Turnitin | Turnitin® Originality check settings

When Originality check in Turnitin® is enabled for a Brightspace assignment it is possible to adjust the settings for how the submissions will be qualitatively evaluated in the system. These settings are optional, but can be adjusted to the needs of the lecturer or the assignment at hand.

Default Turnitin® Originality Check settings

By enabling Turnitin for your Brightspace assignment, you can adjust the settings of the Originality Check. In the table below you can find a general explanation for each setting that you are able to adjust.

Turnitin® Originality Check settings

What is it?
Submission settings
Allows to adjust the type of file to be accepted for submission, how and where the file will be submitted in the Turnitin system
Compare against
Allows to adjust against what content the submitted file will be compared 
Similarity report
Allows to adjust whether and how a similarity report will be generated
Exclude assignment template
Allows to provide the system with a template to be excluded from similarity check for an assignment that uses a template for submissions
Additional settings
Allows to save settings for future use

By default, the Turnitin® Originality Check settings for each Brightspace assignment are as pictured below:

1.Submission settings, 2. Compare against, 3. Similarity Report, 4. Exclude assignment tempalte

1. General submission settings

The submission settings allow you to decide against what resources the student's submission will be checked against. The table below provides the available options that can be selected and the description, respectively.

Storing of the submission Description Default option
Standard paper repository
Student papers will be checked against other institutions' student submissions. Selected
Institution paper repository

The assignment will only be available for comparison against other students' submissions within the institution.  

The papers will still be compared against all of the Turnitin databases you have selected.

NOT Selected
Do not store the submitted papers
A Similarity Report will still be generated for paper submissions, but your students' papers will not be stored in the Turnitin standard paper repository or the institution's paper repository for future comparison.
NOT Selected

Tick box: Enable Translated Matching. Turnitin will create a report based on English translations of students’ non-English submissions like Dutch, German, French and many more.

Source: Turnitin

2. Comparison settings of the submitted file

For each Brightspace assignment with Turnitin enabled you can set what repositories will be used for checking the similarity of the student's submission. When a new Brightspace assignment is created and the Turnitin is enabled, all repositories are selected by default.

If no repository is selected the Similarity score will be 0%

The currently available search targets are:  Description Default option
Student paper repository
Student works previously submitted in classes and assignments on Turnitin. Selected
Institution student paper repository
 A private repository of student papers unique to your institution.

Current and archived web site content
a repository of archived and live publicly available internet pages containing billions of pages of existing content and tens of thousands of new pages added daily.
Periodicals, journals, & publications
Third party periodical, journal, and publication content including many major professional journals, periodicals, and business publications.

Source: Turnitin

3. Similarity report settings

In this section you can choose how the similarity report will be generated and select what will be excluded from the similarity check. In the tables below you can find more details on each option and which setting is a default setting.

Report generation Description Default option
Generate reports immediately (students cannot resubmit)

Submissions must be deleted by the instructor to enable resubmission. Selected

Generate reports immediately (students can resubmit until due date): After 3 resubmissions, reports generate after 24 hours

Similarity Reports for the initial submission, and the next three resubmissions, will generate immediately.
NOT Selected
Generate reports on due date (students can resubmit until due date)
Similarity Reports will not be generated for any submission until the due date and time of the assignment. Students may resubmit as many times as needed until the due date and time without receiving reports.
NOT Selected

Source: Turnitin

If the assignment is set to accept any file type Turnitin will only generate Similarity Reports for the following file types:

Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, WordPerfect, PostScript, PDF, HTML, RTF, OpenOffice (ODT), Hangul (HWP), Google Docs (submitted via the Google Drive submission option), plain text files.

For more check Turnitin - Accepted file types and sizes.

Exclusion options Description Default option

Exclude bibliographic materials

Select whether you would like text appearing in the bibliography, works cited, or references sections of assignments to be excluded from being checked for matches in the Similarity Index when generating Similarity Reports. (source: Turnitin)
NOT Selected

Exclude quoted materials

Select whether you would like text appearing in the quotes of an assignment to be excluded from being checked for matches in the Similarity Index when generating Similarity Reports. (source: Turnitin)
NOT Selected
Exclude small sources The exclude small sources feature works by excluding sources in the source list that are below a set word count or percentage threshold.  With this feature, you have greater control over sifting out smaller sources, allowing you to focus on larger, more problematic and suspect sources within Similarity Reports. (source: Turnitin)
NOT Selected

Furthermore, you can select whether you want your students to see the Similarity report (Allow students to view Similarity Reports).

4. Additional settings


Turnitin in its advanced settings also offers an option where you can upload or create a template of text to be automatically excluded from the Similarity Report.

Note that the template can not be uploaded or edited if there has already been submissions in the assignment.


The last option given in the advanced Turnitin settings is whether you would like the current setting to be remembered by the system or not. If you decide to save these new advanced settings as your default for the future, all Brightspace assignment you create and enable Turnitin for them with have these newly adjusted advanced settings as default.

Leave the box Save these settings for future use unselected to only use the new advanced settings for the current Brightspace assignment.

5. Turnitin AI detection

Turnitin has launched AI detection functionality and now it is possible to view the percentage of AI generated text in the similarity report. When you enable Turnitin for the Brightspace assignment, the percentage for the AI generated text will be automatically presented in the similarity report therefore you don't have to do anything to activate this feature.

When you click on the Similarity report percentage on the Submission page, you will land in a Turnitin feedback studio. On the ride side of the page there is a side panel where you can find the percentage for AI generated text.

However, it is good to be aware that Turnitin can misidentify both human and AI-generated text, so it should not be used as the sole basis for adverse actions against a student.

Visit the following link to learn more about this functionality and FAQs for Turnitins AI writing detection : Turnitin's AI writing detection capabilities


Now you know about the Turnitin® Originality Check settings for a Brightspace Assignment!