Magoosh GRE

How Turnitin Works

| April 30, 2012 | 1 Comment

Turnitin is the leading plagiarism detection software that is used by universities across the UK and the US. The software provides “originality checking” to detect plagiarism in essays and dissertations by scanning student’s essays against a vast database of over 20 billion pages of digital content, over 220 million essays and papers, and more than 110,000 professional, academic and commercial journals and publications.

When you submit an essay to your university for examination, the university will submit your essay through this extensive Turnitin database. This will then scan your essay against this extensive database to see whether or not parts of your essay are identified as being copied from a pre-existing source.

The actual analysis takes seconds, and once completed – an originality report is created which will highlight any section of your essay that has been detected as plagiarised or from another source.

Any essay with a similarity rate of more than about 10% will be investigated as a suspect of plagiarism. While there are a number of perfectly legitimate reasons for a paper receiving a high similarity rating (for example, a properly cited paper with numerous references may show a high similarity), a high similarity rating suggests that an essay contains a large amount of improperly referenced, and therefore plagiarised, work.

There are many ways to prevent against plagiarism in your work, from proper referencing to correct paraphrasing. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when checking your essay for plagiarism. When in doubt about whether or not you are fringing on having plagiarism in your work, ask your tutor for help. You can also make use of websites such as and to help check your essay to ensure that you are not inadvertently plagiarising someone else’s work.

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Category: Dissertation Writing Guide

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