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Turnitin checks your submitted work for similarities to other academic work in a database. When you upload your work to the Turnitin section of a Blackboard site, you’ll receive an originality report. This gives you an in-depth look at any matching text and other elements like poor citation. The originality report is available to both you and any tutors on the Blackboard site. 

Your work is checked against:

  • student papers from Sheffield Hallam University,
  • the internet and archived copies of websites,
  • academic journal articles,
  • and student papers from other universities subscribed to Turnitin.

If your work is considered too similarly worded to other academic work, your tutor may give feedback on how to avoid this. If there is a suspicion of intentional plagiarism, you may be called to a Conduct Panel, where your Turnitin Originality Report could be presented as evidence of cheating.

Accurate referencing is a key way to ensure a low similarity score on the report. See the Hallam Library help page on referencing for further guidance.


How do I upload my work to Turnitin?

Accessing Turnitin from Blackboard site


Turnitin can usually be found in the ‘Assessment’ section of your Blackboard site. Check with your module leader for specific details.

How you use Turnitin will differ slightly depending on how your tutor sets it up in the Blackboard site:

  • Your tutor may choose not to use Turnitin at all. In that case, it won’t appear on your Blackboard site.
  • Depending on your tutor’s choice of settings, you may be able to upload a draft assignment as many times as you like, or just the one draft and then one final submission.
  • Some tutors might upload work for you. It’s best to contact your module leader about anything related to Turnitin settings on your Blackboard site.


Viewing and interpreting originality reports


After a piece of work has been uploaded, the system analyses the text for matching sources. The resulting originality report 'scores' and annotates your work and produces the percentage of the content which matches sources in its system (colour coded for ease of identification). 

It’s perfectly normal for an assignment to match against some of the database. If you have used quotes and referenced them correctly, there might be instances where a match will be found. The similarity score simply makes you or your lecturer aware; this can then then be used to determine if the match is or is not acceptable.