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Turnitin in Blackboard

Beginning in Spring 2013, Turnitin, the plagiarism checking tool, will be available in Blackboard and Canvas. Instructions on using this tool for faculty are posted below. For instructions for students, please see our student guide.

Turnitin's End User License Agreement (EULA)

Faculty and Instructors who use Turnitin should be aware that the product is subject to an End User License Agreement (EULA). This agreement takes the form of a “pop-up” window. You must click “I agree” in order to proceed and use the product. We want you to be informed about the agreement and what it entails. We encourage you to read the entire EULA, but have summarized a few key points below:

  • This is an agreement directly between the user (i.e., you and/or your students) and iParadigms, which licenses Turnitin. It does not involve the Libraries or the University. The Libraries have a separate licensing agreement that allows us to install and use the product.
  • iParadigms reserves the right to change this agreement at any time. In some cases, you will be required to agree to the revised EULA terms via a new “pop-up” window. In others, the terms may change without notification.
  • There is a possibility that students may object to terms of the EULA and, therefore, not press the “I agree” button that permits access to the product. In these cases contingency plans may be required.

We have provided information for students on Turnitin's End User License Agreement (EULA) on our Turnitin for Students page. Please share this link with your students through your course syllabus or as part of the information you provide with an individual assignment.

If you have and questions or would like further information, please contact Molly Bonnard at

Turnitin Guidelines

  • Only content produced by students at the University of Pennsylvania may be processed through Turnitin. Materials produced by users outside of this group including applicants for admission to any University of Pennsylvania program or school may not be submitted through Turnitin. Materials produced by facutly or instructors at Penn should be processed via iThenticate.

Creating Turnitin Assignments

To create a Turnitin Assignment, select Create Assessment > Turnitin Assignment

The first time you use Turnitin, you will be asked to sign a user agreement indicating that you are over 13 years of age. Your students will be asked to sign the same agreement prior to submitting their work through this tool.

Select Paper Assignment and click Next Step.

Provide the assignment with a name (required) and point value (optional). You will also be asked to provide a Start Date for when the assignment link is accessible to students, a Due Date for when the assignment is due and a Post Date for when students will be permitted to view their grades/feedback.

Click on Optional Settings to set more parameters for your assignment.

You can enter any specific instructions for the assignment under Enter special instructions and also allow or deny students the ability to submit an assignment after your due date.

Under Originality Report you can adjust a number of settings for the plagiarism report you will run for that assignment. Make sure Generate Originality Reports for submissions is toggled to Yes and select when you would like the reports to run: immediately first report is final (the report will only run once); immediately (can overwrite reports until due date) (the report can be run multiple times); or on due date (on the due date you selected in the first menu).

Then select whether you would like bibliographies and quoted materials to be included or excluded from the originality report.

Finally, select whether you would like to include small matches (the tool can return matches as low as 1% to other content) and whether you would like students to be able to view the reports when they access their grade for the assignment. You can also choose whether you want the assignment grades to be available to students only on the post date you set in the previous menu.

For Submit papers to there are two options, no repository and institution paper repository. The institution paper repository is a Penn-only repository where materials submitted through our Turnitin license can be stored and future papers can be run against. If you do not wish to submit papers to the repository, select no repository from this menu.

You can also select the Search options for the assignment. The content selected here is what will be searched for matches and included in the originality report.

If you wish to use Rubrics when grading the assignments, click on Create a Rubric and then Launch Rubric Manager. This will open a pop-up window where you can create a rubric. For more information on this process, please see:

You can also enable a more advanced Grammar Check if you toggle the switch to Yes.

For more detailed information on this tool, please see this video from Turnitin.

Finally, if the settings for your assignment as ones you will likely use again, you can save them as your defaults for future assignments.

When finished making your selections, click Submit to create your assignment.

You will get a confirmation screen that your assignment was created. Click OK to return to the assignment.

Viewing Reports and Grading in GradeMark

Go to Control Panel > Course Tools > Turnitin Assignments and click on the assignment you wish to grade.

This will take you to the assignment inbox for that assignment, which holds all student submissions and also provides spaces for grading and feedback.

Students who have submitted assignments will have assignment titles listed under Title.

Click  on the % under Similarity to view the originality report.

A pop-up window will appear that provides a brief video tutorial you can watch if desired. You can also just click "don't show this again" and/or Close to navigate away from this window.

Then you will see the originality report on the right with any matches listed and the corresponding content highlighted in the paper on the left.

To get more information on a match, click on its URL. Then you can page through the matches and see the corresponding content in the display window.

When finished reviewing the originality report, click on GradeMark to provide grades and feedback.

On the right you can drag and drop comment balloons directly onto the paper itself. You can also click Comment to create your own new balloon to use while grading.

To add general comments, click on the balloon icon at the bottom of the page and select Edit. Click Save when finished.

Once finished adding comments, click in the box for the grade next to the % similar figure, enter your grade, and hit the Enter Key on your keyboard to save it.

When you refresh the Assignment window, the grade will display.

Creating Peer Mark Assignments

Peer Mark Assignments are built from existing Turnitin Assignments, so in order to use a Peer Mark Assignment, you must first create a Turnitin assignment and have students submit their papers to that assignment.

Go to Create Assessment > Turnitin Assignment

Toggle the switch to PeerMark Assignment and click Next Step.

Under "Select an assignment to base this peer review on," select an existing Turnitin Assignment.

If students will be given credit for completing a peer review, add a Point value and check the box for "Award full points if review is written" if desired.

Click on Show more options to provide additional information for the PeerMark Assignment.

Then you can add an assignment title, description, and select whether students can view author/review names and write reviews without having submitted a paper to the original Turnitin Assignment.

Then select Start, Due and Post Dates for the assignment. These dates must be after the due date of the original assignment. Click Save & Continue when finished.

Then you must select how papers will be distributed to be reviewed. Turnitin provides some defaults but click on EDIT to make changes.

Then you can select the number of papers automatically distributed for review to each student, the number of papers the student will select and if they must complete a self review. Click Save when finished.

To select more distribution options, click on Show more distribution options.

Then you have the option to Pair or Exclude Students from the review process.

To pair students, click on Pair Students then select Browse for student to pull up a dropdown menu and select each student.

Once you have selected both students, click Save pair. Once you have completed creating all of your pairs, click Save & Continue.

Then if you wish students to reflect on specific questions while completing their review, click on Add Question and select the kind of question you want to include.

For a Free Response provide the question and the minimum number of words for the answer.

For a Scale question provide the question, scale size and then scale equivalents.

Turnitin also provides a Library of questions that you can use.

Once you have finished adding all your questions click on Save & Finish. You will get a confirmation message indicating the assignment was successfully created. Click OK.

Responding to Plagiarism

The University of Pennsylvania has an Office of Student Conduct that "deals with alleged instances of academic dishonesty and other student misconduct, in order to determine how best to resolve these allegations consistent with the goals and mission of the University as an educational and intellectual community." You may want to schedule a confidential consultation with the OSC before making any decisions.

The Guidelines for Faculty on Academic Integrity provides an in-depth explanation of how to handle academic integrity issues