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  • Dr Paul Penn

How to interpret an originality report on your work

In this video I’m going to be explaining how originality checking software works and provide you with some key advice on interpret and use originality reports to ensure that your work meets the expected academic integrity standards.

Start - 0:00

Why would you want to use originality checking software? - 0:24

How does originality checking software work? - 1:44

The key difference between non-original and plagiarised content. - 3:09

It’s not the % of non-originality that matters per se, it’s WHAT is highlighted as non-original.- 4:12

Originality checking software can only check the originality of text, not ideas! - 6:17

How to use originality reports to help you distinguish between lazy and acceptable paraphrasing. - 7:20

Originality checking software is not a substitute for academic judgement (which takes time!) - 9:35


Bailey, C. and Challen, R. (forthcoming) Student perceptions of the value of Turnitin text-matching software as a learning tool. Practitioner Research in Higher Education 9(1) pp. 38-51.

Eaton, S. E., Crossman, K., Behjat, L., Yates, R. M., Fear, E., & Trifkovic, M. (2020). An institutional self-study of text-matching software in a Canadian graduate-level engineering program. Journal of Academic Ethics, 18(3), 263-282.

Graham-Matheson, L., & Starr, S. (2013). Is it cheating–or learning the craft of writing? Using Turnitin to help students avoid plagiarism. Research in Learning Technology, 21.

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