During the year that Yale piloted Turnitin, discussions among faculty and administrators emphasized that the primary focus of using the software should be to help students become better writers and scholars—not a focus on catching students doing things wrong. Promoting this emphasis means that students must know when their papers will be viewed through Turnitin, and we suggest you announce this policy on your syllabus and not just when assigning papers.
You are welcome to use the sample announcement below in its entirety, or adapt it to suit your course and style.
Writing assignments in this course will be submitted to Turnitin via Canvas Assignments either directly by you, or by your instructor on your behalf. Turnitin generates a report on the originality of your writing by comparing it with a database of periodicals, books, online content, student papers, and other published work. This report can help you discern when you are using sources fairly, citing properly, and paraphrasing effectively—skills essential to all academic work.
I recommend that you submit your paper early enough to review your Turnitin report before the final due date. Then, if necessary, you will have time to ask for help from me, from your TF, or from someone at the Writing Center. The Poorvu Center website explains how to view your similarity report and provides a useful discussion on using sources in academic writing.