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Understand your similarity report

Once you have submitted an assignment using Turnitin, a similarity report is generated. This can be viewed by both you and your tutor.  

To view the similarity report for your assignment, select the assignment you wish to view and click Launch. Click either the Paper Title or Similarity. This will take you to the similarity report. Open similarity report

1. Similarity score

similarity report small

The Similarity Score represents the percentage of your writing that is similar to something found on the internet, in the Turnitin databases, or in someone else’s paper. Similarity does not mean that this work is plagiarized. Consider your use of quotations, citations, and bibliographic material when reviewing this number. Contact your school or tutor if you have any concerns about your Similarity Score. 

You can use the filters available in the Similarity Insights Panel to strategically exclude citations, quotes, or bibliographic information from affecting your score. 

1.1. What is a reasonable similarity score? 

There is no fixed number to receive as a score in your Turnitin Similarity Report. Consult your tutor for details on your school’s acceptable threshold for assignments. 

  • A high Similarity Score means that very little of you paper is your own writing. 
  • Zero similarity means that you aren’t including any source-based evidence, a requirement for many assignments. 
  • Some similarity is usually expected. 

2. Similarity insights panel

The Similarity Insights Panel is the second, red panel down the right-hand side of your report. 

Image of match overview student

Match Overview – shows the overall Similarity Score and the list of sources that match a student’s writing, listed from greatest to least. The colours in this list match the colours highlighted in the your writing. There are also flags with numbers that correlate to the list on the right-hand side. This list indicates where a match has been found. To view the original source, click on the link in the menu, and a pop-up will appear. 

All Sources – shows a breakdown of the sources that match the text in a student’s paper. 

Filters and Settings – excludes certain information like citations, quotes, or bibliographic information from a student’s score. Settings are usually controlled by your instructor when they set up the assignment. If quotations are being highlighted within your text, speak with your tutor about the filters and settings for the assignment. 

Filters and settings

You can download your Similarity Report by clicking the Download button (highlighted below). You can opt to download the report in it’s current view, as a digital receipt or the originally submitted file. 

Downloading similarity report

3. What can I do with the information in my report?

The information in your Similarity Report should help you make decisions about how to improve your writing, whether that is in later drafts of the same assignment or on future assignments. If you have the opportunity to revise your writing based on your Similarity Score, consider the following: 

  • Choose only the most significant quotes or parts of quotes to include from your sources
  • Summarise, paraphrase or explain an idea in your own words rather than quoting it directly
  • Cite all of your evidence using the appropriate citation style

Please speak to your school or tutor if you have any concerns about your Similarity Report. 

Updated on 15/02/2022

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