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Turnitin is an originality checking service available to students at the University of Plymouth. It is provided as a tool to help you develop best practice for using and citing other people's work. It can help you develop your academic writing skills over time by highlighting opportunities for improvement in areas such as referencing and paraphrasing. When you submit a document to Turnitin it will check it against thousands of online sources such as websites, journal articles and in some cases against other student work in Plymouth or other Universities.

At the University of Plymouth, you will have access to use Turnitin via our online submission tool within Moodle, our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). You will have the opportunity to use Turnitin multiple times within each submission to allow you to utilise the information on your originality report to improve your work each time and develop your academic writing.

Academic integrity

It is important to continually develop your academic practice throughout your time at University. An important part of this is to ensure you maintain academic integrity in all the work you produce and prevent the chance of plagiarism or academic misconduct. Academic integrity includes ensuring your work is accurate and honest, and that you have given credit where it is due by ensuring the work of others is correctly quoted, paraphrased, referenced and not misrepresented as your own. 

Turnitin is one technology that can help you maintain academic integrity and improve your academic writing by the information given in the originality report, which you will receive when your work is submitted electronically. The originality report highlights where you can make improvements where you may have poorly quoted or paraphrased another person's work unintentionally and allows you a chance to learn from it and rectify it.

View our Academic Integrity e-Learning

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Originality reports

Once your work has been checked by Turnitin you will receive two things: 

  • A similarity index: this is a percentage score, and this identifies the amount of your work that has been matched to online sources.
  • An originality report: this report will give you the detail behind your percentage score and will break it down for you. The report will enable you to look at which specific parts of your work match to which text sources online using a simple colour coding method.

Current students can learn more about using Turnitin originality reports in our student help guidance.

Turnitin originality report - credit to

Additional resources

Study guides

A range of study guides have been created by Learning Development to support writing development and develop critical thinking.


The Library have a suite of resources for referencing, including why referencing is important, which style you should use and most importantly, how to reference accurately.

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