Turnitin Guides for Staff

Turnitin is a similarity detection service for assessments that also provides access to Feedback Studio, the online feedback and grading tool.  Staff access the service via duo, the University’s virtual learning environment.

What is Turnitin?

Guides for Durham staff

Creating a Turnitin Submission (Word)
Creating a Turnitin Submission (PDF)

Downloading submitted assignments  (Word)
Downloading submitted assignments  (PDF)

Student submission guide (Word document for customizing)

Turnitin’s Feedback Studio interactive demo

Turnitin FAQs for Staff

How do I submit an assignment to Turnitin on behalf of a student?

Turnitin’s instructions on how to submit on behalf of a student can be found via the link below. Please remember you must select the student’s name from the drop-down list of students officially enrolled in the module. This is the only way to ensure that once their assignment is graded the mark will appear in the duo Grade Centre.

Submitting on behalf of a student in Turnitin

How do I provide in-line feedback in Turnitin assignments?

Turnitin’s Feedback Studio provides tools that will allow you to mark-up a student’s assignment with in-text comments, drag and drop comments from a collection of predefined comments (QuickMarks), add extra information including web links to QuickMarks, create and store new QuickMarks, and provide feedback summaries (5000 characters of text and 3 minutes of audio). Turnitin’s Feedback Studio guide can be found at the link below.

Feedback Studio Commenting Tools

Don’t forget you can try out all the tools using a practice assignment in Turnitin’s Feedback Studio interactive demo.

How do I create and use Rubrics and Grading Forms in Turnitin’s Feedback Studio?

The link below will take you to Turnitin’s guidance on rubrics and grading forms. It will provide instructions on how to create, edit, duplicate, and share both rubrics and grading forms. In addition, it explains how to use them to provide feedback.

Please note it is possible to automatically generate grades using a rubric. If you do not wish to automatically generate marks, choose ‘Qualitative Rubric’.

Rubrics and Grading Forms using Feedback Studio

How do I create, save and share new QuickMarks?

The link below will take you to Turnitin’s guidance on creating and saving your own QuickMarks. It will also show you how you and your colleagues can share a group of QuickMarks.

QuickMark Manager in Feedback Studio

What is a Similarity Report (also known as an Originality Report)?

Typically when a student submits an assignment to a Turnitin submission point Turnitin generates a Similarity Report (Originality Report). The Similarity Report is the result of comparison between the text of the submission against the search targets selected for the assignment; this will usually include billions of pages of active and archived internet information, a repository of works previously submitted to Turnitin, and a repository of tens of thousands of periodicals, journals, and publications. Below is a link to Turnitin’s guidance on the Similarity Report.

Viewing the Similarity Report in Feedback Studio

How do I interpret a Similarity Report (Originality Report)?

Below is a link to Turnitin’s guidance on interpreting the Similarity Report, including details about the different levels of similarity, information on refining the similarity score and explanations of some unexpected results.

Interpreting the Similarity Report in Feedback Studio

How do I exclude a specific source (match) in a Similarity Report?

Below is a link to Turnitin’s instructions on how to exclude one or more source (matches) without regenerating the Similarity Report.

Excluding Sources in Feedback Studio

Can staff use Turnitin for their research papers?

No, unfortunately Durham’s Turnitin licence only covers submissions from students.

Staff who would like to submit their paper to a plagiarism detection service may want consider using iThenticate, the plagiarism prevention tool for published works.

How do I view my mark and feedback?

If your assignment was marked online, you will get a duo notification when your mark and feedback are available. To view your feedback, do not follow the link in My Grades. Instead:

1. Go back to the Turnitin submission point where you first submitted the assessment.

2. Click View/Complete.

3. Click View.

The links below take you to guidance on how to view the different types of feedback you might receive, and how to navigate through your document:

Viewing Instructor Feedback in Feedback Studio

Navigation in Feedback Studio


Research around originality checking

Bennett, S., Dawson, P., Bearman, M., Molloy, E. and Boud, D. (2017), ‘How technology shapes assessment design: Findings from a study of university teachers’, British Journal of Educational Technology, 48: 672-682.

Penketh, C. and Beaumont, C. (2014) ‘”Turnitin said it wasn’t happy”: can the regulatory discourse of plagiarism detection operate as a change artefact for writing development?’Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 51(1).

Best practice examples for digital feedback

Grieve, R., Padgett, C.R. and Moffitt, R.L. (2016) ‘Assignments 2.0: The role of social presence and computer attitudes in student preferences for online versus offline marking’, The Internet and Higher Education, 28: 8-16.

Johnson, M. Hopkin, R. and Shiell, H. (2012) ‘Marking Extended Essays on Screen: Exploring the Link between Marking Processes and Comprehension’, E-Learning and Digital Media, 9(1): 50-68.

Sopina, E. and McNeill, R. (2015) ‘Investigating the relationship between quality, format and delivery of feedback for written assignments in higher education’, Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 40(5).