Yale Center for Teaching and Learning

Writing with Turnitin

Turnitin is a tool to help faculty and students develop and evaluate written scholarship. It estimates the originality of written work so students can properly reference source material. The tool generates a “similarity report” by comparing an uploaded paper to a database of web pages, articles, books, and other uploaded files. 

In courses where the instructor has turned on Turnitin review, most students will be able to view their similarity report through the Grades function on Canvas. See the Help Guide for more information.

Beginning the week of September 8, students whose instructors are not using Turnitin can access the service in consultation with the Poorvu Center. Yale College students can schedule an appointment for a Turnitin consultation online, submit their work before the appointment via the scheduling system, and then work with a tutor in the Writing Center to discuss the results of their Turnitin similarity report. Turnitin tutoring takes place during limited hours and only by appointment—students cannot see a drop-in Writing Partner or a Residential College Writing Tutor to obtain a similarity report. Students cannot retrieve their own report. 

Note: Graduate or professional school students, please visit the GWL webpage to learn how to access Turnitin.

Signing up for an appointment:

Appointments for Turnitin tutoring can be made via WC online. The current schedule is Sun 1-3pm, Tue 6-8pm, and Fri 1-3pm. After scheduling an appointment, a student will receive an email that explains how to submit a paper for analysis. When the student arrives at their appointment, the tutor will access the report and discuss the results with the student. Students are limited to one appointment per week, and may not bring the same paper back for a second appointment.

Other ways to learn about using sources:

The Poorvu Center website includes a thorough discussion of using sources in academic papers. Students may also work with a Residential College Writing Tutor or drop-in Writing Partner on using sources without first getting a Turnitin report. We encourage students to take the Plagiarism Quiz, which both tests knowledge and also teaches students more about using sources. And students should always talk to their instructors about their specific expectations for using sources in papers.