(Last updated June 2016)

How to find your originality report

This video is a very quick walk through of the steps outlined below:

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  1. In the BIOL10000 unit, go to the Assessment/Submission area
  2. Click into the folder ‘Semester 1 Essay submission area – Plagiarism Detection Software Introduction for Students’
  3. Click on ‘View/complete’ for ‘DRAFT essay submission – semester 1’
  4. You will be given a plagiarism score under the heading Similarity. This will be a percentage score along with a coloured indicator. Click on the ‘View’ button to view the report.
  5. When your paper loads, click on the ‘Originality’ button in the top left corner of the screen.
  6. Plagiarism matches will show as coloured highlighting on your work and a column of matches on the right hand side.

How do I interpret the plagiarism report mean?

In a nutshell…

  • The percentage given is strictly a guideline only; there are no set rules as to what percentage is acceptable, therefore aim for 0%.
  • To avoid plagiarism you should not copy from other people’s work (this includes short sentences)
  • Do not use work you have previously submitted as this is self-plagiarism
  • Incorrectly quoting and referencing can be classed as plagiarism

Please note that the University also checks for collusion (students submitting similar pieces of work; this can happen when students work together), however this will not be detectable in the draft submission, only in the final submission. Please ensure that your work is your own and if you have worked together with peers, your work must be submitted in your own words.

Please read on for a more comprehensive guide to plagiarism and Turnitin originality reports.

The University of Manchester defines plagiarism as “the presentation of the ideas, work or words of other people without proper, clear and unambiguous acknowledgement. It also includes the submission, in whole or in part, of a student’s own work – ‘self-plagiarism’ – where, for example, such work may have been previously submitted for a different assessment”. You cannot gain marks twice for the same piece of writing!

Students who are found to have plagiarised work are subject to disciplinary action under University Regulation XVII.

Further information on plagiarism (and other forms of academic malpractice) can be found in your first year handbook.

Turnitin is a tool which checks a submission against an extensive database of sources which includes all public domain web resources including online journals as well as all other coursework submissions previously made. Please note that your draft essay will not be compared against your peers, however your final submission will be. Therefore similarities between essays done by the same group of students will not show up on the check of the draft, but only on the final submission – so if you all have similar titles be very careful indeed to write in your own words.

It is likely that nearly all pieces of submitted work will show some similarity to sources available to Turnitin, therefore the Faculty procedures for deciding how necessary it is to take disciplinary action are not solely be based on the score given by the plagiarism check..

The percentage similarity score given is the sum of all instances where sections of text are identical/very similar to previously published sources. Clear examples of plagiarism would be entire sentences or paragraphs which are identical or very similar, with added or changed words, to a published source.

The percentage score is broken down into 3 areas as shown below. ‘Internet sources’ indicates how much of your work is similar to internet sources such as websites. Publications indicates the similarity to scientific papers, and ‘Student papers’ indicates the similarity to work submitted by other students or to your own previously submitted work (submitting the same/very similar pieces of work twice is classed as self-plagiarism).

Using the graph buttons in the right hand corner of your report page you can chose to display the document in several different ways to suit you. The view shown here displays the matches in order of percentage match. The first result, for example, indicates that 66% of this document is identical to information on Wikipedia.

The main section of the screen shows the document. Highlighted in coloured sections with numbers are the parts of the document that have been identified as possibly plagiarised. The colours and numbers correspond to the left hand column where the sources of possible plagiarism have been listed.

Click for full-size image

NB This is an extreme example, just for illustration!It is recognised that when writing in a specialised area it is sometimes unavoidable that certain groups of words are very similar to other pieces of work on the same subject. If there are many examples of this in your report then you need to work harder to write in your own “voice”.

Please use the information to check your draft and make any alterations you feel are necessary to ensure that you have not plagiarised the material in your essay and are confident that you can avoid plagiarising in future submissions.

Once you are happy with your work, please submit it using the ‘FINAL essay submission’ link.

SBS – Interpretation of the Originality Report