Interpret a Turnitin Similarity Report

The Similarity Report is the result of a comparison between the text of the submission against a large range of sources in the Turnitin database. Examples of resources checked are:

  • Internet sites and archived internet documents and data
  • A repository of papers previously submitted to Turnitin
  • A subscription repository of periodicals, journals, and publications

If matches are found, Turnitin will highlight the matching text and provide links to the identified sources in the similarity report. Turnitin also gives a ‘similarity score’, which is the total percentage of text in an assignment that has been matched to other sources. The percentage range is 0% to 100%. The possible similarity ranges are:

  • Blue: No matching text
  • Green: One word to 24% matching text
  • Yellow: 25-49% matching text
  • Orange: 50-74% matching text
  • Red: 75-100% matching text

Tip: there is no ‘ideal’ percentage threshold in a Turnitin Similarity Report. A ‘similarity score’ must be interpreted on a case by case basis, and it is important to remember that a high ‘similarity score’ may not be an indication that there is any inappropriate content in an assignment.

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 Access the Similarity Report

For assignments, the Similarity Report can be accessed from the Assignment Inbox. Select the similarity score from the % column to open the document viewer. The score sits alongside its corresponding color.

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For forum, the Similarity Report can be accessed underneath the student’s post:

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