Yale Center for Teaching and Learning

Writing with Turnitin

An image of a dictionary with a close-up on the word "citation"

Many student writers struggle to balance their own ideas with those of their sources. The Poorvu Center discussion of Using Sources, as well as our various tutoring services, can help you improve this balance, beginning long before the assignment is handed out.

But when you have a nearly finished draft, Turnitin can help identify places in the paper where the sources are crowding out your voice. By comparing your paper against a wide range of sources that have been published electronically, Turnitin generates a similarity report that highlights passages in the submitted paper that have phrasing similar to published material.

On this page, we organize resources to help students use Turnitin to improve their writing. You can use Turnitin to see patterns of source use and misuse, and these patterns can help guide revised writing and revision practices. Please use the links below to learn more about using Turnitin, and contact us at askpoorvucenter@yale.edu if you have further questions.

(1) Accessing Your Similarity Report

(2) Making Sense of Turnitin Reports

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

Unattributed Sources and Multiple Submission (Self-Plagiarism)
Too-Close Paraphrase
Strategies for Paraphrase

Strategy 1: Set the Source Aside
Strategy 2: Condense
Strategy 3: Replace Jargon
Strategy 4: Emphasize Your Argument
Strategy 5: Revise Syntax

(4) Writing Strategies that Improve Source Use

(5) Turnitin Feedback