Using Turnitin.com

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Dallas Baptist University subscribes to Turnitin.com, an internet-based service “recognized worldwide as the standard in online plagiarism prevention.” DBU’s professors use the university’s account to check student papers for proper citations as well as plagiarism.

Turnitin's site features helpful tutorials and information concerning plagiarism for students and professors. The following is a brief “how-to” guide for professors new to this service. For more detailed information, visit the Turnitin.com site.

PLEASE NOTE: In order to submit a student paper for plagiarism detection, you must have access to a digital version of the paper. You can ask your students to:
    1. Submit their papers directly to the Turnitin.com site (see below);
    2. Send copies of their papers to you via email; or
    3. Turn in digitized versions of their papers in addition to the printed versions (using floppy disks or flash drives, for example).

Before you can use the plagiarism prevention tools, you must set up a “user profile.”


USER PROFILE

Select the “Create Account” link in the top right corner of the Turnitin home page, then follow the screen prompts. At step 2, you will be asked for a Turnitin account ID number and the Turnitin join password. For obvious reasons, we cannot provide that information here.  To receive your ID number and password, contact your college's dean, or one of the following library personnel:

Debra Collins: 214-333-5220

Debbi Richard: 214-333-5225

Janet Boothe: 214-333-5213


Step 3 asks for your email address. Since most of us have more than one email address, use the one you access most often. Your email address will become your Turnitin user name. You will be allowed to choose your own login password. Be sure to write this down and keep it somewhere safe.

After completing Step 6, you will be given the option of returning to the main menu or setting up your classes by using the “Class Setup Wizard.” The best option is to go ahead and get your classes set up, if you have time. Follow the screen prompts.  Classes can be set up or modified later.  Login using your email address and password, then select the "add a class" link, found next to a green plus sign..

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CLASS SETUP

When asked to name your class, you can use the official class name (i.e., MUSI 3311), or you may name the class something more personal, for example, “Smith’s Advanced World Geography.”

At Step 2, you will be given a unique class ID number. Be sure to write this down or print the screen. You will use this number if you wish to have your students submit their papers directly to the Turnitin site. (This class ID number will also appear next to the class name when you access your account.) Also on this screen, you will be asked to assign a password for your class.  Choose something easy for your students to remember.  DO NOT use the same password that you used in any of the previous steps! This password will be shared with your students.


Continue to follow screen prompts to establish your assignments for the class. In the assignment setup dialog, allow the last two questions to remain at their default settings. When completed, read the final directions carefully.

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USING TURNITIN

When you are ready to use Turnitin’s plagiarism prevention technology, follow these steps:

    1. Login by using your email address and the password you selected.


    2. Select the appropriate class by clicking its name. (You can also add a class from this
screen by selecting the “add a class” link.)


    3. Create a new assignment, if necessary. If the assignment has already been created, and the papers have been completed, you have one of two options:


        A. Submit the paper yourself. You must already have a copy of the paper stored in your computer.  Click the icon in the “submit” column for the appropriate assignment. Navigate to the digital version of the paper. (If the student emailed the paper, you must first save the paper to your local computer. In Groupwise, right-click the attachment icon for the assignment, select “Save as…” then name the paper and save in a convenient drive and folder.)


       B. Have your students submit their own papers. Give them the url for Turnitin.com, the class account number, and the class password. They will set up their own student login accounts, then they will be guided to submit their papers electronically from their own computers. The setup procedure for students is almost identical to the procedure you followed to establish your account. They will select the “submit” icon for the appropriate assignment, navigate to the electronic version of their paper, and click the “Submit” button.


   4. To read students’ papers that were submitted electronically, select the paper title. The students’ names will appear next to their paper titles.


    5. To view an originality report for any paper, select the appropriate icon in the “report” column.

NOTE: you can also set up turnitin.com assignments through Blackboard.

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ORIGINALITY REPORTS

The Turnitin.com service compares student papers to several types of sources: student papers, "paper mills" (services that sell term papers), online books and journals, and internet sites. Any matches found will be highlighted in the originality report and linked to their original sources. Two views are available: “side-by-side” and “print version.” Compare both views to decide which works best for you.

It is up to the professor to determine whether or not plagiarism has occurred. Consider these points:


-- Has the highlighted text been properly cited? If so, this is not plagiarism. Even the best papers will probably have some quotations from other sources – as long as they are properly credited, that is not considered plagiarism.


-- How much of the paper has been copied from another source? If there are quotations sprinkled about, that’s normal. If major segments of the paper have been directly quoted from other sources, then there might be a problem.


-- Turnitin compares newly submitted papers to those already submitted. If a student submits their paper, then the professor re-submits it, the system will determine that the entire paper was copied. Be sure to check the sources provided in the originality report (use the side-by-side comparison) to make sure the problem has not resulted from duplicate submissions.


-- Please remember – although Turnitin’s database is extensive, it is not exhaustive. Many possible sources of information could be missed. A completely plagiarized paper could possibly slip through the system.


Ultimately, it is up to the professor to determine whether or not student work contains instances of plagiarism. Listen to your instincts, examine the student’s other work, and remember that Turnitin is only one tool in your professional arsenal.

As mentioned above, Turnitin provides its users with many helpful resources, including user manuals, training materials, research resources, and a virtual tour.  All are available through Turnitin's Training site.


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We are here to help you!

For more information, questions, or comments regarding the use of Turnitin.com, please contact:


Director of Distance Learning Library Services
Debbi Richard

Email Debbi
214-333-5225

 

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