How to submit assignments to Turnitin

How to submit your assignments to Turnitin


Turnitin is located on your unit Blackboard site. This means you need to:

  • Log onto the SCU website, then onto MySCU, to log onto your unit site.
  • Once on your unit site scroll down the left side of the screen until you see the ‘Assessment’ heading.
  • Click on the button titled ‘Assessment and Task Submission’. You should find the Turnitin drop-box in this area.
  • Look for the ‘View/Complete’ link. This indicates it is a Turnitin drop box.
  • Start the process of checking your work by clicking on the ‘View/Complete’ link.

The idea is that you submit a ‘good version’ of your work and use the Similarity Report to check paraphrases, quotes, and referencing. Then submit the improved version for grading.

You can keep re-submitting to this drop-box as many times as you like up to assessment due date. The marker will only see your final submission and final Similarity Report. They will not know how many times you have used the drop box.

  • Click on the ‘View/Complete’ link and you will be taken through to the Class Home Page. The important feature of this page is the big blue ‘Submit’ button located on the right side of the screen. Click this button to start the process.
  • The first two fields on the next page will be filled in for you. Turnitin recognises you (because you have logged onto MySCU) and fills in your first and second names. The next field, ‘Submission title’ is mandatory. You need to fill it in. Most students note the assignment name (e.g. Assignment 1). The title is only visible on the report.
  • Scroll down the screen and you will see the Originality Declaration. Carefully read this section. By submitting your work through the drop box you are declaring that you have read and understood SCU policy about academic misconduct, and that you are submitting ‘entirely your own work’.

This does not mean you are only drawing upon your own ideas. Submitting your own work means drawing upon credible, current sources to generate your own answer to the question, argument, or solution.

It also means:

  • You have put in the effort expected
  • You have mainly put sources into your own words (paraphrased)
  • If you have used quotes they are correctly formatted and referenced
  • You clearly show where your work ends and others’ work begins (usually via referencing).
  • Keep scrolling down the page and you will see the function buttons that allow you to upload a file. The ‘Choose from this computer’ option is most resilient whether you are on campus or at home. I will show you how to use this option.
  • Click on this button. A pop will appear that lets you see your computer. Click on the area where your file is located (e.g. a USB, in Documents or Desktop). Then click the folder or file and click on the ‘open’ button at the bottom right corner of your screen.
  • Turnitin will show the file name on the screen. If you have selected the wrong file by mistake, click on ‘Clear file’ or ‘Cancel’ button. If it is the correct file, click on the big blue ‘Upload’ button at the bottom left corner of the screen.
  • An icon will appear that shows a circle of dots and a message letting you know Turnitin is processing your submission.
  • The next screen asks you to confirm that you have submitted the right file. Click the ‘Cancel’ button or ‘Confirm’ button at the bottom left corner of the screen.
  • Turnitin will show a big green banner across the top of the next screen when the submission process is finished. Always look for this banner. It says ‘Congratulations- your submission is complete!’.
  • Scroll down and you will see a big blue button at the bottom left corner of the screen ‘Return to assignment list’. Click on this button to go back to the Class Home Page.
  • Once your Similarity Report has been processed it will be visible on the Class Home Page under the ‘Similarity’ heading. Look for the percentage and coloured icon. Click on the percentage to open up your report in the online browser.

Turnitin cannot detect plagiarism

Turnitin does not detect plagiarism


Turnitin is not a plagiarism detection tool. It is a text-matching software. Understanding how Turnitin works will help you avoid study stress and use this software to your advantage.


Turnitin is a text-matching software:

  • It compares your work to sources held in its repository (and the repository is updated every day and contains student papers from SCU and other universities around the world that use Turnitin, internet pages, online books, online journals, conference papers and so on)
  • It identifies text (or strings of words) in your submission that match sources held in its repository
  • Then it generates a summary of all the matched-text it identifies. That summary is called the Similarity Report (or sometimes it is called an Originality Report).

The Similarity Report:

  • Highlights, colour codes and numbers sections of matched-text it finds in your submission
  • The colour coding and numbering is to show you the sources in its repository that share matched text with your submission.
  • If you look at highlighted sections in your report you will see the colours and numbers correspond with sources listed in the ‘Match Overview’.
  • Your marker understands that sources listed in the Match Overview share text with your submission, but that does not necessarily mean you used the sources when writing your assignment.

However, highlighting, colour-coding, and numbering sections of matched-text is the most Turnitin can do.

Turnitin cannot make any judgements about the nature of the matched-text. This means:

  • Turnitin does not have the capacity to judge whether you have referenced correctly and consistently
  • Turnitin cannot tell whether quotes and paraphrases are properly used in your work
  • We, as students and teachers, need to interpret the Similarity Report ourselves, and double-check sources have been used correctly.

By highlighting matched-text in your submission Turnitin helps you to double-check you have used paraphrases, quotes, and referencing correctly. This means Turnitin is a really useful learning tool, especially for new students. Because Turnitin cannot detect plagiarism, we need to do this for ourselves, using the Similarity Report as a tool.

An introduction to Turnitin for SASS students

An introduction to Turnitin for School of Arts and Social Sciences Students

While studying in the School of Arts and Social Sciences you will be asked to submit assignments for similarity checking using Turnitin. Submitting work for originality checking can help you use sources correctly in your writing

It is important to know that while your teachers will consult your Similarity Report while grading your assignments, the main focus is on YOU using Turnitin, proactively, to double-check sources are used correctly.

To use Turnitin to your advantage you do need to know a little about how this software works. Turnitin is a text-matching software. This means Turnitin:

  • compares your work to sources held in its repository
  • identifies text, or strings of words, in your submission that match sources held in its repository
  • generates a summary of all the matched text it finds in your submission. This summary is called a Similarity Report.

Similarity Reports contain useful information about your writing, that you can access before the marker sees your work. The idea is that students check the report to make sure paraphrases, quotes and referencing are used correctly.

When you open up your Similarity Report focus all of your attention on double-checking every highlighted section where you have used sources. If you have used the source correctly ignore that section of highlighted text, and move on to check the next section. If you find a highlighted section where you have not quite used sources correctly, you now have a chance to fix this issue before the marker sees your work.

This is beauty of Turnitin. It can be a a valuable editing tool that you can use to add credibility to your writing, push up your grades, and practise academic integrity.

Turnitin is available on your unit Blackboard site(s):

  • log onto MySCU
  • access the relevant unit Blackboard site
  • down the left side of the screen you will see navigation buttons. Scroll down until you see the heading ‘Assessments’ (it will be in bold), and then click on the button titled ‘Assessment Tasks and Submission’.
  • on this next page you will see important information about your assignments that you need to read and use. Keep scrolling down until you see the see the ‘view/complete’ that lets you know that you have found the Turnitin drop-box. Click on the ‘view/complete’ link to start the process of submitting work for similarity checking.
  • Sometimes teachers organise everything to do with an assignment, including the drop box, into a folder. If this page is organised in folders click on the relevant folder title, and scroll down until you find the ‘view/complete’ link that lets you know that you have found the Turnitin drop-box.
  • Usually Turnitin drop-boxes are opened up (e.g. made visible to students) 2 weeks out from assignment due date. If you can’t find your drop box contact the Unit Assessor.

You can keep re-submitting your work through the Turnitin drop-box as many times as you like right up until assignment due date. The marker will only see the final Similarity Report, and final submission. They will not know how many times you submitted work to the drop box.

The first three times you submit work to the Turnitin drop box your Similarity Report will be ready within 2-5 minutes. For any subsequent submissions it takes up to 24 hours for the report to be available.

Most students only submit twice. They submit a ‘good version’ that has gone through editing phases and use the Similarity Report to check use of sources. After making relevant changes they submit a second version and leave this version for the tutor to grade.

The key is to using Turnitin to your advantage is to use it as an editing tool, to check and improve your use of paraphrases, quotes and referencing. Doing this can help you develop your academic writing skills, add credibility to your writing, practise academic integrity, and avoid losing ‘easy marks’.