Turnitin Freqently Asked Questions

General FAQ's


Which accessibility options are available in Turnitin?

Screen reader support

Turnitin does have limited support for screen reader software. Buttons and icons used in the program contain text behind them, which enables the reader to function correctly.

Turnitin Feedback Studio introduces an accessible color palette and greater support for keyboard-only and screen reader users. More guidance on Accessibility in Turntin can be found on the Turnitin website.

Support for specific learning difficulties

Students with specific learning difficulties (SpLDs), are given the option of affixing an electronic “sticker” to any assessed work through Turnitin/Blackboard. You can find the guidance on setting up this electronic sticker system here. www.sheffield.ac.uk/ssid/disability/useful-info/yellow-stickers . If you have any specific questions, please speak to your course tutor or email digital.learning@sheffield.ac.uk from where you can speak to the Turnitin administrator.

Originality Report

What does the originality score mean?
The originality score is the amount of text that Turnitin has found that matches either external web sources or other submissions in the University:
1. 0% Blue - No text matches
2. 1-24% Green
3. 25-49% Yellow
4. 50-74% Orange
5. 75%- 100% Red - All text matches
It is important to note that this score relates only to how much of the text has been matched to other sources. It is not in itself a plagiarism indicator.

What file types does Turnitin accept and what are the filesize limits?

What file types does Turnitin accept?
Depending on the settings used when the assignment is set up, you can add any sort of file to Turnitin. The following can be checked for text-matching

MS Word (.doc / .docx)
CorelWordPerfect (.wpd)
Adobe PostScript (.eps)
Portable Document Format (.pdf)
HTML (.htm)
Rich Text (.rtf)
Plain Text (.txt)
Microsoft PowerPoint (ppt, pptx, pps)

Turnitin can also accept any other filetype, for example an Autocad file or an image, but it will probably not be able to carry out any text-matching activities or provide on page feedback with these files. You will, however, be able to recieve summary feedback.

What are the upload file size limits?
The current file size limit is 100mb. There is also a page limit of 800 pages.

Can I upload multiple files to Turnitin?

Can I upload multiple files?
No, you can only upload one file at a time to Turnitin.
If you wish to upload more than one document consider combining the separate documents into one submission.

Student FAQ's

Online Submission - Submitting work

Will Turnitin accept images?
Yes, you can now submit images as long as this has been specified in the settings when the tutor sets up the assignment and the filesize is not above the limit.

What if I uploaded the wrong assignment?
It is quite common for students to upload the wrong assignment, or a draft revision assignment by mistake.

Check your departments assessment policy first to see what action you should take if this occurs. If your department does not have any guidance, you should contact your tutor and let them know what has happened.

You may be able to re-submit, or your tutor will be able to delete the original submission and allow you to re-submit.

Do I have to use Turnitin on Campus?
No. You can access Turnitin through Blackboard directly from any computer with an Internet connection.

Can I submit my assignment from GoogleDrive
Yes, you can. You will be offered this option as you work through the submission process.

Do I get assignment submission confirmation?
Yes. Once you have clicked “submit” a Turnitin system-generated e-mail will be sent to your e-mail address.
This is your confirmation that you have submitted successfully to Turnitin and you should keep this for your records. It will also allow you to access a copy of your submission via a link in the email.
Without this receipt appearing your submission may not have been successful and you should try again.
If you experience difficulties in submitting to Turnitin please contact your tutor and/or digital.learning@sheffield.ac.uk

Can I submit after the due date has passed?
This depends on whether your tutor has set up the assignment to allow submissions after the due date.
If you cannot submit, and the due date has passed, it is likely that your tutor has not allowed submissions after the due date. In this case you should then contact your tutor.

How do I access my digital receipt?
After you have submitted your assignment you will be able to download and print the digital receipt as a PDF file. You will also receive an email confirming your submission.

  1. Navigate to your module via the course list
  2. Locate the Turnitin assignment icon (this is the same place that you accessed to submit the assignment)
  3. Click view/complete
  4. In the Turnitin interface click the "download" icon in the bottom right of the sceen.
  5. Choose "digital receipt"

I haven't received my Digital Receipt. Has Turnitin got my assignment?
The Digital Receipt is your main indicator of a successful submission. We would suggest that you try submitting again. If it is still not successful, then contact your tutor.

I have tried to submit my assignment but it has failed because I don’t think Turnitin / Blackboard is working. What should I do?
First check the Turnitin Known issues page to see whether there is an existing problem which is not allowing you to submit and if there are any workarounds.

If you still can't submit contact your tutor or course admin team as soon as you realise there may be a problem. Your department will have plans in place to check the status of Turnitin. You can also contact digital.learning@sheffield.ac.uk

My Internet at home has gone down and I can’t submit my assignment. What should I do?
It is your responsibility to ensure that your work reaches the University by the due date. It may be wise to try and submit 24hours before the deadline as you would then still have time to find an alternative way to submit. Try to submit during the day-time or the night before, so that if there is a problem, you can still contact someone. If you are reading this after the deadline or you are having problems submitting, contact your tutor immediately, explaining the problem you are having and submit as soon as possible, even if it is after the due date.

Accessing your marked assignment

How do I get my feedback and grade?
If your tutor is using GradeMark to mark your assignments online you will need do the following:

"MyGrades" is a feature in Blackboard designed to show students their grades for any assessments they have undertaken in a Blackboard course. This can include tests, assignments, journals, blogs or Turnitin assignments. Students can only see their own grades.

  1. From the Blackboard course navigation menu on the left hand side inside a Blackboard course (near the bottom) click "My Grades".
  2. Locate the "Graded" heading and locate the Turnitin assignment you have received marks for.
  3. Click on the assignment title.
  4. Locate "My Paper" which will be listed as the second item and click the Globe icon.
  5. You should now see your assignment in Turnitin. You may need to click the "GradeMark" icon at the top left hand side of the screen to see the feedback.
Privacy, Confidentiality and Copyright

Is the work I submit to Turnitin safe? Will it be reused?
When a student uses Turnitin for the first time they are presented with a licence agreement page. Students are required to agree to this licence for use before they can use the application itself.
The licence agreement only covers allowing student submissions to be stored in the Paper Repository. There is no transfer of intellectual property and submission to the repository does not constitute publication.

Staff FAQ's

Setting an assignment

Do I have to use Turnitin in a Blackboard course?
The University has embedded the use of Turnitin into Blackboard as this provides the best, most-streamlined way to use Turnitin. Turnitin will pick up all the students who are registered on your course. You can create an area within your course where students can submit their work and they will then also collect their results from the course area, which in turn feeds into the Gradebook area of Blackboard. The University is better able to support you and your students if the assignment has been set up through Blackboard as we can access it using the Blackboard administration tools.

Can I set different assignments for different groups within the same course in Blackboard?
The Turnitin by groups function is located in the Blackboard control panel under “course tools”. This function integrates the group functionality in Blackboard with Turnitin assignments. If you have a series of groups in Blackboard you can assign different Turnitin assignments to different groups. Note: If you are marking using the iPad app these groups are not pulled through.

My students can submit at any time in the next year. What do I do about the ‘due date’?
You can set a due date for any time up to a year ahead. This will enable your students to submit work when they are ready. You also need to make sure that in your settings, you select 'No' for the heading 'Reveal grades to students only on the post date.' This means that as soon as it is marked, the student will be able to access a grade.

Electronic Submission

Can a tutor/administrator submit an assignment on behalf of a student?
Yes, you can submit on behalf of a student by completing the following:

  1. Locate the control panel in your Blackboard course
  2. Click on “course tools”
  3. Click on “Turnitin assignments”
  4. Select the assignment
  5. Click “submit paper”
  6. Under “author” select the name of the student you want to submit as…..if you can't find student name listed you will need to ‘Sync Roster’
  7. Fill in the other fields as appropriate
  8. Click “Browse” to find the file for upload
  9. Click “Upload”

Can a tutor /administrator delete a student submission?

Yes, a tutor can delete a student submission by completing the following:

  1. Locate the control panel in your Blackboard course
  2. Click on “course tools”
  3. Click on “Turnitin assignments”
  4. Select the assignment
  5. Click the check box on the far left next to the students name (if not anonymised)
  6. A yellow border will appear
  7. To the right hand side of the border click “delete”
Remember that this will not remove the submission from the paper repository. Any subsequent submission by the student will create a “false positive” match against the original paper. To permanently delete a submission from the paper repository please contact Digital.learning@sheffield.ac.uk
Anonymous Marking

Does Turnitin support anonymous marking?
Yes, Turnitin does support anonymous marking when using Feedback Studio.

Can I turn off anonymous marking?
Yes , you can reveal individual student's names after submissions have been made to the assignment by completing the following:
1. Locate the control panel in your Blackboard course
2. Click on “course tools”
3. Click on “Turnitin assignments”
4. Select the assignment
5. Click on the “Anonymous Marking Enabled “button.
6. A prompt will appear asking you to “state the reason for turning off anonymous marking“
7. Input a reason to reveal the author's identity
Please note you will not be able to turn anonymous marking back on for this particular student.

How do I turn on anonymous marking?
Anonymous marking must be turned on when setting up the initial assignment, it cannot be turned on after the assignment has received submissions.
To activate anonymous marking do the following:
1. Go to a content area in a Blackboard course
2. Click on “Set up a new assignment” in a content area in Blackboard
3. Click “create assessment”
4. Click “paper assignment”
5. Give the assignment a title, point value and set start/due and post dates
6. Click “optional settings”
7. Scroll down to enable anonymous marking
8. Change the radio button setting to “yes”

Does Turnitin support second / double-blind marking?
No, Turnitin does not support second marking at present. However Turnitin is always developing its functionality and we will inform you if this changes. It is on the 'road map' for development.

Downloading and printing students work

Can I download submissions?
You can download student submissions by completing the following:
1. Locate the control panel in your Blackboard course
2. Click on “course tools”
3. Click on “Turnitin assignments”
4. Select the assignment
5. If you wish to download one submission click on the check box on the far left next to the students name*
6. If you wish to download all submissions click on the check box on the far left above the first students name*
7. A yellow border will appear
8. Click on “download” to the right hand side of the border
9. Choose “original file” if you want just the original document
10. Choose “GradeMark report” if you wish to download the commentary and grade
11. Follow the on-screen instructions to download the Zip file to your computer
* if not anonymised

How do I print out submissions?
You can download individual or multiple papers as PDFs which can then be printed.

For guidance on how to do this please see this page.

Synchronising Blackboard and Turnitin - Roster Sync

How can we synchronise the student list in Turnitin with the student user list in Blackboard?
Roster sync is used to synchronise the student list in Turnitin with the student user list in Blackboard.
If you have recently added students into your Blackboard course it is a good idea to use Roster Sync to ensure Turnitin has a complete list of students in your course.

What is Roster Sync?
The Roster Sync function in Turnitin is used to load the students from your Blackboard course into Turnitin so that students are automatically associated with your course assignments. To carry out Roster sync, use the button that can be found in the main Turnitin assignment inbox. To navigate to this button complete the following:
1. Locate the control panel in Blackboard
2. Click on “course tools”
3. Click on “Turnitin assignments”
4. Click on the relevant Turnitin assignment
5. Locate Roster Sync on the right hand side of the Turnitin inbox

How do I Roster Sync?
You can locate Roster Sync by completing the following:
1. Locate the control panel in Blackboard
2. Click on “course tools”
3. Click on “Turnitin assignments”
4. Select the assignment
5. To the right hand side of the Turnitin assignment inbox you will see “Roster Sync”
6. Click “Roster Sync”

Do grades appear in the Grade Centre in Blackboard?
When you create an assignment in Turnitin inside a Blackboard course, a column for that assignment is automatically created in the Blackboard grade centre.
Students will be able to access their grade through the Turnitin inbox or through the mygrades function in Blackboard.
If you are using GradeMark to mark work we recommend that students access their grade by going into their turnitin inbox, this way they will be able to access their GradeMark feedback.