Many faculty members at NC State use Turnitin to help ensure the integrity of our scholarly community. Below are tips to help faculty members utilize Turnitin in the courses.
Notify Students in Your Course Syllabus
If you are using Turnitin as part of your course, make sure to include that information on your syllabus.
The Similarity Report
The Similarity Report is a unique feature of the Turnitin software that provides a summary of matching or similar areas of text found in a submitted paper. Work submitted by students is compared against billions of internet documents, archived internet data, a local repository of previously submitted papers, and a subscription repository of periodicals, journals, and publications. The Similarity Report will provide the instructor with a percentage score of the matching or similar areas of text found in the submitted paper. This is known as the Similarity Score Index. Included within this report will be highlights and links to the matching or similar text and the original source document.
Interpreting the Similarity Report
Turnitin does not check for plagiarism in a piece of work. The Similarity Report will provide information to the instructor if there are matching or similar areas of texts in a submitted work. It is natural for an assignment to match against sources. If the student used quotes and referenced correctly, there will be instances where there will be a direct match. Turnitin does not distinguish quotes or block quotes from unquoted material. The Similarity Score Index alerts the instructor to any potential problem areas in the paper. The instructor should use this tool as part of a larger process, in order to determine if the match is or is not acceptable.
Using the Similarity Report to Report Academic Misconduct
The Office of Student Conduct will not accept referrals where the sole source of information is the Similarity Score Index. It is our expectation that the instructor review the report to determine if there is information to support a charge or charges of plagiarism. When providing information to the Office of Student Conduct, please provide the Similarity Report along with the submitted paper, the matching or similar material, a summary of your analysis, and a copy of the syllabus.
Please see Confronting Academic Misconduct for a step by step guide on reporting alleged violations. Should you have additional questions or wish to consult with a staff member from the Office of Student Conduct, please call our office at 919.515.2963.
Information on this page has been adapted from Turnitin’s website. For more information on Turnitin and Similarity Reports, please click here.