Yale Center for Teaching and Learning

Teaching with Turnitin

Turnitin compares a student paper against a wide range of sources, and generates a report highlighting passages in the submitted paper that have phrasing similar to published material.

On this page, we organize resources to help faculty use Turnitin to improve student writing. As described below, Turnitin has only limited value as a plagiarism detector, and the incidence of plagiarism at Yale is generally quite low. But faculty and students can use Turnitin to see patterns of source use and misuse, and these patterns can help guide revised teaching, writing, and revision practices. If you use Turnitin in your courses, the university recommends that you announce this practice on your course syllabus (see below).

Please use the links below to learn more about using Turnitin. For technical information about adding Turnitin to your assignments in Canvas, please see our support article. Please contact us at askpoorvucenter@yale.edu if you have further questions.

(1) Turnitin Syllabus Statement

(2) Accessing Turnitin Reports

(3) Making Sense of Turnitin Reports

(4) Categories of Source Misuse, and How to Address Them

Published Sources Highlighted by Turnitin

Source Used without Attribution
Too-Close Paraphrase
Large Sections Copied Directly

Student Sources Highlighted by Turnitin

From Two Students in the Same Course
From a Student in a Different Yale Course
From a Student Paper from Another University
From a Paper this Student Has Submitted Before

(5) If You Do Suspect Plagiarism

(6) Teaching Strategies that Improve Source Use