Using Turnitin with D2L | Office of Information Technology

Using Turnitin with D2L

Last Updated: 04/03/2017


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.

Turning on Plagiarism Detection

To use the Turnitin Plagiarism detection feature is a simple process within Desire2Learn. When creating a dropbox assignment, under the Properties tab, check the box next to Plagiarism Detection: Enable for this folder as shown below:

Plagiarism detection check box


  • Once Plagiarism Detection is enabled for a Dropbox Folder it cannot be disabled.
  • 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 Plagiarism Detection box has been checked, a new section will appear called Originality Check Options. Click on Show Advanced Plagiarism Detection to see advanced options and choose what best suits your needs.

  • Display:
    • Allow submitters to see Originality Reports: Choose this option if you wish for students to see how much of their submission content is original. This options is excellent to show students if they are over citing in a paper. Checking this box is also necessary if you wish for students to see any comments you have made using GradeMark.
  • Frequency:
    • Automatic plagiarism detection on all submissions: Have all folder submissions checked by Turnitin
    • Identify individual submissions for plagiarism detection: 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 database: 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 Plagiarism Detection:
    • Allow other files to be checked against submission: Allow paper to be used in the user paper database

Advanced options visual

  • Grammar Check Settings:
    • Enable Grammar Check by selecting the box. 
    • Select the Handbook and the Dictionary that you would like use.
    • You can unselect any categories enabled by default.

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.

In-progress visual

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 screnshot below. To view a the details of this report click on the color next to the percentage.

Percentage visual

A new window will open, taking you to Turnitin, with a report of original and unoriginal content. Most notably among the information in this new window is:

  1. The overall percentage of unoriginal content within a submission.
  2. Where this unoriginal content came from and what percentage of the total submission came from the individual source.
    • The colors of the sources will correspond to the highlight color within the submission
  3. The highlighted content from within the submission will be the content that was found in an an external source.
  4. Within the GradeMark tab you can 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.

Turnitin window visual

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.