You may be asked to submit your work to your teacher through a tool called Turnitin. Turnitin is used to check the originality of papers and the correctness of citation practices in students' work.

Once your work is submitted, it will be checked against Turnitin's extensive database of student submissions, publications and Internet content.

Your teacher may make Turnitin accessible to you so that you can check your own assignments before final submission, to help you ensure that you're submitting original or correctly cited material.

On this page you can find out about:

How to submit your work to Turnitin

You may be asked to submit your work to Turnitin via Moodle or the Turnitin website. Here are instructions for Turnitin in Moodle.

The first time you submit a Turnitin assignment you will be sent an email advising of your Turnitin account creation, you should not be required to use this account.

Accessing your mark and feedback in Turnitin

This following video provides step-by-step instructions on accessing your mark and feedback for assignments submitted via Turnitin.

View the transcript of this video.

Created by: Mike Bogle, UNSW Arts & Social Sciences.

Restrictions on all Turnitin submissions

The following restrictions apply to Turnitin submissions:

  • All submissions must be text-based. Scanned documents must be passed through Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software prior to submission.
  • Turnitin accepts electronic files in the common formats such as:
    • MS Word (.doc/.docx)
    • WordPerfect (.wpd)
    • Rich Text (.rtf)
    • Portable Document Format (.pdf)
    • PostScript (.eps), HTML (.htm), and
    • plain text (.txt) format.
  • Some formats such as hwp, odt, wpd, ps or PowerPoint may be accepted if it contains computer readable text. No other file types are accepted.
If you need to submit uncommon file types or those not listed above, it is recommended to convert it to a PDF first.
  • You can cut and paste files from other word processing programs into the Turnitin submit paper page.
  • Only one file per student can exist for each assignment.
  • Files must have at least 20 words
  • The file size limit for text files is 100MB.

As soon as you submit your assignment, Turnitin will display a digital receipt on the screen—if it doesn't, your assignment has not been successfully submitted. Turnitin will also email you a submission receipt.

Other settings may apply

Assignment settings determine whether you can:

  • make multiple submissions during a specified period, or only one submission
  • receive, if multiple submissions are possible, an originality report every time you submit, or only once
  • view the originality reports generated when OriginalityCheck checks your assignment against its databases.

Individual course conveners or your School policy determine these settings. If you have any questions about how OriginalityCheck is being used in your course, ask your course convener.

Originality reports

An Originality Report will be generated within 10 minutes of an initial submission to an assignment and up to 2 resubmissions (if allowed). Once 3 submissions have been made to an assignment originality reports for subsequent re-submission to an assignment will take up to 24 hours to generate. If you make 4 or more submissions to an assignment it is recommended that you submit your final revised draft at least 24 hours before the coursework deadline if you want to see an originality report before you submit your final version, or if you're required to submit an originality report with your assignment.

While an Originality Report is being generated, in the Turnitin assignment's page the relevant icon in the Originality Report column will display greyed out. It will remain greyed out if your instructor has decided not to allow students to view the reports.

Citations and references

Turnitin picks up even correctly cited quotations and bibliography items and reports them as matched with other documents in the Turnitin database. This is because:

  • the journals, articles and texts you quoted or referred to may be in the database, and/or
  • assignments submitted by other students may have quoted from, or cited, the same reference works as you did.

These parts of your assignment will generate match percentages, which increases your assignment's overall similarity rating.

Don't be alarmed by this. Your teachers don't just accept the percentage Turnitin gives to an assignment. They check the reports and interpret the results.

Filter them out

If you want to, you can ask OriginalityCheck to ignore quotations, references and bibliography items in your assignment when reporting on its originality. You can find the instructions for doing so on this Turnitin support page.

You'll have to switch the filter on every time you run a report—you can't set it to stay on and be applied automatically to each assignment.

Even with the filter turned on, Turnitin will still find some matches. When your teachers review the originality report, they will see that the matches are only for legitimate quotations and references.

Sample Originality Report

The following graphic shows an annotated sample Originality Report that Turnitin generates from a submission.


Similarity Index: This shows how much of the submission matches existing catalogued sources.


Matching Sections: Highlighted section of the submission indicate that there are matching sources in the Turnitin database.

  • Clicking on a matching section shows the existing source in a pop-up view.
   Match Overview: This shows all matches in the submission.
  • Click on a match in the overview to jump to the corresponding section of the submission.

Filter Settings: Click the filter button to show the filter settings window, which allows you to change similarity estimate options.

  • Exclude Quotes: Enabling this setting excludes all material in quotations from the similarity report.
  • Exclude Bibliography: Enabling this setting excludes the bibliography from the similarity report.
  • Exclude Matches Under Amount: Enabling this setting allows you to set a criteria (in words or percentage) for matches to be included in the similarity report

Turnitin submissions and security

How are my submissions stored?

Student papers submitted to Turnitin remain for an indefinite period of time. Turnitin stores your document in both original format, and an “electronic fingerprint” format:

  • Only you, your lecturer and support staff can see the original file
  • The electronic fingerprint is used to check other Turnitin submissions against your document.

Should I add my identity into my assignment?

It is recommended that you do not identify yourself within the assignments submitted to Turnitin. There is no need to, your identity is logged when you submit the assignment.

What happens if an assignment matches mine?

If another document subsequently submitted to Turnitin matches text in one of your assignments, the lecturer responsible for the new document is provided with the following information:

  • Name of the institution where the matching assignment originated
  • Course name for the matching assignment
  • Name and email address of the lecturer responsible for that course
  • File name of the matching assignment
  • Date that the matching assignment was submitted

The new lecturer can then contact your lecturer, and request a copy of your assignment. UNSW lecturers are advised not to disclose authorship details to any person who makes this request.

Unable to submit your assignment?

There are a number of reasons why you may be unable to submit an assignment to your course's Turnitin Submission box, each with a recommended course of action.

Late Submissions


Check that you are within the advised submission dates. Late submissions may be disabled by your instructor, preventing you from submitting.

Contact your teaching staff for advice.


Incorrectly Set Submission Times


If you have checked that you are within the advised submission dates and still cannot submit, your instructor may have incorrectly set the dates.

Contact your teaching staff who can set the correct dates. (Note: as this affects all students, staff may be aware and/or already be working to resolve it)


Incompatible Formats/Size


Check that you are submitting a compatible format/size (as listed above, in the Restrictions of ALL Turnitin Submissions section).

Ensure that your submission is in the correct format and size.


Incompatible Web Browser/Computer


Check that your web browser and computer matches the Moodle system requirements.

Try using an alternate browser/computer. Otherwise, contact External TELT Support via phone: +61 (02) 9385 1333 and select Option 2.


Turnitin Service Down


The Turnitin service may be temporarily unavailable due to planned/unplanned outages.

Planned outages are rare within standard business hours, and are typically announced ahead of time on Moodle homepage.

Unplanned outages are typically short and are resolved within a few minutes.

If outages prevent you from submitting, advise your teaching staff ASAP. Provide a copy of your assignment on another medium (e.g. email) before the submission deadline.


Further help guides

If you have any questions about how Turnitin is being used in your course, ask your lecturer or course convener.

For information on academic integrity issues and UNSW plagiarism policy, see Plagiarism.

Additional information to support you in becoming a better writer is available from

For further instructions go to the following pages :

Looking for help?

Contact The Nucleus: Student Hub

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