Turnitin/Plagiarism & Similarity: How will I know what changes I need to make after I viewed the Turnitin Originality Report and how can I lower the similarity score?

(Last edited: Wednesday, 21 October 2020, 1:08 PM)

Check the ‘Match Overview’ of the Originality Report (picture shown below) and take note of sources which have more than 1% similarity. Make changes to your text, not only to lower your overall similarity score but also to lower the similarity of each source higher than 1%. Here are some suggestions on what you can do:

1) Remove or change strings of commonly used phrases or text (5-8 words) such as 'Sustainability is important for the environment', as such phrase is very common in the internet and will show up in the similarity score.

2) Put all exact words in quotation marks, or in an indented paragraph. Then use the filter key in Turnitin and exclude 'quotes' and 'bibliography'. (Refer to this link on how to use the filter function: However, a better way is to paraphrase everything in your own words, even if it is a definition, and provide the references. Make sure you don't just find synonyms of words or change few words here and there because Turnitin can detect similarity in sentences too.

3) Check the individual percentages of the sources. If the percentage for one or more of the sources are 2% or more (see the example in the picture below), reduce or paraphrase the text from that source. For example, referring to the picture below, reduce text from Sources no. 1, 2, 3 and 4.

 These are some ways in which you can reduce the similarity score, but take note that a low similarity score does not definitely mean that your assignment is plagiarism-free. In addition to the above, you have to ensure that you have not committed any of the possible cases of plagiarism. For this, you have to check the EEG Part 5b. You can also refer to the attached document 'A Guide to Plagiarism - for students' on how to avoid plagiarism. 

Turnitin Score

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