What are the Recommended Turnitin settings?

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2019-11-20 08:39

Below you will find the recommended settings for Turnitin-enabled assignments from the Academic Resource Center. You should use this FAQ as a guide to modifying your settings.

If students are not able to submit their assignments or to view the originality reports, you may want to view the Canvas Guide on changing Turnitin settings: How do I change Turnitin settings for an assignment?

To create a new Assignment with Turnitin enabled, see: How do I create a Turnitin assignment?

To get to the settings on a Turnitin- enabled assignment, look for the Turnitin Inbox below the assignment description.   




 Initial settings will look like this:

Anything in a “gray” box cannot be edited here. You can make changes to the title and due date of the assignment in the regular Canvas edit assignment settings.

Click on Optional Settings while in this view.


1. Late Submissions - If instructors would like to allow/ disallow late submissions, they may select that here.

2. Comparisons - The default comparison is to check the student repository, web content, and periodicals and publications. Leaving all three selected is recommended.

3. Originality Report Generation and Resubmissions - This controls when the Turnitin report is revealed (to both students and instructors).

  • The two main options are to show immediately or to block the Turnitin report from view until the due date. In the immediate choices, you can choose either “resubmissions allowed until due date” or “resubmissions not allowed until due date.”
  • The third option is for Turnitin to generate an originality report on the due date, regardless of submission date. This allows for multiple submissions of the assignment but only one Originality Report will be generated.

4. Exclude Bibliographic materials - This is recommended (select “yes”), otherwise any citations used in other papers or online will trigger a false match.

5. Exclude Quoted materials - This is not recommended (select “no”). While some instructors do tend to enable this feature, omitting quotes causes two potential problems. Students can feasibly put quotation marks around the entire paper, turn the font color white, and circumvent Turnitin entirely as the whole assignment is now a “quote” and won’t be checked. The other reason to check quotes is that instructors may want their students to be aware of how much students are quoting—including those in the match value helps illustrate when students are over-using quoted material, not just plagiarizing.

6. Exclude Small Matches - This is not recommended (select “no”). Even a small match can reveal larger issues, particularly if the passage has been partially paraphrased.

7. Allow Student View - It is recommended that instructors do not allow students to view the reports prior to the due date unless they have discussed with their students what Turnitin is and how to effectively utilize this tool.

  • Instructors can completely disallow students from seeing the report (in addition to controlling when the report releases, see above).
  • Some instructors do not want students to use Turnitin to self-correct their drafts (students tend to use it to “fix” their plagiarism via synonym swapping as opposed to actually understanding the matches and learning from them), so not allowing students to see their reports would avoid that form of self-correction.
  • Other instructors allow student to view the Originality report so that they can see where the similarity matches have occurred and allow the students to correct and resubmit the paper.

8. Storage in the Repository - if for some reason instructors don’t want an assignment entered into the student repository, they can de-select this option here. De-selecting this is not recommended in general, but it is particularly helpful for assignments that build on one another: an outline to a draft to a final draft.

  • This will allow instructors to check all stages of the assignments via Turnitin but ensures that later assignments will not trigger matches against prior stages. For example, enable Turnitin for the outline, but exclude it from the repository; do the same for the rough draft. This leaves only the final draft entering the repository, but all stages of the assignment will still be checked for originality. 
  • If instructors do not de-select this for key assignments, any material from the outline used in the following drafts will trigger a match that instructors will then need to explore/identify, as will anything from the rough draft that is used in the final draft.

9. Rubrics - If the assignment had a rubric originally (prior to enabling Turnitin or the Turnitin update), then instructors should still get the option of using the original rubric when the students submit their work (it will be part of the Speedgrader features, although it will not be visible in the assignment view any longer). If not, though (or if the original assignment didn’t have a rubric prior to Turnitin being enabled), then instructors can build or add them here.

10. Save Options—Typically, instructors would select “yes” for the first assignment they modify to make these choices the default for future created assignments. Make sure “no” is selected when making changes to specific assignments (such as disabling repository storage).  

  • This setting will not have any effect on assignments that have already been created with Turnitin enabled.

For questions or assistance with Turnitin or these settings, please consult the Turnitin guides, or contact support@webster.edu

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