching and Learning
Centre for Teaching and Learning


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Turnitin is a web-based program that allows students and instructors to upload papers in order to receive originality reports in comparison to other assignments in the program’s online repository. Consult these in-class activities to familiarize students with using Turnitin to improve their citation practices before they use it for major assignments.

Originality Reports

Turnitin generates Originality Reports which identify the percentage of matching or highly similar text found in other papers within the Turnitin database. Similar text does not necessarily mean that text is plagiarized, however, it alerts both students and instructors that sections of text match others within the Turnitin repository of previously written assignments.

Use the Originality Report to:

  • Examine your use of quotations and citations. Are quotations indicated with appropriate use of quotation marks? Is every quotation cited? Is there too much use of quotation? Rely more on summarization of key ideas or paraphrasing rather than exact quotation.
  • Examine how close your summarization is to the original text. Rather than change a few words in the original text, try to reframe the entire concept in your own words. Simplify it as if you are explaining it to someone who has no familiarity with the idea.
  • Check for discipline-specific language. Did you define these terms where necessary and draw on creditable sources, such as academic encyclopedias and dictionaries, for the definition? Repeated use of standard terms may be identified as unoriginal but it would not be considered plagiarism.

The Turnitin Originality Report Guide describes how to interpret the report. 

Before you start...

It is a requirement that any course using Turnitin MUST include the following statement in the course syllabus and in onQ:

Academic Integrity Statement regarding the use of Turnitin at Queen's University

Queen’s University has engaged the services of Turnitin to collect personal information on its behalf under the authority of the Queen’s University Royal Charter, 1841, as amended.

Please read Turnitin’s Privacy Pledge, Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service: http://turnitin.com/en_us/about-us/privacy. The Terms of Service constitute a legal agreement between you and Turnitin so please read these documents carefully.

Please note that Turnitin uses cookies and other tracking technologies; however, Queen’s has negotiated with Turnitin such that neither Turnitin nor its third-party partners will use data collected through cookies or other tracking technologies for marketing or advertising purposes. For further information about how you can exercise control over cookies, see Turnitin’s Privacy Policy: http://turnitin.com/en_us/about-us/privacy#policy. By continuing to use Turnitin, you consent to the collection, use and disclosure of your personal information as described above.

Turnitin may provide other services that are not connected to the purpose for which Queen’s University has engaged Turnitin. Your independent use of Turnitin’s services is subject solely to Turnitin’s Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, and Queen’s University has no liability for any independent interaction you choose to have with Turnitin.


Turnitin Help

Instructor Documentation

All documentation is located on the onQ Support website under Turnitin.