UMass Boston

What is Turnitin?

Turnitin is a plagiarism prevention tool. Turnitin uses a special algorithm to compare text-based student submissions to the Turnitin database and other online sources. The Turnitin database includes periodicals, journal articles, and previously submitted student papers, as well as indexed web content.

How does Turnitin work?

Turnitin produces a detailed similarity report that can be customized and viewed by instructors and students if desired. Additionally, instructors have the ability to record voice comments in Feedback Studio for ease of grading. Students can also use Turnitin to check their own work with the Turnitin Draft Coach add-on in Google Workspace. 

Note that Turnitin does not automatically confirm cases of plagiarism. Ultimately, interpretation of similarity reports is up to the discretion of the instructor. The tool is best implemented as one of many efforts to educate students about plagiarism and to help improve student writing.

Turnitin and Privacy

  • Turnitin does not share any personally identifiable student information (name, email address, score, school) and only archives student papers for textual comparison purposes.
  • Turnitin is a secure service which "maintains extremely high levels of privacy and security through the use of SSL encryption, redundant servers, sophisticated firewalls, multiple data centers, and privacy and security audits."
  • "Turnitin complies with FERPA, COPPA, the Safe Harbor privacy and security standards."
  • Read more about Turnitin's privacy policy.

Instructor Resources

Turnitin is integrated with Blackboard. To use Turnitin, instructors must use the Turnitin Feedback Studio option located under the Build Content menu. 

Turnitin Feedback Studio VidBITs

Turnitin's pedagogy and product experts have partnered to create short videos that feature best practices for educational settings. These quick clips highlight essential features, effective shortcuts, and helpful feedback tools to extend your reach in the classroom.

Student Resources

The following resources can be shared with your students.

Turnitin Resources

  • Blackboard Direct Student provides detailed instructions for using Turnitin within Blackboard.
  • Student Guide to Turnitin Draft Coach in Google Workspace: Turnitin Draft Coach enables the student to use Turnitin independently of their instructor (or even course) to validate the originality of work submitted as Google Docs (including Word documents uploaded to the UMass Boston installation of Google Workspace). 

Writing Resources

Getting Help with Turnitin

Other Resources