How to use Turnitin to improve your work

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What is Turnitin?

Turnitin is an online platform that identifies similarities between a submitted text and pre-existing online text. It provides a link to the original text and also calculates the percentage of the submitted text that is similar to other texts.

How does GIHE use Turnitin?

All student work that is assessed is submitted via a Turnitin link on the course Moodle page. Faculty are able to download a report for each piece of student work which highlights text which is similar to already existing text. The report contains details of the original source of similar text and provides a percentage of similar text contained in the submitted work. Faculty then consider whether the text displaying similarity is not problematic (a direct quotation contained in quotation marks, a piece of common knowledge, a definition, statistical data) or is problematic (plagiarism – copy pasted text with no referencing, presenting other people’s work as your own). If the faculty considers that there is evidence of plagiarism in the student’s work then they report the suspected breach to the Academic Misconduct panel who investigate further, meet the student or students involved, decide whether there has been a breach of academic integrity and the appropriate sanction.

How does Turnitin work?

“Turnitin’s software takes what a student submits, and we compare it to a massive database of content, including internet, academic, and student paper content, and we look for similarities. We report those similarities with a percentage, the percentage of the work submitted by the student that is similar to the content in our databases. In the report, a student or educator can dig into the details to see what, exactly, is matching, and how much.”


How can I use Turnitin to improve my work?

Upload draft versions of your work before the submission deadline. Check the turnitin report which is generated and make the necessary changes: improve paraphrasing, use quotation marks to enclose direct quotations or definitions, make sure all paraphrases and quotations are correctly referenced using APA7.

What do I need to do to create excellent work for assessment?

Start early

Organize and schedule your time to start working on your project a long time before the final submission deadline. Schedule enough individual study time to research, discuss your ideas with your classmate and faculty, write, and revise your work before submitting it.

 Identify exactly what you have to do

Read the project outline carefully in order to know exactly what you have to achieve in detail. Look at project learning outcomes so that you know exactly what you have to demonstrate what you have learnt by doing the project. Read the task method section which gives you details of the length and structure of the work you have to produce. Study the grading rubric which you will find on the project outline to ensure that you are meeting all of the project requirements and grading criteria. If you carry out these steps, you will be well on the way to producing an excellent piece of work!

 Use quality sources

 The quality of your work depends on the quality of the source material you use to build your argument and to support your points. You should use the most up to date, relevant objective sources you can. By basing your work on the work of famous, recognized experts in the field you will increase the validity and authority of your own work.

 Paraphrase information

 When using information from sources, put it into your own words and cite the source properly. Avoid copying and pasting or simply changing a few words. There are several reasons for paraphrasing:

  1. By paraphrasing sufficiently you are producing original work in your own authorial voice for which you can receive credit and you are able to transform the original text to suit your purpose (writing a project, preparing an oral presentation) which is usually a different type of text compared to your source material.
  2. In order to paraphrase, you need to process the information in your brain. This processing leads to memorization and learning – Paraphrasing means you learn more and more deeply.
  3. By paraphrasing and citing, you draw the readers’ attention to the fact that you have used top quality sources which in turn increases your authority.

 Reference correctly

 You need to acknowledge or give credit to the sources you use by including an intext citation next to your paraphrase and a full reference in an end of text reference list. The referencing style used at GIHE is APA 7th  edition (APA7).

 Do not use AI or automatic translators

 Avoid using generative AI (for example Chat GPT) or automatic translators (for example, DeepL  or Google Translate) as they may not be accurate, they do not produce original text they and can lead to accusations of plagiarism. Instead, write your own original text in English, basing your ideas on the work of human experts. This is how you learn, how you will improve your grades and how you will get the full value from your GIHE education. Being able to produce your own original work is a valuable skill for your future career as a successful business leader.

For more information, see:

Learn more about paraphrasing

American Psychological Association. (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.), section 8.2 Plagiarism, pp. 254-55.

American Psychological Association. (n.d). Plagiarism.