Turnitin for students

The University of Chichester requires all written assignments to be submitted as electronic copy into the module's Moodle page. Once submitted to the Assignment activity in Moodle, it will be checked by a service called Turnitin, where an Originality Report will be generated. The Originality Report highlights any content which it considers as 'unoriginal'.

Highlighted, unoriginal content can take many forms:

  • Text recognised from the internet
  • Text recognised from journals
  • Text recognised from previously submitted assignments
  • Quotes
  • Bibliography

The Originality Report is there for you to use as a formative learning tool. Please check the highlighted text to make sure that, if required, it is correctly referenced.

The Similarity Score % is not a reflection of the quality of an assignment, and you are not aiming for a specific percentage. 

Find out how to understand the originality report.

What files are supported?

Turnitin will currently accept the following file types to generate Originality Reports:

  • Microsoft Word® (.doc/.docx)
  • OpenOffice Text (.odt)
  • WordPerfect® (.wpd)
  • PostScript (.ps/.eps)
  • HTML
  • Hangul Word Processor file (.hwp)
  • Rich text format (.rtf)
  • Plain text (.txt)
  • Google Docs via Google Drive™
  • Adobe® PDF
  • Microsoft PowerPoint® (.pptx, .ppt, .ppsx, and .pps)
  • Microsoft Excel® (.xls and .xlsx)
The paper being submitted must contain more than 20 words, must be under 40mb, must not exceed 400 pages in length, and must not contain spaces in between every letter (l i k e  t h i s).

What files are not supported?

Turnitin will not accept:

  • Password protected files
  • Microsoft® Works (.wps) files
  • Microsoft Word 2007 macros-enabled .docm files
  • OpenOffice Text (.odt) files created and downloaded from Google Docs online
  • Document (.doc) files created using OpenOffice, as they are not 100% Microsoft Word equivalent
  • Apple Pages
  • Spreadsheets created outside of Microsoft Excel (i.e. .ods)
  • Text with visual effects
  • GDOC files (.gdoc) which are just links to online Google Document files, but don't actually contain text or the document's content. Google Drive must be used to upload Google Docs.

Therefore, if an unsupported word processor is being used, you may need to save the file as a TXT or RTF file in order to upload to Turnitin.


1. What is Turnitin?

For all written assignments, you are now required to submit a digital version into Turnitin alongside the hardcopy you hand in to the Administrators. Digital submissions work via the module's Moodle page.

2. What does it do?

Turnitin will scan the text and highlights sections which it recognises. This could be text which you have referenced (in which case ignore it), text which you are required to reference (in which case reference the text and resubmit), text which does not require referencing such as random matches or templates, or sections of your bibliography (in which case, ignore it). 

3. How long does it take?

When you submit to Turnitin, your assignment is immediately available to your tutor, although your tutor will most likely only be viewing the assignments after the deadline. Turnitin will generate the Originality report usually within 5-10 minutes although this can take longer at peak times. During this time, the report will be marked as "Pending". Please note that it is only the report which is pending, you can rest assured that your assignment has been submitted to your tutor. If you choose to resubmit your assignment (which you can do as many times as you like before the due date), Turnitin will not begin generating the report for 24 hours. This is to give priority to those students who are submitting their first submission and keeps that initial report time as short as possible. 

4. It's still saying Pending. Is something wrong?

Don't panic! The report may take a while to generate (see above). For resubmissions, the Originality Report will not be generated for 24 hours. Remember, only the report is pending. Your assignment has been submitted fine. 

5. What % is good/bad?

This is not what Turnitin is for. Turnitin just highlights text which it thinks you should check, not text which it is claiming you have plagiarised. If lots of text is highlighted but none of it requires referencing then you don't need to do anything. Different assignments will naturally lean toward different percentages of matched text. A personal statement or piece of creative writing will probably be very small. An analysis of famous text may have a high percentage. The percentage is not a measure of quality and should not be treated so.

6. How do I view the report?

When the report is ready, you will see a percentage where it previously said Pending. This is the percentage of text, which Turnitin suggests you check. It is not a sign of quality. There is no such thing as a low or high %. Click on the percentage to view the report. If you want to know what to look out for, please watch the video on the Student Guide (see below, 12. "Where can I find support?")

7. What do I do with highlighted text?

If text is highlighted that requires referencing, please reference it and resubmit your assignment. Turnitin suggests places where you may have originally found the text. It is not accusing you of plagiarism. If Turnitin has highlighted nothing, or just random text, please feel free to ignore it. Your tutors will be able to see the same report and will not blame you for Turnitin highlighting random text. If you would like help with referencing, please check out the Study Skills Moodle page

8. What if Turnitin has missed all of my quotes?

If you have correctly referenced the quotes then you don't have to change anything. Turnitin is only a guide and will not pick up everything.

9. Turnitin says that I've referenced everything from Wikipedia!

This is probably just because so much text appears in Wikipedia. You can click on the match to reveal everywhere else the text appears online, in journals and in previously submitted assignments. Please make sure you reference where you actually got the material from. Your tutors know where most references come from and will probably not accuse you of getting everything from Wikipedia (unless of course, you are). 

10. I use Apple Pages/Google Docs/Open Office to write my assignments!

All you need to do is save it as a PDF, which will be available under Save As, Export or Share depending on versions. 

11. My Word file is too large to submit. What should I do?

Please see our guide for reducing file sizes

12. Where can I find support?

If you cannot find your Turnitin link or the due date is incorrect please contact your Tutor or Departmental Administrator.  For any other queries please contact the SIZ on either campus or email TEL@chi.ac.uk.

Still need help?