Optional Turnitin Settings and How They Affect Results Optional Turnitin Settings and How They Affect Results

Optional Turnitin Settings and How They Affect Results


This guide reviews how the Turnitin settings you choose affect the reports and scores generated. Turnitin can be enabled for any dropbox.

For instructions on how to add Turnitin to a dropbox, review this guide on Enabling Turnitin on a New Dropbox

When enabling Turnitin you will get to a section where you can either save as is, or configure optional Turnitin settings by clicking More Options in Turnitin:

Explanation of Optional Turnitin Settings:

These settings allow you to control how the submissions are evaluated and stored. Here are explanations for each:
  1. Submission Settings
    • Submit Paper to standard paper repository: This is the default setting and should be used for summative assignment submissions (final drafts and finished products).
    • Do not store submitted paper: Select this option from the dropdown menu for formative assignment submissions such as drafts that will be re-submitted to the same dropbox.
    • Allow submissions of any file type: This defaults to not checked. Check this if you would like students to be able to submit uncommon file types.
    • Enable grammar checking: This will generate a grammar report for the student. If you check this, it will then ask you to determine level of education and other settings.
    • Attach a rubric: This setting only provides generic rubrics for selection, this is not where you would add a rubric made by yourself or peers at SPC.

  1. Compare Against
    • Compare submitted papers against specific sources. This defaults to comparing against all source types. You can deselect any of the three to meet the needs of your assignment.
  2. Similarity Report
    • Generate reports immediately - (resubmissions are not allowed): Similarity Reports for all submissions will be generated immediately 
    • Generate reports immediately - (resubmissions are allowed until due date): Students can see reports and resubmit before evaluation
    • Allow students to view Similarity Reports - Allows you to decide whether to allow students to view their Similarity Report
    • Exclude bibliographic materials - Allows you to decide to include a bibliography, work sited, references from being checked when running the report
    • Exclude quoted materials - Allows you to decide whether to include or exclude quoted material
    • Exclude small sources - Allows you to choose to exclude matches that are not of significant length from being considered
  3. Additional Setting 
    • Check the Box  to Save these settings for future use
    • If you chose to change any of these settings, click the Submit button to save your selects

  4. You will be returned to the Turnitin Integration screen
  5. Click Save to update any changes

Recommendations and Things to Consider 

The percentage score is not the percentage chance that the paper may have been plagiarized, but the percentage of the paper that shows up in other sources. Do not require a maximum percentage. If a student uses quotations more than paraphrasing this will artificially raise the score. Use the score as a guide but pay more attention to the parts of the paper that are highlighted and go to the source and compare. Each plagiarism report per student is not updated dynamically; it is produced once and will never be updated. In effect, if two of your students erroneously collaborated, only the second student submission will be flagged as plagiarized. Papers submitted to the standard paper repository of Turnitin will be stored and used for future comparison. Students maintain the copyright of all works submitted. 


Students must agree to the legal form presented when they first use Turnitin in a course: 

  • If they do not wish to agree, they cannot use Turnitin Dropboxes. 
  • When opting out, the student must either choose one of the below, or the instructor may require one:
    • Write a reflection paper on research methodology; or. 
    • Submit an annotated bibliography; or. 
    • Attach photocopies of all material used. 
  • The agreement can be revoked by the election of the student in writing or email to Turnitin. 

Information provided by:

Christian Moriarty
Applied Ethics


Additional Turnitin Resources:

Turnitin for Instructors 

Turnitin Help Center

Have Questions? Contact the Academic Technology Support Team


 Phone at 727-341-3500 

(Hours: Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. EST).

After-hours or weekend assistance? Contact the Technical Support Center at 727-791-2795 or onlinehelp@spcollege.edu

Want to Schedule a One-on-One or Group Session on Canvas or other instructional technology issues or opportunities? 

Schedule 1:1 Support Help with a Member of the MyCourses4Faculty Team


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