Technology Enhanced Learning at Sussex

Understanding Turnitin Similarity

A Similarity Report is produced by Turnitin each time a file is submitted for an assessment with a designated e-submission hand in point required for Turnitin.

How to access your Similarity report

You can access your Similarity report by selecting the similarity percentage score (highlighted below) from the assignment page in Canvas after you have completed a submission. Reports are generated each time you submit a file, it will typically take a few minutes from the point of submission for Turnitin to produce the report. However, it can take anything up to twenty-four hours to generate. The report can be accessed by the submitting student and staff with access to the module assessment in Canvas. 

Understanding Similarity reports

Turnitin compares the text within submitted documents against a vast (but not exhaustive) database of online sources to identify matching text and original sources, the results are then highlighted and presented in an online report. This provides a useful aid for students and markers to help identify sources of unoriginal text which can be used to improve feedback and referencing skills.


Understanding Similarity percentage scores

The Similarity percentage score represents the percentage of matched text in the Similarity report against the volume of overall text contained in the submitted document. This score does not in itself indicate that the submission contains plagiarism as Turnitin will match text as 'unoriginal' for a variety of reasons, this may include:

  • Quotes and citations.
  • Commonly used phrases and terminology.
  • Essay questions and document templates.
  • Names of people, places, artefacts or publications.

Further investigation and interpretation of the matches highlighted in the report is essential to ensure that appropriate referencing practices and use of sources has been applied.

Submitting draft documents to Turnitin

You can use the Turnitin Draft Check site in Canvas to use Turnitin similarity without having to upload your file for e-submission and e-feedback. You may find this useful if you want to check for similarity before submission or for documents which do not need to be uploaded for e-submission and e-feedback via Turnitin.

Please note that documents which have been uploaded to this site will not count as a submission and will not be seen by your marker or tutor.

Follow Sussex TEL on Twitter Follow Sussex TEL on Google Plus