OriginalityCheck enables you to monitor assignment submissions and identify potential cases of plagiarism by automatically comparing submissions to an online database of original content. You can then view Originality Reports which highlight key areas, show a breakdown of matching sources, and provide direct links to the matching content.

You can also take advantage of the integrated GradeMark which enables you to add comments, inline text, and highlight sections in file submissions, directly from the Dropbox tool.

Note: OriginalityCheck and GradeMark features are enabled through integration with Turnitin from iParadigms, LLC.

The Turnitin LTI has two tools that are integrated with Canvas: Originality Reports and Grademark.

  • Originality Reports: Checks student work similarity to other works (other students’ or published) by comparing it against others found on the Web or already checked against Turnitin.
  • Grademark: Enables online editorial highlights, custom comments, and QuickMark editing marks directly on the student papers.

These tools integrate with eLearning(Canvas) where you can “enable” Turnitin for any file upload assignment. When a Turnitin Assignment is created, the course and assignment information is sent to Turnitin automatically.  When a student submits their file, the originality report process begins and the file is sent to Turnitin for checking.


  • If the assignment being submitted has a low word count, Turnitin will not be able to generate a report.
  • Turnitin is available “outside” of eLearning as well, but does require some setup.
  • These and other how-to's are available (along with images) on the Turnitin Guides website

Create a Turnitin Assignment in Canvas

  1. Navigate to the course in which you would like to create an assignment.
  2. From the left-hand navigation, click Assignments.
  3. If you have not yet created an assignment for this course, select the button. If there are already-existing assignments in this course, select + Assignment ensuring that the correct assignment group is selected from the accompanying drop-down menu.
  4. Enter your basic assignment details, including the assignment Type, the assignment Name, the date the assignment is Due, and the assignment Points (this is the maximum grade available to your students).
  5. Select More options to continue.
  6. From the more options screen, select External Tool from the Submission Type menu. Then select Find to find the external tool.
  7. Select the Turnitin tool and select Select to continue.
  8. Note: If the external tool is not appearing in the list, please contact your Canvas administrator to ensure they have configured the external tool to the course.
  9. In the Assign to menu, select the Assign to box to invoke a drop-down. Select the course you would like to assign the assignment to. This ensures that your assignment will only be available to students in this particular course. 
  10.  Amend the assignment's Due and Available from dates (these dates will transfer into the Turnitin assignment). Warning: We recommend that you do not amend the Until date. If a date is inserted in this field, students will not be able to access Turnitin once the date has passed.
  11.  Select Save & publish to publish this assignment. Select Save to save the assignment.

Setting up Originality Reports and other advanced features

Once the Turnitin LTI assignment is launched, click the Settings tab within the Turnitin LTI Tool to adjust the assignment dates and assignment's maximum grade, as well as customize the assignment further. Here you can enable detailed Originality Reports for dropbox submissions, control end user visibility, set the Originality Reports frequency, 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.

Enable Originality Reports

Select the Generate Originality Reports check box in the Originality Checking Options section of the Properties tab.

Allow submitters to see Originality Reports

  1. Click the drop down icon and select Show Advanced Originality Checking Options to open the advanced options area.
  2. Select Allow submitters to see Originality Reports.
  3. Click Save.

Change the frequency of your Originality Reports

  1. Click the drop down icon and select Show Advanced Originality Checking Options to open the advanced options area.
  2. Choose one of the following options:
    • Automatic originality checking on all submissions
    • Identify individual submissions for originality checking
  3. Click Save.

Select which sources to check a submission against

  1. Click the drop down icon and select Show Advanced Originality Checking Options to open the advanced options area.
  2. Choose any combination of the following options:
    • Use paper database
    • Current and archived internet
    • Periodicals, journals, and publications
  3. Click Save.

Allow submissions to be added to the index (used in future searches)

  1. Click the drop down icon and select Show Advanced Originality Checking Options to open the advanced options area.
  2. Select Allow other files to be checked against submission.
  3. Click Save.

Manually submitting files for originality checking

If your dropbox folder has Identify individual submissions for originality checking enabled, you will need to manually submit file submissions for originality checking. This is useful if you don’t want to check every file submission for plagiarism, but still want the ability to do so on a case-by-case basis.

Manually submit files for originality checking

  1. Ensure that Identify individual submissions for originality checking is enabled in the properties tab on the New/Edit Dropbox page.
  2. On the Folder Submissions page, click the Submit file for originality checking icon. A message displays indicating the file has been submitted for review.

Viewing Originality Reports

View Originality Reports from the Folder Submissions page. When a report is available, the status changes from In-Progress to a percentage rating, which indicates the level of matching content.

Viewing a file submission summary

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

The percentage ranges are associated with colors:

  • Blue >= 0 and < 20%
  • Green >= 20 and < 40%
  • Yellow >= 40 and < 60%
  • Orange >= 60 and < 80%
  • Red >= 80 and <= 100%

View an Originality Report for a submission

Click the colored section beside the percentage rating to view the associated Originality Report.

Opening Originality Reports

The Originality Report 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 colored highlights to draw attention to the matching content.

Tip For more detailed help with Originality Reports, click the help link in the top-right corner of the report page.

Files compatible with OriginalityCheck

The following file types are compatible with OriginalityCheck:

  • MS Word (DOC, DOCX)
  • WordPerfect (WPD)
  • PostScript (EPS)
  • Acrobat PDF
  • Rich text (RTF)
  • Plain text (TXT)

Note If a file type is incompatible with OriginalityCheck, the Information icon displays instead of the percentage rating.