In the digital age, combating plagiarism is a pressing concern, and Turnitin emerges as a frontline defense. Understanding how to reduce plagiarism on Turnitin involves more than just navigating its similarity toolbar.

It requires a comprehensive understanding of ethical practices, alongside leveraging plagiarism detection software effectively. Whether combating intentional plagiarism or addressing instances of plagiarism by accident, adequate time management and diligence are essential.

Moreover, with the rise of electronic cheating devices, the need for proactive measures intensifies. This article delves into actionable strategies to foster academic integrity and minimise plagiarism risks in the digital era.

Understanding Plagiarism and Turnitin

Plagiarism is often a misunderstood concept, but at its core, it involves using someone else’s work or ideas without proper acknowledgment. This can be categorised into two types: intentional and unintentional.

Intentional plagiarism is straightforward; it occurs when an individual knowingly copies another’s work and tries to pass it off as their own. This could involve copying text, using another person’s ideas without credit, or submitting a piece of work that has been bought or obtained from someone else.

Unintentional plagiarism is subtler and often occurs when individuals are unaware of the need for proper citation, or they misunderstand how to paraphrase content correctly. It happens often among new students or those not well-versed in the academic expectations of writing.

Turnitin is a tool designed to help detect instances of both intentional and unintentional plagiarism. It works by comparing submitted texts against an expansive database that includes academic papers, books, articles, internet sources, and work previously submitted to Turnitin. The process involves several sophisticated algorithms:

  1. Textual Comparison: Turnitin scans and breaks down the submitted text into smaller chunks or phrases, which it then compares against the contents of its database.
  2. Pattern Recognition: The software looks for patterns that might indicate plagiarism, such as identical or very similar phrases and sentences.
  3. Originality Check: Each piece of matching text is highlighted and referenced against the original source, creating a detailed report that shows where the text overlaps with existing material.

The similarity index that Turnitin generates is a crucial part of this tool. It provides a percentage that represents how much of the submitted work matches sources in Turnitin’s database.

Understanding this index is vital for both students and educators. It’s not just about identifying potential plagiarism; it’s about understanding how well students are integrating and citing sources.

How to Reduce Plagiarism on Turnitin?

reducing plagiarism on turnitin

While Turnitin can help instructors identify instances of plagiarism, it is ultimately up to students to ensure that their work is original and properly cited.

Here are some tips for reducing plagiarism on Turnitin:

1. Master the Art of Paraphrasing

Paraphrasing is a skill that allows you to take someone else’s ideas and rephrase them using your own words while maintaining the original meaning.

To effectively paraphrase, read the original text thoroughly, understand the concept, and then express it from your understanding without looking at the source. This helps in creating content that is unique but still informed by credible information.

Remember, effective paraphrasing also requires you to cite the original source to credit the idea to the original author, avoiding plagiarism.

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2. Improve Citation Skills

Understanding and applying proper citation practices is crucial in academic writing. Each academic discipline has preferred citation styles, such as APA, MLA, or Chicago.

Familiarise yourself with the citation style required for your course or field, and ensure every piece of information borrowed from another source is appropriately acknowledged. This includes direct quotes, paraphrases, and even ideas that have influenced your thinking.

Correct citation not only reduces plagiarism but also strengthens your work by showing thorough research.

3. Use Quotation Marks for Direct Quotes

When you use a direct quote, it must be identical to the original and enclosed in quotation marks. This clearly differentiates someone else’s words from your own.

Direct quotes require an accurate citation that includes the author, year of publication, and the page number (if applicable).

Quotations should be used sparingly; your paper should primarily consist of your original thoughts and analysis, supplemented by quotes to bolster your arguments.

4. Develop Original Ideas

Encourage yourself to think independently and develop your own insights on the topic you are studying. This makes your writing inherently unique and reduces the likelihood of plagiarism.

Engage critically with sources to form a personal understanding and response to the material, which leads to a more engaging and original paper. This skill grows with practice and contributes significantly to your academic and professional growth.

5. Use Plagiarism Checkers as a Learning Tool

Before submitting papers, use plagiarism checkers like Turnitin as a self-check tool. This can help you identify any unintentional plagiarism and areas where citations are missing or paraphrasing is too close to the original text.

Review the similarity report carefully and revise any sections that raise concerns. This proactive approach not only helps you submit cleaner drafts but also teaches you more about proper academic practices.

6. Organise Pre-writing and Note-taking

When conducting research, organise your notes by categorising them into summaries, paraphrases, and direct quotes, and clearly mark each with the corresponding source. This structured approach helps track sources and simplifies the integration of these elements into your writing with appropriate citations.

Good note-taking also involves separating your thoughts from the sourced information, reducing confusion when drafting the final paper.

7. Seek Feedback Before Submission

If possible, have someone else review your paper before submission. This could be a peer, a tutor, or a mentor. Fresh eyes might catch instances of poor paraphrasing or missing source citations that you might have overlooked.

Feedback is invaluable as it not only helps improve your current work but also enhances your overall writing skills. This practice also encourages a habit of critical review and openness to constructive criticism, key aspects of academic and professional development.

Key Takeaways:

  • Turnitin provides a similarity percentage that represents how much of the submitted work matches sources in Turnitin’s database.
  • Students can take various steps from paraphrasing to creating original ideas, to ensure that their work is authentic and not flagged for plagiarism on Turnitin.
  • Use online plagiarism detection software to ensure your journal, newspaper content, academic essay, etc are free from similarity issues.
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Importance of Creating Original Content

create original content

Creating original content is essential for several reasons, both in academia and beyond.

Firstly, originality fosters creativity and innovation. When we generate our own ideas and perspectives, we contribute to the pool of knowledge and push boundaries in our respective fields.

This not only benefits individual growth but also drives progress and advancement in society as a whole.

Moreover, original content showcases our critical thinking and analytical skills. It demonstrates our ability to engage with existing knowledge, evaluate various viewpoints, and form unique conclusions. This intellectual independence is highly valued in academic settings, where the goal is to cultivate informed and autonomous thinkers.

Originality also promotes integrity and ethical conduct. By creating our own content, we uphold academic honesty and respect the intellectual property of others.

Plagiarism undermines the credibility of our work and erodes trust within scholarly communities. Therefore, prioritising originality reinforces our commitment to ethical scholarship and professionalism.

Furthermore, original content adds value to our contributions. Whether it’s a research paper, a creative project, or a business proposal, uniqueness sets us apart and attracts attention.

Original ideas have the potential to inspire, provoke thought, and spark meaningful discussions. They can lead to groundbreaking discoveries, innovative solutions, and impactful creations that leave a lasting impression on others.

Ways to Develop Original Ideas

There’s a well-known quote that says “There’s nothing new under the sun,” but that doesn’t mean there’s no room for originality! Here are some ways to develop fresh ideas:

  • Explore Diverse Perspectives: Engage with a wide range of sources, including books, articles, videos, and discussions, from various disciplines and viewpoints. Exposing yourself to diverse perspectives stimulates your thinking and inspires new connections and ideas.
  • Question Assumptions: Don’t just accept what everyone else says about a subject; question the assumptions that lie beneath the surface. When you question current beliefs and ideas, you make room for new interpretations and points of view. This critical method leads to more in-depth research and discovery.
  • Look for Inspiration from Various Sources: To find inspiration, venture outside of your immediate area of study or passion. Get ideas from literature, art, nature, science, or things you do every day. Insights from different fields often lead to new ideas and ways of looking at things.
  • Brainstorm Freely: Set aside time for brainstorming sessions where you generate ideas without judgment or censorship. Allow your thoughts to flow freely, jotting down anything that comes to mind, no matter how unconventional or incomplete. Later, you can refine and expand upon these initial sparks of inspiration.
  • Embrace Curiosity: Cultivate a curious mindset by asking questions, exploring new topics, and seeking out opportunities for learning and discovery. Curiosity fuels creativity by driving exploration and sparking new interests and insights.
  • Experiment and Iterate: Don’t be afraid to experiment with different approaches, techniques, or methodologies. Trial and error are natural parts of the creative process. Embrace experimentation and be willing to revise, refine, and iterate on your ideas until you uncover something truly original.
  • Collaborate and Exchange Ideas: Engage in discussions with peers, mentors, and experts in your field. Collaborative environments provide valuable feedback, challenge assumptions, and offer alternative perspectives that can enrich your own thinking and lead to novel insights.
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By incorporating these strategies into your creative process, you can cultivate a fertile environment for the development of original ideas.

Remember, creativity is a skill that can be nurtured and developed over time with practice and perseverance.

What’s Next? 

Academic institutions uphold academic integrity policies to ensure actual learning. As a college student, it’s crucial to understand similarity scores on Turnitin, which reflect the percentage of copy-pasted text in your work against a vast database of content.

By altering sentence structures and properly citing content in quotation marks, you can reduce these scores to an acceptable plagiarism percentage. Remember, copying content doesn’t contribute to your learning journey.

To maintain a clean similarity layer, consider using Bytescare plagiarism checker. Interested? Book a demo for plagiarism-free content!


How do I get 0% plagiarism on Turnitin?

To obtain a zero percent plagiarism score on Turnitin, you must produce original work and appropriately cite all sources of information. Avoid plagiarising by rephrasing the concepts presented in other works; when quoting someone, be sure to include quotation marks.

Is 27 similarity on Turnitin bad?

On Turnitin, a similarity score of 27% isn’t always poor. What they mean depends on where the parallels come from. As long as the matching text is properly cited and referenced, it shouldn’t be a problem. However, different colleges may have different standards for what a good similarity score is.

Why is Turnitin showing 100% plagiarism?

A 100% similarity score on Turnitin indicates that the entire content matches with the other sources in the platform’s database. This might occur if the text has been completely lifted from another source or if the same assignment has already been submitted in to Turnitin.

Difference between similarity and plagiarism.

Similarity refers to how much a piece of text matches other sources. On the other hand, plagiarism is when you use someone else’s work or ideas without giving them credit. High matching scores may mean that someone copied someone else’s work, but not all matches are problematic if they are properly cited.

How do I cite sources in a piece of writing?

When citing sources in a piece of writing, use the appropriate citation style (e.g., APA, MLA) to format in-text citations and a corresponding bibliography or reference list. Include the author’s name, publication year, and page number (if applicable) for direct quotes, and provide sufficient information to allow readers to locate the original source.

Why people plagiarise?

People plagiarise for various reasons, including time constraints, lack of understanding of proper citation practices, fear of failure, or simply because they perceive it as an easy way out. Additionally, cultural differences, pressure to excel, and insufficient academic support can contribute to plagiarism.