Using Turnitin with D2L

Last Updated: 11/26/2018


Plagiarism Detection enables you to monitor your dropbox folders and identify potential cases of plagiarism by automatically comparing submissions to an online database of original content. You can then view Originality Reports which highlight key areas, show a breakdown of matching sources, and provide direct links to the matching content. The following information will aid you in using Turnitin for your Desire2Learn course.

Please Note: In courses that were using Dropbox between July 17th and August 2nd, 2017, you may see a separate Turnitin tab when editing Dropbox folders instead of an OriginalityCheck option on the Properties tab. This Turnitin tab is a feature of a new integration that had to be rolled back due to instructors encountering an increased number of error messages. Courses that started using the new integration during this time will continue to configure Turnitin settings via the Turnitin tab under Edit Folder, while all others will use the previous integration method as described below.

Turning on Plagiarism Detection

Using the Turnitin plagiarism detection feature is a simple process in Desire2Learn. When creating a dropbox assignment, the option to turn on OriginalityCheck will display just beneath the folder name field. Check the box labeled enable for this folder:

Plagiarism detection check box

*Note: When a course is copied, the Plagiarism Detection is turned off on all Dropbox Folders (i.e., this feature must be re-enabled for each Dropbox Folder each term).

Once the Enable for this folder box has been checked, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click the drop-down arrow labeled Show Advanced Originality Checking Options to see and adjust additional Turnitin settings.

Plagiarism detection check box


Allow learners to see Originality Reports: Choose this option if you wish for students to see how much of their submission content is original. Checking this box is also necessary if you wish for students to see any comments you have made using GradeMark.

Grademark Available to Students: Set the date and time window during which GradeMark reports and feedback are available to students

Plagiarism detection check box


  • Automatic originality checking on all submissions: Have all folder submissions checked by Turnitin automatically.
  • Identify individual submissions for originality checking: Have Turnitin check only certain user submissions. You must manually submit files for plagiarism detection with this option. This is done by clicking on the Submit file for Plagiarism Detection icon in the Folder Submissions page.

Check submissions Against

  • User paper databases: Checks for plagiarism using previous submissions by professors using Turnitin
  • Current and archived internet: Scans the internet for possibly plagiarized or unoriginal content.
  • Periodicals, journals, & publications: Scans submission for content similar to content in periodicals, journals, and publications.

Index Files for Originality Checking

  • Allow other files to be checked against submission: Indexes student submissions in Turnitin’s database, where they can be used in originality checks performed on future submissions.

Grammar Check Settings 

  • Enable Grammar Check: Allows submissions to be automatically checked for grammar.
  • Select Handbook: Chooses the grammar rules and curriculum against which student submissions are to be checked.
  • Select English Dictionary: Chooses which dictionaries are included during spelling and grammar checking. By default both U.S. and U.K. English dictionaries are enabled.
  • Categories Enabled by Default: Toggles on and off which categories of checking are performed, including spelling, grammar, usage, mechanics, and style.

Viewing Originality Reports

While a submission is being checked for plagiarism, the phrase In Progress will appear in the Turnitin Similarity column within the Folder Submissions page of the dropbox assignment.

Once a submission has been evaluated, a percentage and color will appear in the Turnitin Similarity column that corresponds to the amount of the entire submission that is unoriginal content. This is shown in the screenshot below. To view the details of this report click on the color next to the percentage.

A new window will open, taking you to Turnitin’s Feedback Studio, which reports original and unoriginal content and allows you to give feedback on student work. Most notable among the information in this new window are:

Match Overview

This gives you an overall percentage of unoriginal content within a submission and a breakdown of where this unoriginal content came from.

  • Each source is listed alongside how much of the submission matches to it.
  • The colors of the sources in the Match Overview pane will correspond to the highlight color within the submission.

Feedback Studio

The Feedback Studio allows you to add comments to the submission similar to Track Changes feature of Microsoft Word. This is an excellent tool for providing helpful and detailed feedback for student submissions.

Please visit the Using GradeMark tutorial for more information.

Plagiarism Detection file type compatibility

The following file types are compatible with Plagiarism Detection:

  • MS Word
  • WordPerfect
  • PostScript
  • Acrobat PDF
  • HTML
  • RTF
  • Plain text

Get help with Turnitin

For assistance with using TurnItIn, please contact the IT Service Center.