Page Content

  1. Account Setup
  2. Expanded Services (GradeMark and PeerMark)
  3. Student Enrollment into a Class
  4. Paper Submissions
  5. Viewing Assignments
  6. Evaluating Originality Reports

Account Setup

Q: Who is allowed to set up a Turnitin instructor account?

A: Only Penn State instructors and staff who teach a bona fide Penn State course may create accounts at Turnitin. Assistants can be added to an instructor via the Master Course option. This allows both the instructor and assistant to access Turnitin material.

Requests for accounts relating to other academic purposes may be granted on a case by case basis. Students cannot be given access to Turnitin independent of their instructor or adviser.

Q: How is an instructor account created?

Many accounts are created automatically. See details on the Get Started page.

Q: Is it possible to add a TA to an instructor account?

A: Yes, it is possible to add a TA to a class or classes by creating a master class. To create a master class, follow the steps for creating a class, but select “master class” instead of “standard class” from the pull down menu.

Assignments can be added to the master class homepage and are then available to all of the sections of the master course. See TAs and Master Classes for more informaiton.

Q: I followed the instructions to activate an instructor account, but can’t see the instructor tools.

If you were enrolled in Turnitin as a student in the past, then you have both student and instructor access. When you log in, you will need to change the student option to instructor.

Note: This scenario can happen to graduate students or to anyone who enrolled themselves as a student within a course for testing purposes.


Expanded Services (GradeMark and PeerMark)

Q: Does Turnitin include access to GradeMark, eRater grammar checking and PeerMark?

Yes. As of July 2013, these services were added to the Penn State Turnitin account along with the original Originality Check report. All instructors have access to these services.

Q: How do instructors access these services?

All instructor accounts include access to all three main Turnitin services for both new accounts and previously existing accounts. No extra steps are needed beyond the initial account setup.

Q: How can instructors learn more?

The GradeMark & PeerMark page in the Get Started section has a QuickStart Guide and links to other help sources.

Q: Clicking the student’s paper title in the assignment area no longer shows the Originality Report. Where is it now?

The reports viewer now defaults to the GradeMark (blue) tab. Click the Originality (red) tab to view the Originality Report.

Q: Can instructors use Turnitin GradeMark or PeerMark WITHOUT the Originality Report option?

Yes. Instructors can disable the Originality Check when creating an assignment in the Assignment Options area.

Q: Can the rules of the eRater Grammar Checker be modified?

Not at this time, although instructors can select from a variety of rule sets in the Assignment Options area. The eRater tool can be disabled in the Assignment Options area if desired.

Q: Can GradeMark comments and rubrics be exported between courses? How about PeerMark questions?

Yes. Once a GradeMark rubric or comment set is created in one course, it is available to all courses taught by the same instructor. Instructors can click the Libraries tab in their account to see a list of these items.

The same is true for PeerMark questions.

Q: Can GradeMark comments and rubrics be shared with other instructors?

Yes. Both tools include an export option which downloads a file. If you give that file to another instructor, he or she can upload the file into any course. Once uploaded, it will be available in the instructor’s Library.

Note: There is no export tool available for PeerMark Questions.

Q: Can instructors log in with the Turnitin Grade Anywhere iPad app?

Unfortunately, the new app is not integrated with Penn State single sign on, so Penn State instructors are not able to use the application at this time.

As an alternative, instructors can log in via and use some Turnitin services on the Safari or other mobile browser. Supported services there include class and assignment set up, basic review of Originality Reports and basic review of past graded assignments.

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Student Enrollment into a Class

Q: How are students enrolled into a Turnitin class?

A: Students are enrolled into Turnitin classes created by instructors. There are two options to enroll Students students into a class.

Option 1 (Student Self Enrollment) – Instructors can give the class ID and enrollment password (NOT the Penn State Turnitin ID and password for creating an account) to students and have them enroll themselves. The class ID and password are created when an instructor creates a Turnitin class.

Option 2 (Upload Roster) – Instructors can upload a roster file from ANGEL or another source.

Q: Is there a limit to the number of students that can be enrolled in a Turnitin class?

A: There is no limit to the number of students enrolled in a single class, however, Turnitin limits the number of students that can be uploaded at one time to 100 names. For classes with more than 100 students, multiple student lists can be uploaded.

There is also a limit of one instructor per class, regardless of class size. If you need to split a course across multiple instructors or assistants, a master course can be used to create multiple course sections.

Q: I forgot my class id number and enrollment password. How can I access this information?

A: See information below for different scenarios.

  • Students and TAs should contact the instructor for the code and password information.
  • Instructors can log in to and view the list of courses. The class id is the number listed before the course title.

    To view the enrollment password, click the edit link (gear icon) after class name to view your class enrollment password. Follow the same procedure for TA passwords for sections in a master class.
    Note: Instructors can change your enrollment password by updating a class or section. To update a section password, click the edit icon for the appropriate section of the master course.


Paper Submissions

Q: How do students submit papers?

A: Instructors first create a course with at least one assignment. Once a student is enrolled in a course, he or she can upload a paper into a particular assignment. Instructions for students are available.

Assignments can also be uploaded from an exported ANGEL dropbox if the instructor desires.

Q: What kinds of text files can be uploaded into Turnitin?

A: Turnitin allows upload of the following text-file formats
MS Word, HTML, WordPerfect, RTF, PDF, plain text, and PostScript.

Image files can be uploaded and assessed if they are embedded in a Word or PDF file.

Q: Can instructors submit papers to Turnitin from ANGEL?

A: The Turnitin plugin for ANGEL is not activated at Penn State. Instructors can download the contents of an ANGEL Dropbox and upload the contents into Turnitin.

Q: Can students submit drafts to be checked in the Originality Report?

A: Yes. Instructors should create an assignment for each draft. In the Optional Settings, instructors should set the "Submit papers to:" field to no repository. For the final paper, instructors should create a new assignment and let the check run as the instructor normally would. See detailed instructions at


Viewing Assignments

Q: How do instructors view the items submitted to a class?

A: To access the assignment inbox, from within a class, click View link next to the name of the assignment for which you want to view.

  • Click the name of the paper to view all reports. The view will default to the GradeMark report.
  • To view the Originality or PeerMark report, click the colored tabs at the top of the report viewer.
  • To download a paper with report text, click the printer icon at the bottom of the report tab and select the option for Download PDF of current view for printing.
    Note: Each report must be downloaded individually.

Q: Clicking the student’s paper title in the assignment area no longer shows the Originality Report. Where is it now?

The reports viewer now defaults to the GradeMark (blue) tab. Click the Originality (red) tab to view the Originality Report.

Q: Can students submit multiple drafts of an assignment without having the drafts compared against their previous submission(s)?

A: Yes. Create an assignment for initial drafts, then open the Assignment Options area and ensure that Submit papers to option is set to no repository.

Q: Can instructors view all assignments from an individual student?

A: To view all submissions by a particular student in your class, click the students tab to open your students page. Click on the name of the student to open a portfolio containing all of his or her submissions to your class.

Q: Can instructors download all papers with GradeMark comments?

Yes. Log in to Turnitin and select an assigment to view, then check any paper you wish to download (this will reveal a yellow menu bar). In the revealed menu, click Download and select the option for GradeMark paper.

A .zip file will be created for you and within a few minutes can be downloaded from the Messages link area at the very top of the screen.
Note: The reports will not include the Originality or PeerMark reports.


Evaluating Originality Reports

Q: What sources does Turnitin check?

By default, the Originality report checks the following sources:

  • A large set of public Websites including Wikipedia, news sources and other informational sources
  • Multiple databases of journal articles to which Turnitin has subscribed
  • A repository of previously submitted documents
  • English and non-English content

Q: What copyright and privacy protections are in place for student assignments?

There is very limited instructor and student access to materials uploaded into Turnitin outside a particular class. If a report identifies a match in a student assignment, the instructor must contact the second instructor to request access to the source.

Students still retain all rights to publish and use their work as they see fit. Further, any student can request that a paper be removed from the database. Requests should be sent from instructors to IT Service Desk for security purposes.

Finally instructors can block all papers from being entered into the repository in the Assignment Options area if he or she desires.

Q: If the copied material indicated in the Originality Report is from an Internet source, is it possible to see the actual text of the document?

A: Yes. First, you would need to click on the color box indicating the percentage of copied material in the paper. While viewing the Originality Report, click on the link to the copied material and the text from the original source will be displayed.

Q: The Originality Report indicates that some text comes from another paper in the Turnitin database. How can instructors access this paper?

A: The source will include a link to contact the instructor of the other paper. For privacy reasons, only the instructor can grant access to the paper. If you need additional assistance, please contact IT Service Desk.

Q: Is there a minimum score to indicate plagiarism in the Originality report?

A: Turnitin does not determine if cheating has occurred. After papers are submitted, the Turnitin system creates an Originality Report for each file. The Originality Report only indicates if there is copied text. The instructor must still evaluate each assignment submission to determine whether the copied material has been cited correctly or not.

If an instructor suspects that an infraction has occurred, it is recommended that a meeting with the student be held first before beginning any official procedures. Instructors can also consult with their department or college for additional guidance.

Q: How does an instructor give students access to their Originality Reports?

A: This can be done by editing the settings for a particular assignment to allow students to view Originality Reports in the Assignment Options area.

Q: How is plagiarism defined at Penn State?

A: Plagiarism is the act of stating or implying that another person’s work is your own. For more information see TLT’s Plagiarism site, specifically Information for Faculty. Instructors should consider how they will determine whether an apparent instance of plagiarism is accidental or intentional, what percentage of plagiarism (either accidental or intentional) will be tolerated, and what the consequences will be. These criteria may vary from course to course and assignment to assignment.

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Additional Questions

Q: Where else can I go for information?

Additional Support resources and contacts are listed on the
Help + Support page.

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