Using Turnitin with a dropbox

Creating a Dropbox folder that uses Turnitin

Caution: You cannot disable Turnitin once it has been enabled for a Dropbox folder.

Enable Turnitin

  1. Please review the Academic Integrity Office’s Turnitin Guidelines for Instructors (PDF) prior to enabling it for your dropbox.

  2. Select Submit from the course navbar.

  3. Select Dropbox.

  4. To create a new Dropbox, click on New Dropbox. To edit an existing dropbox, click on the down arrow beside the dropbox name and select Edit Folder.

  5. Click the Evaluation & Feedback panel on the right and select Manage Turnitin.

    Evaluation and Feedback panel with 'Manage Turnitin' hyperlink highlighted
  6. Select Enable Similarity Report for this folder.

  7. Scroll down to select Enable Grading for this folder

  8. Click Save

Allow submitters to see Similarity Reports

  1. On the Turnitin Integration window of the Edit Folder page, select Allow learners to see Turnitin similarity score in their dropbox folder (as seen in the photo above).

  2. Click Save.

Change the frequency of your Similarity Reports

  1. On the Turnitin Integration window of the Edit Folder page, choose one of the following options under Submissions Checked:

    • Automatic similarity checking on all submissions.

    • Identify individual submissions for similarity checking.

  2. Click Save.

Turnitin Options

Clicking the More Options in Turnitin button and then clicking Optional Settings will allow you to select which sources to check the submission against, and decide whether the current submission you are running the report against is added to the file index for new submissions to be checked against.

Select which sources to check a submission against

  1. On the Turnitin Integration window of the Edit Folder page, click the More Options in Turnitin button.

  2. Click the Optional Settings link.

  3. Under the Compare against heading, select any combination of the following options:

    Turnitin Optional Settings with all compare against options selected and highlighted
    • Student paper repository

    • Institution student paper repository

    • Current and archived web site content

    • Periodicals, journals and publications

  4. Click the Submit button.

Storing student submissions

Also under Optional Settings is the option of where to store student submissions. The option is to either store the submission in our Institution paper repository, and allow future papers to be compared to it, or to not store the submitted papers.

'Institution paper repository' selected from the Submit papers to drop-down menu in Turnitin Optional Settings

Exclude small sources

This option excludes matches that aren't of sufficient length. This setting can be overwritten in individual reports as well. If you select the checkbox you will be given options to indicate the small match exclusion threshold.

'Exclude small sources' selected with 'Small match exclusion type' highlighted

Viewing Similarity Reports

View Similarity Reports from the dropbox folder submission page. When a report is available, the status changes from In progress to a percentage rating, which indicates the level of matching content.

A lower percentage rating indicates that the content is original and has not been copied; a higher percentage rating indicates the content is not original and has been copied from another source.

The percentage ranges are associated with colours:

  • Blue: 0% No matching text 

  • Green: >= 1 and <=24% matching text

  • Yellow >= 25 and <=49% matching text

  • Orange >= 50 and <=74% matching text

  • Red >= 75 and <= 100% matching text

View a Similarity Report for a submission

Click the Turnitin Similarity percentage rating to view the associated Similarity Report.

Turnitin Similarity percentage ratings of 15, 26 and, 0. The 15 and 26 percentages are highlighted

The Similarity Report in the Turnitin feedback studio, is comprised of two panes. The right pane lists all of the matching sources, including the percentage of text that matches and a link to the online content. The left pane displays the submission text using coloured highlights to draw attention to the matching content.

Turnitin feedback studio

Turnitin file type compatibility

The following file types are compatible with Turnitin:

  • Microsoft Word® (DOC and DOCX)

  • Corel WordPerfect®

  • HTML

  • Adobe PostScript®

  • Plain text (TXT)

  • Rich Text Format (RTF)

  • Portable Document Format (PDF)

  • OpenOffice (ODT)

  • Hangul (HWP)

  • Powerpoint (PPT)

If the file type is incompatible with Turnitin the Information icon displays instead of the percentage rating.

Student exemptions from Turnitin processing (Opting-out)

Instructors can indicate which students have opted-out of using Turnitin processing for their submissions. This opt-out process is course specific and will apply to all dropboxes in the course that have Turnitin enabled.

  1. Navigate to Submit > Dropbox.

  2.  Click on the More Actions button and select Manage Preference for Turnitin.

  3. Search for the student who wishes to opt-out and click on the toggle in the Turnitin column so that it displays an 'X'.

    Under Turnitin column, first row is toggled off represented by an X. Next two rows are toggled on represented by a check mark.


When a student who is exempt submits a file to a dropbox that has Turnitin enabled, you will see ‘Exempted’ in the Turnitin Similarity column on the student submissions page.

Turnitin Similarity percentages with Exempted highlighted

Need help?

Contact LEARNhelp at or 519-888-4567 ext. 41744 for assistance.

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