What is Turnitin?

Turnitin is plagiarism detection software that scans student work for matched text by comparing the work to a large database of student work, publications, and materials on the internet. The Turnitin service is available through an interface built in to Cornell's Canvas Learning Management System.

Why Use Turnitin?

Cornell students are expected to practice academic integrity. Turnitin is a learning technology tool that can help students meet these requirements and learn how to properly reference and cite.

Considerations for Using Turnitin

Turnitin is for instructional purposes only. Although Turnitin is usually used for plagiarism detection, instructors have the option of not using the similarity checking features and may choose to use Turnitin Assignments in order to have access to Rubrics, PeerMark, QuickMarks, and the Turnitin Feedback Studio.

If you use Turnitin, it is strongly recommended that you provide students with advance written notice. This notice should be substantially to the effect of the following: "Students agree that by taking this course all required papers may be subject to submission for textual similarity review to Turnitin.com for the detection of plagiarism. All submitted papers will be included as source documents in the Turnitin.com reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism of such papers. Use of the Turnitin.com service is subject to the Usage Policy posted on the Turnitin.com site."

Instructors can opt out of storing their students' work in the Turnitin paper repository. This does mean that that student work will not be available for future comparisons.

As noted in the Turnitin usage policy and FERPA & Technology, Turnitin is compliant with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which affords students certain rights with respect to their education records.

Getting Started with Turnitin

By default Turnitin is activated in all Canvas courses. There are two methods for creating an assignment using Turnitin; instructions for creating both kinds of assignments are provided in creating an assignment using Turnitin. The differences between the two methods are described in Working with the Turnitin Plagiarism Checker and Working with Assignments Graded in Turnitin.

For more tips on using Turnitin once you have created an assignment, see our guide, Learn to use Turnitin.

Contact the CTI to set up a consultation to learn more about how to incorporate Turnitin into teaching and learning. Several Resource Library items are also available to explore on your own.