E-Learning Blog: Turnitin

Turnitin Overview

Turnitin is a widely-used tool among USF instructors.  The most popular function of Turnitin is the Originality Check.  The Originality Check compares submitted student papers to papers available in the Turnitin Repository in order to locate matches and similar text.  The repository contains a multitude of published professional and student papers and websites.  The Originality Check generates the results of the comparison and shares the results with the instructor in the form of an Originality Report that highlights sections of the paper that are similar to items in the repository and an overall score of the amount of text within the paper that was also located in another source.  This report allows instructors to quickly identify potential areas of student plagiarism as well as the sources used by students to formulate their written work.

Turnitin and Canvas Integration

At USF, Turnitin can be integrated into Canvas Assignments. The method of this integration changed slightly in December 2016.  If you are interested in utilizing Turnitin to generate an Originality Report for a set of student assignments, complete the following steps to enable Turnitin for a Canvas assignment:

  1. Create an assignment (or open an existing one) and click on EDIT
  2. Under “Submission Type”, select EXTERNAL TOOL
  3. A new search window expands. Click the FIND button without typing anything.
  4. Scroll down to find “Turnitin LTI” and click on it.
  5. Click the green SELECT button.
  6. Remember to click the green SAVE button at the bottom of the assignment settings.

A step by step video showing how to enable Turnitin in a Canvas assignment can be found at: Turnitin LTI Tool in Canvas

Adjust Turnitin Settings

Once you have saved your changes, you will be able to open your Assignment and view the following information:


If you would like to adjust specific settings within your Turnitin assignment, you can do so by clicking on the Settings link at the top of the screen.  Adjust the settings as needed to suit your needs for student work submissions.

Turnitin and Canvas Integration Limitations

As you set up assignments in Canvas with Turnitin, please keep in mind that there are a few limitations that you may encounter.  Review the Turnitin LTI limitations along with step by step instructions on the Canvas Guide: How do I create a Turnitin assignment?

In addition, detailed guides and manuals for using Turnitin can be found through their website: Turnitin