Use Turnitin to Discourage/Prevent Student Plagiarism

UH Hilo is now subscribing to Turnitin, a very widely used online service that provides training for faculty and for students about avoiding plagiarism, and discourages plagiarism by providing instant electronic documentation of plagiarized material in student papers.

When an instructor is using the product to check for plagiarism, students submit their papers electronically through Turnitin, which compares every paper to a set of databases made up of the contents of the Internet, a collection of original work such as books, and all previous papers submitted in the past to Turnitin. A resulting “originality report” highlights questionable areas in each paper.

In March 2007, Turnitin reported that it was receiving 120,000 submissions per day. Hundreds of universities and colleges subscribe to Turnitin, and all submissions become part of the Turnitin reservoir, available for comparison with other submissions.

Your Syllabus. If you decide to use Turnitin, you need to include a statement about it in your syllabus.  Here is how one English professor puts it in his syllabus:

            "All work submitted, informal and formal, draft and finished must be your own.

            The University of Hawaii at Hilo uses a uses a very sophisticated plagiarism detection service called  In order to help you make sure that you are not inadvertently using sources incorrectly, I will ask you to submit your drafts and final submissions of all major papers to this service.

            While  is a very helpful tool, it’s not perfect, so if there are still questions of authorship, I will ask you to demonstrate that the writing is yours in other ways. If you are unable to provide proof of authorship, either with respect to content or with respect to style of writing,  I will assume the  writing is plagiarized. Consequently, you are required to keep all your notes, drafts, papers, etc. throughout the semester."

Opening your Turnitin account.

If you already have a UH Hilo Turnitin account, simply go to and login using your email address and your turnitin password.

For first-time users: To establish your own profile and account, you will need the institutional account number and password. To get this information, email Karla Hayashi ( using your official email account and this information will be provided. (We are not permitted to post this information on a publicly accessible website.)



You do not need to have a Turnitin account to view Instructor demonstration video 1.  It is about five minutes long with an overview of Turnitin services and a section that makes it very easy to add your course(s) and students to Turnitin.

This is a print version of the part of the quick-start video that explains how to add your course and students. It is worth downloading to your computer for reference.

•    Once instructors create a user profile, they will be asked if they want to
use the instructor startup wizard.  We recommend that all new users use
 the wizard to setup their first class and assignment.

•    Detailed instructions on how to use the service can be found at:

 The usage manuals provide detailed instructions for each Turnitin user
 type: Administrator, Instructor, and Student.  Individual subscribers
 should review both the administrator and instructor manuals.