Turnitin and the Originality Report

What is the Originality Report?

An Originality Report is the compiled results of a text matching scan that Turnitin performs. This scan searches thousands of web pages, essay mills, online journals, articles, publications and Turnitin’s own bank of previously submitted work. The scan commences once you have submitted your assignment to Turnitin. All the Originality Report can tell us is, how much text has been matched from sources online, or in Turnitin's bank of previously submitted work.

What is the Originality score?

The Originality score is the amount of text that Turnitin has found that matches either external web sources or other submissions in the University. 0% Indicates that no matches have been found, and 100% means all the text is matching.

Is it a plagiarism detector?

It does act as an aide to detecting use of unfair means, however the software cannot tell whether a student has plagiarised, it can only state how much text has been matched.
In order to establish whether the use of unfair means has occurred, the Originality Report must be interpreted by an appropriate member of staff.

What Originality score is acceptable?

Most original student assignments will contain some text matches. The level of matches can be dependent on the subject being written about and how the Turnitin assignment was set up. It is important that you do not worry unduly about the Originality score itself, if it is your own work you have nothing to worry about!

Accessing the Originality Report

To access the Originality Report you will need to complete the following:

  1. Go to https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/ and log into MUSE using your University username and password
  2. Click "My Services" on the top left hand side and then click "Blackboard (MOLE)"
  3. From the main Blackboard home screen, locate the relevant Blackboard course from the course list
  4. Inside of a Blackboard course locate the Turnitin assignment you have submitted to
  5. Click “View/Complete”
  6. Click “View” in the assignment inbox
  7. This will open Feedback Studio
  8. Now click “Originality” icon on the right hand menu. It will highlight in red when it is active, as shown in the below image.
    Originality score right hand menu
  9. You will now see your Originality Report.

Interpreting the Originality Report

  1. Locate “Match Overview”: The right hand side panel shows matches found from either websites,journals,articles or other student submissions.
    Originality report panel students
  2. Click the chevron to the right of a particular source. This will open up a pop up text box which shows the matching text and direct links (where available) to that source. Each match has its own corresponding colour
  3. You can also click directly on one of the matches in the student submission itself to bring up the pop up text box
  4. Match breakdown: You will now enter the match breakdown. This will show all further sources that contain the same portion of matching text
  5. Click “Full source view” to view that particular match in the sidebar, this also allows you to scroll through the further source matches using the <> arrows.


This function allows you to filter out certain matches

Filters tab icon

  1. Click on the Funnel style Filter icon on the right hand panel in Feedback Studio
  2. Choose whether to exclude Quotes or Bibliography
  3. Choose whether to exclude matches that are less than either a percentage of the whole text or are under a specific word number
  4. Click “Apply Changes”.

Other Report functions

  • The “i” button on the right hand side gives you information such as submission date, filename etc.
  • The word count and page count can be found at the bottom of the Report.
  • The slider tool at the bottom of the Report allows you to increase or decrease the text size in the document