Turnitin is a plagiarism detection service that identifies potentially plagiarized or improperly cited text and is integrated in Canvas. Turnitin automatically checks submitted work against an ever-increasing index of online sources.

Turnitin converts the student submission into plain text and excludes any quoted material from matching. The rest of the text is then compared for exact matches with existing source material. Turnitin compares the content in the submitted paper to two repositories – a repository of student submissions that is private to the university and a repository of publicly accessible, academically-oriented Internet resources.

A final report is presented to the user highlighting different levels or amounts of matching per submission. There is an overview score as well as a side by side comparison of the matching text and sources.

  1. On the left course navigation menu click Assignments
  2. At the top of the Assignments page click “+ Assignment”


Create the assignment 
Assignment Name and Text: Type in a name for the assignment -- for student clarity identify, in either the name or text area, that this assignment is a Turnitin submission (example: Turnitin Submission Assignment; This assignment will be submitted through Turnitin and will produce an originality report).
Type in the point value and select Assignment Group (e.g., if you are applying a weighting for these types of assignments).

Under Submission type, select Online, for online submission types check File Uploads. Select option for Submission Attempts - either Unlimited or Limited. (select #).
Click the down arrow to the right of Plagiarism Review, select Turnitin. 

  • Exclude from Similarity Reports. Place a check to exclude Bibliography and/or Quotes
  • Submission Indexing: The checked option of Index all Submissions adds the submission to the database (uncheck for 'draft' submission')

Reports can be accessed from either the Gradebook or Assignments


  • Go to Grades
  • Hover the cursor over the assignment column name to display the down arrow. Select SpeedGrader


  • From course navigation select Assignments
  • Select (click) the assignment name
  • When assignment opens, click on SpeedGrader (located on the right-hand side) to open

View in SpeedGrader:

  • The student’s submission will open in SpeedGrader. On the right panel you will information regarding the submission
  • Submitted date and submitted files
  • Click on the % shown to the left of the submission (this is the % reported) to open the Turnitin report
  • When the report opens you can review or select print out the report and/or download submission

How students view the report generated for the Turnitin assignment
(this link is also located on Canvas for Students eHelp website)

Student paper matches are sources where the student submission for the assignment matches another student paper in your institutional repository. By default, the instructor of the course in which the paper was submitted has access to all of the user and submission details, but other instructors at the institution see only that there is a match and the paper ID of the matching student submission.

Internet matches are matching sources found on publicly available web pages. You may view the side-by-side text comparison for internet matches, or link to the source page in a new window to view the original source.

Interpreting the Turnitin Similarity Report (Turnitin YouTube video)

Student paper matches are indicated by the Student icon.
Internet matches are indicated by the Internet icon.


Click on the source to view the side-by-side comparison.
Matching text from the student assignment submission on the left side of the screen and the internet match or (if you have permission to view the matching text) the student paper match on the right side of the screen will be highlighted for comparison.


Occasionally, internet matches will be unavailable for retrieval if the page has been modified or deleted.
If the internet source has changed or can no longer be located, you will see a message indicating when the matching source was last available, as well as the web address for the page.