Understanding your similarity report and instructor comments in Turnitin

To retrieve your Turnitin report and instructor comments for a Turnitin assignment in Canvas, first go to your Grades. Then, select the Turnitin Assignment name. Once you have the assignment details page open, select the percentage score that you received from Turnitin (See Fig. 1).

Fig. 1, Turnitin Assignment Submission Details

Figure 1: Turnitin Assignment Submission Details

A PDF of your work will appear in the Turnitin Document Viewer (See Fig. 2).

Fig. 2, Student View of Turnitin Feedback Studio submission

Figure 2: Student View of Turnitin Feedback Studio submission

Icon legend

  1. Access the thumbnail bar   
  2. Show active layers   
  3. Grading layer   
  4. Access instructor feedback   
  5. Access the Match Overview   
  6. Similarity Index score   
  7. Show all sources identified in the Similarity Report   
  8. Filters and settings for Similarity Report   
  9. e-rater® layer   
  10. Access e-rater® feedback   
  11. Download the current view, a digital receipt or the originally submitted paper   
  12. View information about the submission   
  13. A grade, if it has been assigned


Select the black tab on the left-hand side of the screen to access the thumbnail bar, which allows you to navigate quickly from page to page (See Fig. 3).arrow pointing at tab used to open the thumbnail bar

Figure 3: Page navigation

Similarity report

Select the Similarity layer (No. 5 in Figure 2 above, in red) to access your Similarity Report.

Your Similarity Index score (No. 6 in Figure 2 above) will be displayed in red on the toolbar. The Similarity Index indicates how much of the text in your paper matches text found in the Turnitin database, which includes online journals, websites and submitted student work. The higher the similarity index, the greater the amount of text in your paper that matches sources found in the Turnitin database.

The Similarity Report will not only provide the similarity index as a summary, it will flag the specific passages that match sources in the database and indicate where the matching text is found. Select the source number to show the matching source (See Fig. 4).

Fig. 3, The Turnitin Similarity Report allows you to see where passages in your writing match sources found in the Turnitin database.Figure 4: The Turnitin Similarity Report allows you to see where passages in your writing match sources found in the Turnitin database.

Note: The Similarity Report is NOT a determination of whether plagiarism has occurred.

  • If your instructor has set up the assignment to allow you to view the Originality Report and revise your work before a final submission, use this information to check that you have paraphrased your work appropriately and cited your sources correctly. See the Plagiarism and Copyright page from University of Missouri Libraries for more help. Don’t forget that the Online Writery is a resource for you.
  • If you are receiving your Originality Report as part of your final grade, the determination of whether plagiarism has occurred is at your instructor’s discretion. If your instructor believes that you have plagiarized part of your paper, use this discussion as a springboard for learning how you can improve your paraphrasing and citation skills.

Feedback layer

Select the feedback layer (No. 3 in Figure 2 above, in blue) to view your instructor’s feedback for your paper.

e-rater feedback

If your instructor has enabled the e-rater for this paper, you will find purple comments alerting you to errors in grammar, mechanics, style and/or usage. Select hese comments to access a description of the error and information on avoiding that error in your writing (See Fig 5).highlighted section showing e-rater feedback

Figure 5: e-rater Feedback

If your instructor has inserted an inline comment, you will see a speech bubble icon where the comment appears.

Comment button

Select the speech bubble to open the comment (See Fig 6). Comments might also appear as inline text.

pop up comment box

Figure 6: inline comment

Downloading your Turnitin reports

Select the Download button (No. 11 in Figure 2) to download the current view, a digital receipt or the originally submitted paper (See Fig. 7).

  Fig. 7, active layers

Figure 7: active layers

For example, to download all reports, highlight the Grading layer (blue), the Similarity layer (red), and the e-rater® layer (purple), and then select the Download button and choose "Current View" (See Fig. 8).

Fig. 8, Download options

Figure 8: Download options

Your downloaded PDF file will contain your submitted paper with comments marked; at the end of the paper, you will find a summary of all comments.

Modified on: Tue, Jan 31, 2023 at 10:23 AM

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