What is it??
Turnitin is a tool to improve writing and to prevent plagiarism.
When you submit a paper to Turnitin, you will get an Originality Report which is color coded.
Blue means that no words in your paper or assignment matches something already in theTurnitin database.
Green means that one matching word - 24% of your paper or assignment matches something already in the Turnitin database.
Yellow means that 25% - 49% of your paper or assignment matches something already in theTurnitin database.
Orange means that 50% - 74% of your paper or assignment matches something already in theTurnitin database.
Red means that 75% - 100% of your paper or assignment matches something already in theTurnitin database.
Turnitin does not detect plagiarism, but finds text matches in the Turnitin databases and shows those matches.
It is up to you to determine whether those text matches are a problem or not.
The report must be interpreted for you to know if your paper needs to be revised.
There are two things to look for (and what I will be looking for when grading your papers):
1. Copy and paste phrases/sentences
The report will show you matches between your paper and other sources. There is no hard and fast rule, but if you have more than 4 words in a row that match with another source, that phrase is suspect and may need to be revised.
2. Excessive direct quotations
It is tempting to review applicable literature and to find phrases, sentences, or even paragraphs that describe perfectly what your content should be. Why not just use that content as a direct quote? Because it is not your content and your papers should be written by you and not others. Here are some reasons to use a direct quote:
- to show that an authority supports your point
- to present a position or argument to critique or comment on; that is, you are going to analyze the statement itself
- to include especially moving or historically significant language or when the wording is particularly unique
- to present a particularly well-stated passage whose meaning would be lost or changed if paraphrased or summarized
- when the person who said it is the one you are studying
Before using a direct quote, check to see if it fits one of these reasons. If not, do not use a direct quote.
Note: If it is someone else's idea, even if you do not quote directly, you must still cite it.