Turnitin Frequently Asked Questions

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This page contains answers to commonly asked questions about Turnitin.

Faculty

  1. Do Pepperdine instructors have to use Turnitin? Is there a University requirement for faculty to use this tool?
  2. If I forget to turn on student access to Originality Reports, can I turn it on afterward?
  3. How do I create a multi-draft assignment?
  4. I would like to completely remove a student's paper from the Turnitin repository (database) to prevent violation of FERPA. Is there a way for faculty do this themselves?
  5. How do I exclude quoted and bibliography material from an originality report?
  6. How do I exclude any of the sources that show in the originality report?
  7. How do I locate the time stamp for an assignment?
  8. Is there a time limit on assignments using Turnitin?
  9. What should I consider before submitting student papers to the Turnitin repository?

Students

    1. Why can't my instructor download my file properly?


Faculty

1. Do Pepperdine instructors have to use Turnitin? Is there a University requirement for faculty to use this tool?

There is no requirement that all faculty must use the Turnitin service. This is an optional tool, licensed for the benefit of the faculty and students of Pepperdine University. Pepperdine does have a policy for Turnitin usage: Pepperdine Turnitin Policy.

2. If I forget to turn on student access to Originality Reports, can I turn it on afterward?

No. You must enable the Turnitin service before students submit documents to the assignment.

3. How do I create a multi-draft assignment?

In order to get students to submit a Rough Draft, Second Draft, and Final Draft of the same paper, you would need to create three (3) Assignments with Turnitin enabled. It is critical that you do not select the option to save papers to the Turnitin repository in the Rough Draft and Second Draft (etc.) versions. For the Final Draft assignment, the professor may select to save or not save paper assignments to the repository, depending on the instructor's goal. Remember to always inform students if you plan to save their assignments permanently in the Turnitin repository. You must add a statement in the syllabus and follow the guidelines in the Pepperdine Turnitin Policy.

See Creating a Turnitin Assignment.

4. I would like to completely remove a student's paper from the Turnitin repository (database) to prevent violation of FERPA. Is there a way for faculty do this themselves?

No. Once a paper has been submitted to the Turnitin repository, there is no way for a faculty to remove it themselves. Pepperdine faculty will need to contact Technology & Learning by sending an email to techlearn@pepperdine.edu with the submission ID number found in the Turnitin interface via the Assignments tool). Also, provide the name of the course (e.g. ENG 101.01 Sp14), the name of the assignment to which it had been submitted, and the name of the student.

Since we have received several inquiries from non-Pepperdine institutions, we want to clarify that we cannot help anyone from other institutions with Turnitin requests.

5. How do I exclude quoted and bibliography material from an originality report?

To exclude quoted material on the text view of the originality report, click the funnel  icon on the right hand side of the Turnitin report. This will take you into the "Filters and Settings" area, where you'll have the ability to toggle the "Exclude Quotes" or "Exclude Bibliography" checkbox options. Be sure to click "Apply Changes" at the bottom-right of the report. 

When you exclude material, the Match Overview score on the report is updated to reflect the exclusion of matching text. 

6. How do I exclude any of the sources that show in the originality report?

If you would like to exclude a source from the report, click the descending bar graph icon underneath the Match Overview index icon. From there, you can click the "Exclude Sources" button at the bottom which will then prompt you by way of checkboxes for the sources you would like to exclude.

7. How do I locate the time stamp for an assignment?

Click the title link for the students assignment and look at the report or paper details. This shows the date and time the work was submitted.

8. Is there a time limit on assignments using Turnitin?

Yes. While Courses (powered by Sakai) can be configured to extend the deadline on an assignment for a long time, Turnitin has a limit on the length of assignments. In general, a Turnitin assignment will have a lifespan of 6 months. Beyond this time, simply create a new assignment.

9. What should I consider before submitting student papers to the Turnitin repository?

The purpose of the Turnitin repository is to prevent plagiarism on future submitted works. Prior to submitting to the repository, professors should consider the following:

  • Length of the Paper: If the paper is very short, then it may not make a meaningful contribution to the repository.
  • Academic Nature of the Content: If the content of the paper is academic in nature (and is a frequently discussed topic in academic discourse), then submitting to the repository should be considered. On the contrary, assignments like personal reflections should not be submitted to the Turnitin repository.
  • Final Papers: Only final papers should be submitted to the repository. If drafts are submitted to the repository, then the final paper will be later flagged for self-plagiarism.
  • FERPA: Additional steps are required if a faculty member wants to mandate the use of Turnitin for one or more assignments. In order to comply with FERPA, faculty members must ensure that no personally identifiable information is included within the submitted assignment. Prior to submission, this requires the student or instructor to remove any instances of the following:
    • Student's Name
    • Campus-Wide ID (CWID)
    • Network Username (e.g. "jdoe2")
    • Email Address
    • Mailing Address
    • Phone Number
    • Or Similar Data

Students

1. Why can't my instructor download my file properly?

If you copied and pasted your paper into the Courses text-editor, then your instructor will not be able to download it in the format you wrote it in. You should always upload your file. If your instructor allows resubmission then you can remove an earlier version and resubmit a revised version of your paper as a file attachment.

 

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