Turnitin Guides for Staff

Turnitin is a similarity detection service for assessments that also provides Feedback Studio for online marking and feedback. Staff and students access the service via duo.

What is Turnitin?

Guides for staff

Creating a Turnitin submission point (Word)
Creating a Turnitin submission point (PDF)

Marking Turnitin submissions (Word)
Marking Turnitin submissions (PDF)

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

Student submission guide (Word document for customizing)
Student marks and feedback guide (Word document for customizing)

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

Can I mark Turnitin assignments offline?

Currently, the only way to mark Turnitin assignments offline is with an iPad:

  1. Install the Turnitin Feedback Studio app on your iPad
  2. In a web browser on your iPad*, go to the Turnitin assignment on duo
  3. Go to any student’s submission as if you were going to mark it
  4. Tap the ‘i’ icon in the menu
  5. *If you are using another computer or device:
    1. Enter your email twice and click ‘Email Me’
    2. Access your email from your iPad
    3. Open the email from Turnitin and…
  6. Tap ‘Add Class’
  7. The app will open
  8. You can now mark offline
  9. Tap the name of the module
  10. Tap the name of the assignment
  11. Tap an individual assignment to get started–instructions for marking can be found here: Grading a paper
  12. When you are finished and have internet connectivity again, tap the menu icon at the top left of the app and tap ‘Sync Now’

Important: as student scripts will be downloaded to your iPad, you must follow University data protection policy, including locking your iPad (passcode or fingerprint).

Turnitin/Feedback Studio is slow or glitchy today – is there anything I can do?

There are a few things you can try:

  • Check your browser: We recommend using Chrome, Firefox, Edge or Safari. If you are using your own device, make sure you have the latest version of the browser and operating system.
  • Turn High Resolution off in Feedback Studio: Click the High Resolution: ON/OFF switch at the bottom of the Feedback Studio window.
  • Clear your cookies and cache: This site shows how to do this for different browsers: Refresh your cache
  • Use ‘private’ mode: These sites show how to activate privacy mode in the respective browsers: Chrome / Firefox / Edge / Safari
  • Check your internet connection: Feedback Studio constantly saves your work, so ensure that your connection is robust. If your connection drops out, leave the Feedback Studio window open until you are online again.
  • Check the system status: Turnitin status updates can be found here: Turnitin System Status
How do I know if a student has plagiarised?

Turnitin cannot categorically determine whether a student has plagiarised or not. Rather, it provides a Similarity Report for staff to review and customise. Most departments have their own policies concerning similarity in Turnitin, but the guidance below should be useful in evaluating originality:

Viewing the Similarity Report in Feedback Studio

Interpreting the Similarity Report in Feedback Studio

When will students get their marks and feedback?

This depends on two settings in each Turnitin assignment. For existing assignments, you can check these by clicking Edit Assignment settings from the Assignment Inbox:

  • Post Date: This determines when marks are pushed to the Grade Centre, and to My Grades and Notifications for students (for anonymous assignments, this is also the date on which students’ names will appear). Once the Post Date has passed, marks and feedback cannot be recalled.
  • Reveal grades only on post date? (optional setting): If set to ‘No’, this can allow students to see their marks and feedback before the Post Date.

If you are marking scripts after the Post Date has passed, you might need to click Sync Grades (next to the assignment title in the Turnitin Assignments list) to ensure that students can see their marks.

A customizable guide to help students access their marks and feedback is provided above.

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.


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).