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The Whats And Whys Of Turnitin

The Whats And Whys Of Turnitin
July 28, 2017
Author : Administrator

Plagiarism refers to when an individual picks on someone else’s ideas or research and presents it as their own.

So, the big question is,

What is the motivation behind Plagiarism?

  • The strongest driver of plagiarism is that, ready content is available online. So, it is easy to copy paste content for most students.
  • The external and internal pressure to attain good grades;
  • The fear of failing;
  • Personal goal orientation;

A common myth,

Incorporation of other people’s ideas will add quality to their work.

TURNITIN.COM is a web based service, which is used in universities, which acts as a barrier and checks for originality of content.



  1. CLONE: Refers to submitting another’s work, word-to-word, as one’s own.
  2. CTRL-C: A piece of writing that contains significant portions of text from a single source without alterations.
  3. FIND–REPLACE: Means, changing key words and phrases, but retaining the gist of the source in the content.
  4. REMIX: Refers to paraphrasing from various sources and fitting the content seamlessly.
  5. RECYCLE: Involves borrowing from one’s own previous work without citation; (Also known asself-plagiarize.)
  6. HYBRID: Means combining cited sources with copied passages—without citation—in one paper.
  7. MASHUP: Represents a mix of copied material from several different sources without proper citation.
  8. 404 ERROR: A written piece that includes citations to non-existent or inaccurate information about sources.
  9. AGGREGATOR: “Aggregator” includes proper citation, but the paper contains almost no original work.
  10. RE-TWEET: This paper includes proper citation, but relies too closely on the text’s original wording and/or structure.


  • It makes detecting plagiarism easy,
  • It has an ever-expanding database,
  • It increases student engagement,
  • It provides other services like Peer Check, Grade Check, and WriteCheck which help give more meaningful feedback to students.


There are different colors which show different levels of plagiarism on a Turnitin originality report;

Blue: 0% (a valid result)

Green: 1-24%

Yellow: 25-49%

Orange: 50-74%

Red: 75-100%

For example: If you get ayellow35% similarity percentage that means that 35% of your paper is exactly the same as other sources found by Turnitin.


  • You take ideas about a historical event from a history professor’s blog and do not provide credit for those ideas in your history paper;
  • You find a journal article with data provided by scientists about UAV drones and use it as your own data in a PH.D. thesis;
  • You copy Nelson Mandela’ssayings about education word-to-word in your English paper without any quotation marks;
  • You do not provide a citation and reference for all the information that you have paraphrased;


The highlight in red indicates 75-100% of the content is picked from external sources.


There are many misconceptions regarding ‘Turnitin’. We bust 2 of them below:

  1. Turnitin detects plagiarism. Reality: Turnitin matches texts in our databases to check for originality.
  2. Turnitin compares a paper against everything ever written . . . web pages, books, publications, unpublished works, etc. . . .Reality:There are sources that are not in Turnitin database—but, the sources that students typically use are largely included in Turnitin.


Integrity and working more efficiently shouldbe the agenda of all students.

Turnitin provide feedback to students on their use of source material with the world’s largest content comparison database.

So, go on, make Turnitin a part of your writing culture.

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