Turnitin logoLincoln University has subscribed to a software programme called Turnitin which identifies in a student’s written work the material that has been copied from other sources.

For undergrads

General Rules

  • High numbers of sources with small percentages of copied words should be alright
  • A very high percentage of copied words may suggest that you are not putting enough of your own ideas into your work
  • Low numbers of copied sources that add up to a high total percentage for your work will be unacceptable
  • Any work copied from other students, with or without their knowledge will be identified and may involve disciplinary action


  • All work that is taken from other sources must be correctly referenced and cited. (see Referencing)
  • Turnitin does not tell you anything about the quality of the work just the extent to which it has been copied from other sources
  • If in any doubt about your work, and what is required from you, seek help from your teacher and/or the Learning advisors located within Library, Teaching and Learning
  • If you need help with using Turnitin ask at the Welcome Desk on level 0

How to use Turnitin

1. Go to your course website and click on the assignment link your lecturer has created. For example:

turnitin assn link

The link will take you to a submission page where you will find instructions on what is required for your assignment and any details you might need to know about submitting your assignment.

2. Click on Submit paper, locate your file, click okay, then click Upload this file. Your file will be submitted to Turnitin and will be compared with all of the resources in the Turnitin databases.

turnitin submit

Viewing the Turnitin report

To view your Turnitin report, go back to the course website and click on the assignment link again.
If the checking is complete, you will see your document filename with a Similarity score next to it.

To view the report, click on the percentage of coloured block.This will take you to the Turnitin website so you can view your Similarity report.

What you get from Turnitin

When you submit your work to Turnitin the software matches the order of words with the documents it holds in its database and a report is produced that details the extent of similar material already in the Turnitin database. On the screen everything is colour coded for ease of use. In the examples below the key features are illustrated.

Screenshot of a Turnitin report with highlighting of matched text

  • The Similarity Index (top right) shows the quantity of the work submitted that matches another source already in the Turnitin database.
  • The copied work in your submission is matched with the source in the Turnitin database. In the above image the highlighted sections come from source number one.
  • There is a toggle to remove quoted material and references from the report.

Turnitin Originality report

The list report on the right hand side shows all of the sources that share words with your submission. This example shows the first 8 content matches of 14 different matches and provides the source of the material. For the work submitted, 5% of that work has been taken from the top source, 4% from the next, 4% from the next and so on. In total, 20% of the submitted document has been matched to other sources.

  • Your submission is shown on the left hand side of the screen and the numbered and
    highlighted text corresponds to the numbered sources on the right hand side.
  • You can print your Similarity report by clicking on the Print icon above the Turnitin banner.
  • As a guideline, if you have taken small quantities of work from other sources, like the report above, you should have produced suitable academic work providing you have referenced and cited it appropriately.
  • Note: References and quotes are included in the overall report but can be excluded from the report by clicking the links at the top of the page.

Turnitin information for students

For postgrads

A Postgrad Turnitin website is available for postgraduate students who want to check their work before giving it to their supervisors. If you would like to have access to the site please contact either Sue Clemes or Cory Lin.

For teachers

If you have any questions about Turnitin or would like training on how to use Turnitin in Moodle, contact  Sue Clemes (sue.clemes@lincoln.ac.nz) .