How do I read the Turnitin Similarity Report?

You will learn how to read the Turnitin Similarity Report in your Turnitin assignment. Use the Similarity Report after your students have submitted their paper using the Turnitin assignment to obtain a quick, simple guide which can give you clues as to the sources of the student's work. In order to have a Similarity Report generated for each student, you must set up your Turnitin assignment.

Turnitin assignment link is selected.

2. The Turnitin Assignment Inbox will display.

To the far-right of each student's name, you will see a colored circle.

Turnitin Assignment Inbox

3. Identify the meaning of the color of the report icon.

The color of the report icon is linked to one of five tiers of the Similarity Index. This is based on the amount of matching text found by the repository comparison. The possible similarity index percentage ranges are linked to a corresponding color:

  • blue (no matching text)
  • green (one matching word to 24% similarity index)
  • yellow (25-49% similarity index)
  • orange (50-74% similarity index)
  • red (75-100% similarity index)

The overall similarity index and the corresponding color scaling of the icons provides a basic indication of how much information contained in a specific submission is matched to other sources in the Turnitin repository. This number is a raw amount of matching done against the repositories selected for the assignment the submission was made to. Direct quotation, citations, or bibliography areas of the paper are not automatically excluded. The decision to permanently exclude or disregard matches to these types of text in a paper is made solely by the instructor of the class.

the report icon.

4. Click on the colored circle to view the Similarity Report.

You can click on the title of the paper, the pencil icon, or the colored circle.

Colored circle link selected

5. The Turnitin Feedback Studio window will open.

If you do not see the newly opened window you may need to disable your web browser's pop-up blocker for this site. The Turnitin Feedback Studio displays the original student work in the left-hand pane and the Similarity Report can be expanded to show more details.  

Feedback Studio window

6. Click on the Match Overview icon

Match Overview button selected

7. Examine the Match Overview display.

The Similarity Report will show the Match Overview by default.  

The Match Overview (show highest matches together) is a list of all areas of the paper which have similarity to text in the repositories the paper is being compared with. By default, the student work is compared to the:

  • Student paper repository
  • Current and archived web site content, and
  • Periodicals, journals and publications.

The repository choices can be adjusted using the Optional settings in Turnitin.

Matches are numbered, color-coded, and listed from highest to lowest percentage of matching text to the submission. Only the top or best matches are shown, all underlying matches are visible in the "Match Breakdown" and "All Sources" modes.

Match Overview

8. Click on the arrow to view the Match Breakdown.

 Match Breakdown.

9. View the Match Breakdown.

The student paper will scroll to where there is a text match for this source. The original source will show in context. Match Breakdown displays matches that are obscured by a top source, and allows instructors to compare the match instance of an underlying source with the match instance for a top source.

Match Breakdown. (2)

10. Click on Full Source View.

 Full Source View.

11. The Full Source Text will display if available.

Full Source Text

12. Click on the X on the right to return to Match Overview mode.

X is selected
source link selected

14. The source displays (in this case a website).

source website

Article Summary

You have now learned how to view the Similarity Report in your Turnitin assignment.

Here are some resources regarding plagiarism prevention: