What is Turnitin Direct Assignment?

Turnitin is an electronic text matching system that compares text in a student assignment against a database of sources. Turnitin just finds text that matches other sources in the vast Turnitin databases and shows those matches. It is the responsibility of the instructor to determine whether those text matches are a problem or not.

1. Creating a Turnitin Direct Assignment

Enter a course and click the Content link in the sidebar. Then hover over the Assessments section and select Turnitin Direct Assignment from the list.

Note: If Edit Mode is off, you can enable it by clicking the Edit Mode button in the right-hand corner of the page.

2. Submission Method

*Required fields

a) Assignment Details

On the assignment creation page, enter the following:

  • an assignment name
  • an assignment description (2,000 character limit)

Note: Only alpha-numeric characters should be used when creating an assignment title. Turnitin does not support special characters or punctuation.

Select the submission method for the assignment. The default is Allow Both. Allow Both will give your students the option to choose which method they would like to use. File upload will require your students to submit a file to the assignment. Text submission will require your students to copy and paste their paper in a text box to submit their paper.

b) Overall Grade

Enter the point value of the assignment in the Overall Grade field that determines the maximum allowed grade for the assignment. Each part has a maximum mark allocated, which is used to proportionally distribute the grades in order to determine a student's overall grade. The default is 100.

c) Parts

Select the number of parts you want the assignment to have from the Number of Parts dropdown menu. Each assignment can have up to 5 sub sections called parts. Primarily this might be used when an assignment has several distinct parts(. E.g. Analysis, conclusion, Bibliography) that a student needs to submit to. The default is a one-part assignment.

d) Dates

You can also set a specific time. Please remember that.

  • Students are only able to submit once the start date and time has passed.
  • After the due date and time, students will be blocked unless late submissions are enabled.
  • In Blackboard, the post date relates to the availability of GradeMark papers only and has no bearing on when grades are posted to the Blackboard Gradebook

Note: The Turnitin assignment due date will not carry over to the Needs Evaluation area or grade column quick information in the Blackboard Grade Center.

3. Exclusions

Used in conjunction with "minimum value", this feature of assignment creation allows instructors to automatically exclude small matches from all Originality Reports generated within assignment. To exclude small matches, select either the Exclude by word count or Exclude by percentage options from the Exclude small matches by drop down menu.

a) Exclude small matches

Warning: Exclude small matches needs to be used with extreme caution as it can mask important matches particularly when using the percentage option as this is calculated on a percentage of the total word count. Example: 5% of a 2000-word essay is 100 words but 5% of a 15,000 word dissertation is 750 words

b. Exclude bibliographic material


  • You can choose to “Exclude bibliographic materials” from Similarity Index for all papers in this assignment

Click 'Yes' if you want bibliographic materials to be excluded. If you choose 'No' you can still choose to exclude bibliographic materials when viewing the Originality Report.

  • This setting cannot be modified after the first paper has been submitted.

c. Exclude quoted material


  • You can choose to 'Exclude quoted materials from Similarity Index for all papers in this assignment?' Click 'Yes' if you want quoted materials to be excluded. If you choose 'No' you can still choose to exclude quoted materials when viewing the Originality Report.
  • This setting cannot be modified after the first paper has been submitted.

4. Account Specific

The Account Specific section allows you to activate e-rater grammar check, anonymous marking, translated matching and grade mark.

a) Anonymous marking

  • To Enable anonymous marking, select “Yes”.
  • Use this to hide student’s names until the post date if required. Make sure you have set the post date to allow enough time for marking to take place
  • This setting cannot be altered once submissions have been received.
  • Altering the post date will remove all anonymity and this cannot be restored by changing the post date again.

b) Translated Matching

  • Translated matching is an optional service offered by Turnitin, which allows your students to submit content in a non-English language, whilst retaining the ability to match against our vast database of English language content.
  • When Translated Matching is enabled for an account, Turnitin will identify the language that a paper has been written in. This paper will then be fully translated into English. The resulting English language content is then matched against all the databases that have been activated for the assignment.

c) E-rater Grammar Check

  • E-rater® Grammar Check provides you with the option to have a spelling and grammar check run on all submissions to an assignment. When enabled, students will receive detailed grammar feedback using GradeMark automatically through the e-rater
  • Note: To expand the options and enable e-rater grammar check, select “Yes”.

  • Select the ETS handbook level from the dropdown menu. The ETS handbooks provide students with in-depth information about the grammar errors the e-rater technology finds in their paper, tailored to their current level of study.
  • Select the dictionary used for the spelling check: UK English or US English.
  • The Categories enabled by default option allows instructors to choose which categories of feedback are enabled when viewing assignment submissions in GradeMark. The default is to show the feedback for each category.

d) GradeMark

If enabled, this assignment can make use of gradeMark for grading and student feedback.

5. Repository

a. Paper Repository

'Submit papers to' – provides three options:

  • 'Standard paper repository,' in which the files are stored in the Turnitin database.
  • ‘Institution paper repository,’ which stores files in a special area of the database reserved for Koç University only. Any papers stored here are not available to other institutions checking their submissions. This is useful if confidential material is included in the submitted papers such as company details or medical records.
  • ‘No repository' which means the originality report is generated but the file is not stored in the Turnitin database and will not be used in comparisons run by other institutions

b. ‘Check stored student papers’ compares submitted papers with other student papers.

c. ‘Check internet’ compares submitted papers to Turnitin’s internet data base.

d. ‘Check journals and publications’ compares submitted papers with journals and publications.

6. Grades


a. Reveal grades immediately: If you choose no, then you must ensure an assignment is accessed on the post date. Otherwise grades will not be revealed to students.

b. Ignore Turnitin Grades: Grades set via the Turnitin interface will not be added to the Blackboard Grade Center.

7. Assignment

a. Report generation speed

  • ‘Immediately first report is final'. Use this option if you want to start checking reports before the deadline. Originality Reports for the submission will be generated immediately.
  • ’Immediately, reports can be overwritten until due date’. This option can be used when students are self-reviewing and revising their submissions and able to view the Originality Report or if you want to check a few reports before the deadline, but want to check all reports properly when all students have submitted. Students are able to submit new versions of the assignment up to the deadline.
  • ‘On due date'. Use this if you want to start checking the reports once all the assignments have been submitted. Originality Reports are not generated until the due date and time of the assignment. Students may resubmit as many times as needed until the due date and time. All papers submitted to the assignment will be checked against each other.

b. Grading schema

This option allows you to change Blackboard Grading Schema type.

c) Students view originality reports

If enabled, students can view the generated originality reports for their submissions.

d) Allow late submissions

If enabled, students will be able to make submissions to a part even if the due date has passed. Such submissions will be highlighted in red.

e) Save Instructor Defaults

Save these settings as your future defaults.

8. Submission Inbox

You can view the Originality Reports completed for submitted papers by accessing the Turnitin assignment Submissions Inbox. To do this, navigate to the content link on the side bar and on View Assignment.

a. The Submissions Inbox displays a list of papers, grades and the Overall Similarity Index associated with each student who has made a submission to the assignment.

b. The columns headings in the assignment inbox are:

Paper title / author - a column containing the student's name and submission title. If Anonymous Marking is enabled, the student's name will be anonymized.

c. Paper ID is the paper ID for the assignment. This ID is unique for each paper.

d. The Date Submitted column contains the date and time of the submission. Late submissions are color coded red.

e. The Viewed column indicates if a student has viewed the paper or not. If the assignment has been viewed by the student, the icon turns green.

f. The Grade column contains a grade or a pencil icon. If the pencil icon is shown, you can click on it to launch the Turnitin Document Viewer and mark the assignment. If you've already assigned a grade within GradeMark, the grade will appear here instead. Clicking on the assigned grade will launch the Document Viewer again, allowing you to edit the grade.

g. The Similarity column contains a percentage indicating the overall similarity of the paper to information in the Turnitin repositories, 100% being ‘fully similar’, 0% indicating ‘no similarity’. Clicking on the Similarity % icon opens the Originality Report.

h. The Download icon is a paper with a down arrow icon located to the right of the submission. Click on the icon to download a copy of the submission.

i. The Delete icon is a trash bin icon located to the right of the submission. Click on the icon to delete the submission from the inbox.

j. The Upload icon allows you to resubmit on behalf of your students.

k. Tools Menu:

a. The Turnitin Rubric Manager: Rubric scorecards can be used to evaluate student work based on defined criteria and scales.

b. The QuickMark Manager stores every QuickMark that has been created by you, and also stores any QuickMarks that other instructors have shared with your account.

c. The Edit Parts Tool: You can edit Start Date, Due Date and Post Date of your Turnitin Assignment parts.

9. Turnitin Feedback Studio

You can open the Turnitin Feedback Studio by clicking a specific student assignment or percentage in the Submission Inbox. To open the Submission Inbox, navigate to the content link on the side bar and on View Assignment.

a) Navigation

The Interface has two major layers:

Navigate through papers submitted to an assignment by looking in the top right-hand corner of the navigation frame. Here, you will find arrows to move between papers and a dropdown list that allows you to choose from all papers that have been submitted.

b) Checking a Student’s Work for Appropriate Citations and Quotations

A student's paper is checked against the search targets selected for the assignment. This may include billions of pages of active and archived internet content, a repository of works previously submitted to Turnitin, and a repository of tens of thousands of periodicals, journals, and publications.

It is perfectly natural for an assignment to match against some of our database. If your student has used quotes and has referenced correctly, there will be instances where we will find a match. The similarity score simply makes you aware of any potential problem areas in a student's paper; you can then use this tool as part of a larger process, in order to determine if the match is or is not acceptable.

c) The Matching Content, on the Paper, in Context

Clicking on the small boxes containing numbers on your student's paper will cause the source box to appear on the paper, revealing where in the source the text has been identified, in the context of the original source. Alternatively, you can click on the Match Overview button and click on sources in order to view the list of matching sources. This will help you to better interpret the instance of similarity.

d) Typing Inline Comments

Inline comments allow you to leave text directly on top of your student's paper. The comment will automatically be saved. You can move a comment by clicking and dragging it to where you would like to place it.

You can add text, convert text to hyperlinks, and apply simple formatting to your comment for greater clarity in your feedback.

To convert comments to QuickMarks for easy reuse in the assignment you're grading or in other assignments, you can convert a bubble comment into a QuickMark. QuickMarks allows you to create a library of feedback that might be applicable on multiple occasions, to multiple students, across multiple classes and assignments.

e) QuickMarks

You can access a library of feedback by selecting the QuickMarks icon from the navigation bar. Use the search box to find a specific QuickMark. Once you've selected the QuickMark you'd like to add to the paper, drag it from the panel and drop it onto the relevant part of the paper.

f) Voice Comments and Feedback Summary

Access voice comments from the Feedback Summary side panel, where you can also provide overall text-based feedback on a paper. A voice comment can be up to three minutes long.

g) Rubrics

Rubric scorecards help you to evaluate student work based on defined criteria and scales. They can also be created by your account administrator and shared to all instructors on an account. Instructors can create and share their own rubric scorecards by sending a rubric or grading form file to another instructor, who can upload it for use in their classes.

h) Assign a Grade from the Paper View

You can quickly assign a grade to a paper at the top of the page by inputting the grade in the relevant field. This will overwrite any grades calculated via a rubric or grading form. Turnitin automatically updates the score into your Blackboard Learn grade center. If there is a delay, you can manually sync the score in Blackboard Learn by choosing Refresh Submissions on the right-hand side of the Submission Inbox panel.

i) Export Grades and Download Submissions

  • Once you've finished grading a Turnitin Direct assignment part, the student grades for the assignment can be exported to Excel. From the content page, click on View Assignment to access the assignment summary page. To export the student grades for the assignment, click on the Excel icon found on the right-hand side of the Submission Inbox panel to export the assignment grades.
  • To download the submitted papers submitted in bulk, click on either the word doc or pdf icons to download the papers. Clicking the word icon will download the file in the original format it was uploaded in.
  • Please note that only those papers that have GradeMark feedback will be included in the export.

  • To download a submission, click on the “Paper title” and click on the download button found on the right side of the feedback studio.