How to Use TurnItIn at the ASC
Frequently Asked Questions about Using TurnItIn at the Academic Success Centre
What is TurnItIn?
It's an online tool that you and your instructor can use to check for plagiarism in the content of your written work. You create your own TurnItIn account and you add courses to your account by using the class ID and enrollment keys that your instructors and the Academic Success Centre provide.
Why should I use TurnItIn?
Some of your instructors will require you to use it (and they will have it set up as part of the course, perhaps through Blackboard). But it's also beneficial for you to use it on your own even if your instructors don't make it part of the assignment. For example, you might want to use it as part of a group project so that you all have a way of double-checking the authenticity of each others' contributions. Or you could use it as a way of checking your own ability to paraphrase and use quotations effectively and honestly.
How often can I use TurnItIn?
You can submit one document three times and receive an instant Similarity Report each time. After that, you will be required to wait for 24 hours for your next report. You can submit a different document during that time but it will still take 24 hours to receive a report.
How much does it cost to use?
It's FREE! (usually....) UFV has made TurnItIn available to all UFV students to use free of charge. However, usage must be connected to a course that an instructor sets up in the TurnItIn system. This means that typically you would not be able to use it for free if an instructor hadn't made it available to you through a course. That is why the Academic Success Centre has created its own TurnItIn account that can be used by any UFV student at any time! By accessing the ASC TurnItIn "course" called Academic Integrity Matters at UFV, you can use TurnItIn for free yourself anytime even if your instructor doesn't require you to do so.
I want to try TurnItIn, but I don't want to use my real name. Is that okay?
Yes, it is. You can submit anonymously by not using your own name when you create your account and also by not including a cover page with your name on it when you upload your document.
What happens to my paper after I use the ASC TurnItIn?
The ASC has set up its TurnItIn course so that your paper is not added to the larger repository of written work that makes up the TurnItIn database. If your paper is added to the database, it becomes part of the pool of written work that any submission is compared to (that's a good thing because the larger the database, the more confident you and your instructor can be about the results). The ASC opted out of this for any submissions to the Academic Integrity Matters at UFV course for one main reason: We want to give students a chance to check their papers before they are officially submitted to their instructors. If the submission to the ASC course is added to the database, then the official submission to the instructor would be flagged as highly plagiarized because it matches a paper (your own!) that has become part of the database of previous submissions.
Who can see the paper that I submit using the ASC TurnItIn account?
The only people besides yourself who can see what you submit are the administrative staff of the Academic Success Centre (the Coordinator and the Learning Strategist). We have the same role and level of access as your instructors do in the TurnItIn accounts for their own courses.
Will you give me any feedback or help with my paper?
We're happy to connect you with a tutor to discuss how to improve your paper and avoid plagiarism, but generally we will wait for you to ask for that help. We will not be routinely looking though the submissions and contacting students who use this service. We will be gathering some statistical information about the number and type of submissions we receive in order to evaluate and improve our services.
Will TurnItIn correct my errors for me?
No, but it will flag words and phrases that are problematic. In addition to flagging plagiarism, TurnItIn can also help you identify errors in grammar, usage, and spelling. It won't give you the correction, but often just having your attention drawn to a problem is enough for you to begin solving it yourself. And remember that you can always consult with a tutor at the ASC if you can't figure out some of the information TurnItIn is giving you.
How do I find and use the grammar checker in TurnItIn?
When TurnItIn gives you your feedback, it creates a list of icons on your page. One of these icons looks like a stack of papers and has the letters ETS in the box. If you click that icon, you are given the "e-rater Results" which is the feedback on grammar, mechanics, style, usage, and spelling. On your paper itself, you will see words and phrases highlighted with a tag identifying the type of problem (ex. Article Error, Sp., Proofread, etc.). Clicking on the error label gives you a pop-up window with more detailed explanation and suggestions.
My prof requires us to use TurnItIn before submitting an assignment. Can I use the ASC TurnItIn to do this?
No. You are welcome to use the ASC TurnItIn at any time for any written work, but doing so will not submit your assignment to your instructor. You must take care to use your instructor's course in TurnItIn for any submissions related to your course work. (And, if you are using your instructor's TurnItIn to check your work, remember that you also need to submit it through Blackboard or whatever method your instructor has specified.)
How is the ASC TurnItIn different from the one my prof uses?
It's not different in how you use it; it is only different in why you might choose to use it as described in some of the information above.
Is there anything else I should know?
Yes. You should be aware that Turnitin servers reside in the United States. Accordingly, UFV suggests that you use an anonymous identity in your interactions with Turnitin. Students who have concerns about the Turnitin tool should consult with their instructor in advance of any submission deadline.