Turnitin Frequently Asked Questions
This page contains answers to commonly asked questions about Turnitin. For the latest information on the new AI Detection feature from Turnitin, review the AI Detection FAQ document provided by Turnitin.
Do Pepperdine instructors have to use Turnitin? Is there a University requirement for faculty to use this tool?
If I forget to turn on student access to Originality Reports, can I turn it on afterward?
How do I create a multi-draft assignment?
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 to do this themselves?
How do I exclude quoted and bibliography material from an originality report?
How do I exclude any of the sources that show in the originality report?
How do I locate the time stamp for an assignment?
Is there a time limit on assignments using Turnitin?
What should I consider before submitting student papers to the Turnitin repository?
- What languages does Turnitin support?
- Why can't my instructor download my file properly?
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?
Yes, with the expectation that it may take 10 – 15 minutes for the change to propagate to the students' view. To accomplish this:
- navigate to the Assignments tool and click "Edit" beneath the desired assignment
- Scroll down and click the "Allow students to view report" checkbox beneath the Turnitin Plagiarism Service heading
- Scroll down and click "Post."
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 index all submissions (i.e. 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 index or not index paper assignments to the repository, depending on the instructor's goal. Remember to always inform students if you plan to index 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 an indexed student's paper from the Turnitin repository (database) to prevent violation of FERPA. Is there a way for faculty to do this themselves?
No. Once a paper has been indexed and submitted to the Turnitin repository, there is no way for a faculty member to remove it themselves. Pepperdine University faculty will need to contact the Technology & Learning team for a consultation. Please provide the name of the course (e.g. ENG 101.01 Sp25), the name of the assignment to which it had been submitted, the name of the student who submitted it, and if possible the Turnitin paper ID.
Since we have received several inquiries from non-Pepperdine institutions, we want to clarify that we cannot help anyone from other academic institutions, schools, colleges, or universities with Turnitin requests. Be sure to contact the local technical support of your own institution for assistance or contact Turnitin support directly.
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 Overall Similarity tab on the right side of the report, and then select the gear icon located near the top of the interface. This will reveal checkbox options to "Exclude Quotes" or "Exclude Bibliography." Be sure to click "Done" at the bottom-right of the report.
When you exclude material, the Overall Similarity 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 Overall Similarity tab on the right side of the report, and then select the gear icon located near the top of the interface. From there, toggle whether you would like to exclude the "Internet" or "Submitted Works" repositories.
7. How do I locate the time stamp for an assignment?
Click the Document Details tab on the right of the report; it is found immediately beneath the Overall Similarity score tab. Once there, you will be able to view the Submission Timestamp.
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 indexing (i.e. submitting) student papers to the Turnitin repository?
The purpose of the Turnitin repository is to prevent plagiarism on future submitted works. Prior to indexing and 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. For more details on what constitutes a "mandated" Turnitin submission, please see the University Turnitin Policy. In order to comply with FERPA, faculty members must always include the statement of intended use of Turnitin within the class syllabus and ensure that no personally identifiable information is included within the submitted assignment by informing students to remove such content. Prior to submission, this requires the student (or instructor if submitted on behalf of the student) 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 personally identifiable data
10. What languages does Turnitin support?
At this time, Turnitin supports the following languages: English, Chinese (simplified and traditional), Japanese, Thai, Korean, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Norwegian (Bokmal, Nynorsk), Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Arabic, Greek, Hebrew, Farsi, Russian, and Turkish.
IMPORTANT: AI Writing Detection only supports English at this time.
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. Be sure to meet the file requirements of your professor as well as the requirements of Turnitin. For example, if your professor requires you to submit a Microsoft Word document, then be sure you submit a .doc or .docx file. Many word processor applications allow you to save or export a document in other formats, such as Microsoft Word or PDF. Consult the documentation for your word processor software or service.
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