False Positives

In some cases, instructors may see false positives due to duplicate versions of documents students may have legitimately submitted or used as sources.


  • A class requires content posted on a student blog also be submitted to Turnitin. The Originality Report may find matches from the blog URL.
  • A student uses content from a previous course as a section for a later course assignment or thesis.
  • An assignment based on a particular article or work of fiction uses substantial quotes from the original source.

To streamline reports, instructors may choose to filter or exclude or certain sources.

How To View, Filter and Exclude Sources

The Turnitin Viewing the Originality Report guide page includes information on identifying and filtering sources. It also has a video walking instructors through the different options.

Note: Excluding sources eliminates the matches from the report, but matches cannot be later retrieved. Toggling between sources is recommended before permanently excluding sources.

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