Turnitin submission guide for students


If you are experiencing issues with submitting Turnitin assignments via Safari, please see the FAQ below on how to resolve the issue.

 Note that your department may provide specific instructions for Turnitin submission, so be aware of this before following the guidance below.

Turnitin Assignment Submission Instructions (PDF)


Turnitin FAQs for Students

Which document types will Turnitin accept?

The official list of documents that Turnitin accepts is here: File Types and Size
Students should note that their department may require them to submit a specific file type.

What are the size limitations for Turnitin submissions?

Turnitin accepts files that:

  • contain a minimum of 20 words
  • are less than 40 MB
  • are less than 400 pages
What size margins should I use in my document?

Turnitin recommend that, for an A4 document, the margins should not be less than 2.45 cm (1″).

My assignment is larger than 40Mb. What can I do?

Turnitin does not accept files which are larger than 40Mb or have more than 400 pages.

If you are submitting a video, please ask your department to contact the Self-service portal as Turnitin is not the best way to submit video assessments.

Check with your department for the most appropriate action. If it is not being marked online they may suggest that you remove the images or save the file as a rich text or plain text file to make the file smaller.

If the assignment is being marked online you may need to adjust the quality of the images. The easiest way to do this is to use the tools in Microsoft© Word:

  1. Go to File and Save As.
  2. When choosing where to save the file, a Tools option appears at the bottom of the screen. Click the downward arrow and select Compress Pictures…
  3. Place a tick in the box beside Delete cropped areas of pictures and set Target output to ‘Screen (150 ppi): good for Web pages and projectors’.
  4. Click OK and then save the file with a different name.

This will reduce the file size considerably.

What if my PDF won’t upload to Turnitin?

There are two error messages you may get when trying to upload a PDF document to Turnitin:

“You must submit more than 20 words of text.”

This occurs when the conversion to PDF has created an image file instead of a text file. You need to recreate your PDF making sure a text file is generated.

“The paper you are trying to submit is incorrectly formatted. There seems to be spaces between each letter in your paper. Please try submitting again or contact our helpdesk if the problem persists.”

This issue may be to do with the program that was used to create the PDF file. Some PDF creators only preserve the overall appearance of the text and don’t worry about the file’s text format. It is likely to be the case that the text has had spaces added between each letter so that the text is displayed in a visually correct manner. The quickest way around this would be to copy the content from the document into a Microsoft Word file and then upload the Word document.

Can I check whether the paper I submitted to Turnitin was fully uploaded?

Go back to the Turnitin submission point and click View/Complete.
Click the Download button. This will allow you to download a copy of your submission to check.

If you need to upload a new version, see the FAQ on clearing attempts.

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

Staff and Students:

  • Check your browser: We recommend using Chrome, Firefox or Edge. If you are using Safari, clear ALL of your cached data: Refresh your cache. If you are using your own device, make sure you have the latest version of the browser and operating system.
  • Check the system status: Turnitin status updates can be found here: Turnitin System Status


  • 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.
  • 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
  • For Internet Explorer on your home computer:
    1. Click the cog icon at the upper right
    2. Choose ‘Internet Options’
    3. Go to the ‘Security’ tab
    4. Click ‘Trusted Sites’
    5. Click the ‘Sites’ button
    6. Paste Turnitinuk.com into the ‘Add this site…’ box
    7. Click the ‘Add’ button
What should I do if I can’t submit to Turnitin on Safari?

If you are sure that your submission is under 40MB and 400 pages, and is a file type that Turnitin will accept, please do the following:

  1. Go to Safari Preferences > Privacy tab > Manage Website Data
  2. Remove these cached websites:
    • googlesyndication.com
    • googleservices.com
    • turnitin.com
    • turnitinuk.com
  3. Close Safari
  4. Reopen Safari and try submitting again

You can also use another browser, such as Chrome or Firefox.

Should I click ‘Confirm’ when Turnitin is experiencing a high number of submissions?

If when trying to submit you get a message from Turnitin that states ‘You must click confirm to complete your upload. We are experiencing a high number of submissions right now. Your full digital receipt and file will appear in your account within a few hours.’

You should click ‘Confirm’.  This will submit the file as normal to Turnitin and display a partially completed digital receipt which includes the key information: Submission ID, the Submission date, Author, Assignment title, Submission title, and File name.

You should click ‘Return to assignment list’ to complete the process.

The remainder of the digital receipt will be completed in a few hours. Once that is done Turnitin will upload your Digital Receipt to the assignment submission point and send the confirmation email with your submission details.

How can I be sure Turnitin shows my images/diagrams/graphs correctly?

The first screen after you click Upload will show the document so you can check that what you are uploading is correct. You can use the arrow keys to move around the full document and ensure the display is correct before you click the Confirm button.

How do I know that my submission has been successful?

Confirmation of your submission will appear in a green bar across the top of the final screen.  On this screen you will see a Submission ID, which you are advised to record before leaving the page. You will also receive the Submission ID in the email confirmation sent to your Durham address. The Submission ID can also be obtained by downloading the digital receipt:

1. Go to the assignment and click View/Complete.

2. Click the down arrow icon button.

3. Select digital receipt.

This should open the receipt in a PDF reader. You can then save it in electronic format and/or print it for you records.

If you have not submitted successfully, submit your assessment again as normal. If the deadline has passed, contact your department as soon as possible.

I have submitted a paper but not received an email. How can I get my Submission ID?

1. Go to the assignment and click View/Complete.

2. Click the down arrow icon button.

3. Select digital receipt.

This should open the receipt in a PDF reader. You can then save it in electronic format and/or print it for you records.

Can I clear my Turnitin attempt?

If you have accidentally submitted the wrong file to Turnitin, go back to the submission screen. If a ‘Resubmit’ button appears, you may click this to resubmit your assignment.

If resubmission is not permitted, then you must contact your department for guidance.

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

Can I check Phd thesis chapters in Turnitin?

If you are considering running originality reports on sections of your Phd thesis, please talk to your supervisor. They can advise on the best way to achieve what you need to do. If your supervisor agrees that Turnitin is appropriate for this purpose, they can contact the service desk with any questions about setting this up for you: Self-service portal