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Turnitin supports these learning types (see definitions):


Turnitin helps detect plagiarism in written work. Turnitin integrates with Canvas, enabling students’ written work to be compared to existing online content, including the work of other students. A Similarity Report highlights text that is flagged for review.

Plagiarism Review

The simplest method to enable Turnitin is by selecting Plagiarism Review within Canvas Assignment settings. Students upload their documents to Canvas and Turnitin does the rest. Similarity Reports can be accessed through Canvas’ SpeedGrader.

In Canvas, create an Online Assignment – File Uploads

screenshot of Canvas' online assignment option

From the ‘Plagiarism Review’ dropdown menu, choose Turnitin.

Canvas screenshot showing the Assignment setting's Plagiarism Review drop-down set to Turnitin

 When you have selected Turnitin, more options will appear on screen. We recommend the following settings: Select ‘Store submissions in’ as Standard paper repository. Make you ‘Compare submissions against’: Student repository, Website content, Periodicals, journals and publications. The ‘Similarity Report’ should: Exclude bibliographic materials and quoted materials.

Canvas screenshot showing the options for Turnitin assignment submissions.

Finally, you can choose whether you want students to be able to see their ‘Similarity report’ immediately, delayed, or never. It is worth considering whether you want your students to be able to receive this feedback so they have the opportunity to correct the issues and resubmit during the assessment period, or if you do not want them to receive such feedback at all.

Canvas screenshot showing the Turnitin Similarity Report options

The Turnitin Similarity Report can be accessed through Canvas’ SpeedGrader when marking assignments.

External Tool (LTI)

This method may be a little more complex than Plagiarism Review, but it enables Turnitin’s additional features such as marking with Feedback Studio, Peermark or QuickMark.

When creating a Canvas Assignment, enable Turnitin through External Tool – an option within the assignment settings.

Canvas assignment settings - external tool

Use the Find button to search for Turnitin.

Canvas external tool list showing turn it in

Turnitin LTI – External tool settings for marking assignments

There are some additional settings that you should consider to avoid releasing marks before the final grades are allowed to be published to students.

  • Muting a Turnitin assignment in the Canvas Gradebook will only prevent marks from being released to students on Canvas.
  • Marks and feedback given on Turnitin will be visible to students unless staff has set a “Feedback release date” in the assignment’s Turnitin settings.
  • Staff would need to check and set the “Feedback release date” – exam marks are usually officially released two weeks after the end of the last examination.

Turnitin LTI for setting feedback release date in marking Canvas assignments

View a printable version of the instructions for setting up Turnitin as an External Tool assignment.

How-to guides

Frequently asked questions

What is a Similarity Report?

This helps markers determine whether work submitted by a student is original. It identifies matches to written content from Turnitin databases, which also include other student submissions.

Students upload their document to a Canvas Assignment with Turnitin enabled. This is matched against the repository to generate a similarity ‘score.’ Settings chosen at the time the assignment was created influence the type of report generated.

Instructors can choose whether or not students may view their Similarity Report. Reports generated can be downloaded and may form part of the process of investigation into academic misconduct.

Can I use Turnitin outside of Canvas?

Yes, you can use directly, however, please note that you are asked to ensure that your Turnitin account uses your University of Auckland staff email address. The reason is described in this .

What if I don't have access to Turnitin as an instructor?

This FAQ relates to those using Turnitin outside of canvas, i.e.,

Please note that staff are asked to ensure that your Turnitin account uses your University of Auckland staff email address. This is because Turnitin will soon use the University’s Single Sign-On to log in; a security requirement for all major University applications. To update your email address in Turnitin, follow the steps in this .

Staff with an academic role or a teaching related role (group services, learning designer, learning technologist) have already been added to as an instructor and shouldn’t notice any difference once the tool uses Single Sign-On. Anyone not in these roles—who need to use as an instructor—should ask the  to add you to the Turnitin instructor group.

This change does not affect current Turnitin assignment integrations within Canvas, i.e., Plagiarism Review or External Tool.

Page updated 04/09/2023 (added FAQs)

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