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Academic Integrity & Turnitin
Academic Integrity and Turnitin
Walden is committed to upholding high standards of academic integrity. The resources below will help you to understand Walden's policies and will provide access to resources (i.e., Turnitin) as you progress through your studies.
For more information about Walden University's Academic Integrity and Code of Conduct policies, review the Integrity and Conduct at Walden University presentation (below).
What is Turnitin?
Turnitin (TII) is a program that offers originality checking and plagiarism prevention. For a detailed explanation of the software and training, please refer to the Walden Turnitin and Academic Integrity Online Tutorial (below). Additionally, Walden's Turnitin and Academic Integrity Reference Guide and the Walden Turnitin and Academic Integrity FAQ can assist you in learning out to use TII.
Using the Writing Center's Turnitin Drop Box
The Writing Center Turnitin drop box is a bit different from the drop boxes used in most courses because it does not save papers to the Turnitin database. Therefore, if an instructor were to run a student's paper through Turnitin after he or she used the Writing Center's account, there would not be a 100% match for plagiarism. In this way, the Writing Center provides students a "safe" place to check for possible plagiarism and adjust citations!
Writing Center Drop Box FAQ
How do I use the Writing Center's Turnitin drop box?
Start by clicking on the Turnitin (TII) button displayed on our homepage. You will then be prompted to input your myWalden student portal username and password. Doing so will forward you to the TII registration page with the class ID and password prompts completed for you. Fill out the rest of the form, and you should have access to TII. Once you are in the system, you can upload your document to a drop box, which will generate a TII report. This report can take up to 1 hour to generate, and you will receive an email when the process is complete. You can download or print the TII report for your review.
If you have any questions on registering for or using the Writing Center TII drop box, contact us at email@example.com. Please use your Walden email address to verify your student account.
What is the difference between the Writing Center Turnitin drop box and a course drop box?
The Writing Center created a Turnitin (TII) drop box as a safe place for students to submit drafts to check for plagiarism and proper citation. Our drop box does not save papers to the TII database. The Writing Center drop box is independent from your course TII class drop box. When your instructor requires you to submit an assignment for your course to TII, you must enter TII from your specific course and upload your assignment to that TII class drop box. Uploading to the Writing Center TII drop box is not sufficient. Please contact your instructor for any questions regarding your specific course assignments that must be run through Turnitin.
You can use the Writing Center TII drop box to submit drafts, but any final submissions should be submitted to your academic course Turnitin class drop box.
I am having problems with the Writing Center's Turnitin. Where do I go?
If you are having trouble registering for the Writing Center Turnitin (TII) drop box, contact the Writing Center at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please use your Walden email address to verify your student account.
For assistance with using and understanding Turnitin, please refer to the Walden Turnitin and Academic Integrity Online Tutorial. Turnitin also has resources and tutorials on their website. For additional help, please contact the Student Support Team: email@example.com.
How to Read a Turnitin Originality Report
Turnitin reports can be confusing if you do not know how to interpret them, but there is a systematic way of looking at them to help you understand the information they contain.
A Note on Similarity Index: The Writing Center does not advise students or faculty to aim for a specific similarity index in a Turnitin (TII) report. Because TII will flag properly cited material, a high similarity percentage does not always indicate plagiarism. Similarly, a paper with a low similarity index can still have strings of text that have been improperly cited. Instead of focusing on reaching a certain percentage, students and faculty can use the TII report as a means to discuss how to properly credit sources and paraphrase scholarly material, reviewing the results match by match.
Step 1: Identifying Your Overall Similarity Index
As stated in the Turnitin student user guide (2006), "papers submitted to Turnitin are compared against billions of internet documents, an archived copy of the internet, our local databases of submitted student papers, and a database of periodicals, journals, & publications" (p. 7). The percentage provided here is based on your essay's overall similarity to these documents.
Step 2: Identifying Your Sources
Here you will find a percentage-based breakdown of all the sources that Turnitin has identified in your essay. However, as the program readily admits, a reading that shows a high percentage does not necessarily mean the paper has been plagiarized (Turnitin, 2006, p. 7). For example, if you or your instructor has previously submitted your paper to a course TII drop box and you made changes and then resubmitted the same paper, TII will produce a high match because your paper is similar to itself. In addition, TII will note any strings of words that match another student paper or scholarly source, including elements like a title, reference citations, or common terms used in your field of study. Remember that TII will also flag any properly cited material as well, so even if direct quotes have the proper citation and quotation marks, TII will note these areas in the percentage.
The results here should therefore be read as a prioritized list and nothing more. The higher the percentage, the more frequently the source appears in the document, whether cited appropriately or not. These sources are also numbered and color coded so that they may be referenced with your document in the Paper Text section.
In most instances where you select to review a match in detail, each suspect source listing should also provide you with the opportunity to view the original document via a hyperlink.
Step 3: Reviewing the Paper Text
As you review the Paper Text section of the report, you should notice that blocks or chunks of your draft have been quarantined from the rest of your essay. These portions of the text have been color-coded (and number-coded) to match the sources on the right. This system should help to identify specific instances of plagiarism, if, in fact, plagiarism exists in the document.
Step 4: Taking Action
It is now your responsibility (with available help from your instructor, advisor, or the Writing Center) to examine the academic integrity of each one of these instances. You should compare your writing with the source material Turnitin has identified. Is the highlighted portion of your work cited appropriately? Is it paraphrased correctly? Is it in your own words? Have you referenced material that you’ve actually read? Have you cited your secondary sources appropriately?
For further reference, you may want to review the Writing Center's guide, "Citing Sources Properly," as well as Walden's policy on academic integrity. Additional information regarding in-text citations can be found on the Writing Center's website.
Step 5: Downloading a Copy of Your Report
You may wish to download a hard copy of your report to submit to your instructor or save for your records. To download the report, select the "download" option in the lower left corner of the report. After ensuring that your pop-up blocker is disabled, you will be prompted with a series of messages to confirm your download. The default file to save to your computer will be in PDF format.
How to Read a Turnitin Report (printable version)
Click here for TurnItIn system requirements.
Click here to learn how to save an originality report.
If your questions are not answered by the resources on this page or if you experience technical difficulties with the service, please contact the Student Support Team (in writing via your myWalden portal or by phone via 1-800-WALDENU).