UMass Boston

Citing Correctly: A Self-Check Tool for Students

  • I wonder if I have missed citing anything in my paper.
  • I wonder if a source that I paraphrased and cited is too close to the original source.
  • I wonder if I have correctly cited all of the sources I used.

Have you ever wished that you could check your own paper in advance of submitting it as an assignment? You can use your UMass Boston Google account to privately check your own papers before you submit them by using Turnitin Draft Coach. Many instructors use Turnitin to check papers for plagiarism. Now Turnitin Draft Coach helps you check your paper for correct citations and plagiarism before you turn it in!

Turnitin Draft Coach is available as an add-on in Google Docs when you are logged into Google through your email address. You can check any paper that you have in Google Docs up to three times for possible plagiarism and correct citation.

How Do I Use It?

Pictures and more detailed instructions are available here: Turnitin Draft Coach. Basic instructions are:

  1. Log into your UMass Boston Google Drive. If you are logged in with your private email, you won’t see Turnitin Draft Coach. Add another account, and make sure you are logged in with your UMB email address. You will be required to sign in with your UMB email and password.
  2. Click here: Turnitin Draft Coach —and follow the instructions to connect the add-on.
  3. Load your document in Google Docs. You can run a similarity check three times on any document.

Advice from Students to Other Students on this Tool

  • Be sure to use the "view full report" link in the similarity report. I found it was much easier and clearer than viewing the report in the little window. It will also take you directly to the place in your document where the match was found.
  • I strongly recommend following the tutorial that pops up in the full report option the first time you use it. This really helped me understand what to do and what settings to use.
  • Be aware that the app will flag quotes, citations, and references as similarities. You can adjust the settings to exclude these, but until that's done the similarity percentage will seem higher than expected. Just because something is flagged, doesn’t mean you need to change it.
  • Use your similarity tests carefully. If it's a long paper that you will revise multiple times, make sure you still have one at the end for the final draft before submission.
  • The citation check is VERY helpful for seeing when I have missed, including references!
  • Even after using Draft Coach, double check your work! Draft Coach is a tool to help you check your work, but it is not perfect.

If you need further assistance with Turnitin Draft Coach, please contact

The university provides many academic resources for students, including academic support services, writing centers, subject tutoring, and more. . .

For a downloadable PDF of this page, Click here.