Using Turnitin with Canvas

Last Updated: 11/20/2017


Plagiarism Detection enables you to monitor written assignments 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 Canvas course.

Turning on Plagiarism Detection

To use Turnitin in Canvas, you will need to set an assignment’s Submission Type to External Tool. When creating an assignment in Canvas, the option to change Submission Type is located just below the settings for Display Grade as.

Once External Tool has been selected for Submission Type, locate the box labeled Enter or Find an External Tool URL and click the Find button. This will open up a list of External Tools available. Scroll down in this window to select Turnitin, then click Select.

Configure the remaining assignment settings as desired, then scroll to the bottom of the assignment settings and click Save.

Once your assignment has been created, you will have access to additional Turnitin options. From your respective assignment’s main screen, select the menu button to expand the list of options, then click on Settings.

Required Settings

Start Date/Due Date/Feedback Release Date: Set the date and time for when the assignment is made available, when it is due, and when feedback is released to students.

Optional Settings

  • Allow Late Submissions?: Determines whether or not students are allowed to submit assignments after the due date.
  • Compare student submissions against the following: Determines which databases student work is compared against when checking for originality.
  • Originality Report generation and resubmissions: Determines when Originality Reports are generated and whether or not students are allowed to submit additional items prior to the due date.
  • Allow students to see Originality Reports?: Decides whether or not students can see their own OriginalityCheck results.
  • Submissions to this assignment will be stored in: Decides whether student submissions are stored in the Turnitin Paper repository, which can be used in future plagiarism checks.
  • Enable grammar checking using ETS® e-rater® technology?: Decides whether or not to automatically check students’ grammar and spelling.

Viewing Originality Reports

While a submission is being checked for plagiarism, the phrase In Progress will appear in the Similarity Score area of the assignment submission list.

Once a submission has been evaluated, a percentage and color will appear in the row labeled Similarity Score. This percentage and color corresponds to the amount of the entire submission that is unoriginal content, as shown in the screenshot below. To view the details of this report click on the percentage or the colored circle next to it.

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 and Feedback Studio.

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