Similarity Score

The color of the report icon indicates the similarity score of the paper, based on the amount of matching or similar text that was uncovered. The percentage range is 0% to 100% The possible similarity indices are:

Blue: No matching text

Green: One word to 24% matching text

Yellow: 25-49% matching text

Orange: 50-74% matching text

Red: 75-100% matching text

If the figure is high, it does not necessarily mean that the student plagiarised as the report could be text matching against the following:

• Quotations that have been correctly referenced
• Poorly paraphrased
• Bibliography, where the citations used could be exactly the same as another student
• A common phrase or series of words used in context to the topic

There is no set number for Instructors to look for. A main reason for that is on the assignment type. For example, in a literature review, students will have to read and quote from several sources, but in a lab report, it is expected to be all the students work. You would expect to see a higher amount of similarities in the literature review than in the lab report.

Turnitin does not check to see if a piece of work is plagiarized or not. They check student’s work against their database, and if there are instances where a student’s writing is similar, or matches against one of their sources, they will flag this for your review.

If a student is using quotes or referencing correctly, there will be instances where they will find a match. The Originality Report simply allows instructors to be aware of any problem areas in a paper. Instructors will use this as a tool as part of a larger process, in order to determine if the match is or is not acceptable.

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