M12g- Enabling Turnitin for essay type questions

What is it?

The Turnitin plagiarism plugin allows staff to enable Turnitin functionality for essay-type questions in newly created quizzes.  Student responses for these question types will generate a similarity report and score, with staff having the option of displaying or hiding this from their students. 

We recommend providing all feedback in the native Moodle Quiz functionality for continuity and ease of access for students.  If you want to mark and give feedback using Turnitin's Feedback Studio, then set up a Turnitin Assignment (instead of a Moodle Quiz). In other words, if you're using Moodle Quiz, then limit your use of Turnitin's features to just the Similarity Check - give your feedback and marks via Moodle Quiz feedback.

Why use it?

This plugin generates similarity reports, which allow staff to check for matches against existing submissions in the Turnitin database, as well as internet sources.

Who can use it?

Staff with edit access to a course can create a new quiz with this functionality as and when it is needed.

Before I start...

  1. You may wish to add this to your quiz description, letting students know that their work will be added to the Turnitin database.
  2. Come to an agreement with other assessors about a consistent marking and feedback strategy - this will use Moodle Grader (not Turnitin Feedback Studio for reasons outlined above).

How do I set one up?

  1. Toggle Edit mode on your Moodle course.
  2. Add an activity or resource and choose Quiz.
  3. Ensure the Settings reflect your requirements.  Expand Turnitin plagiarism plugin settings. By default, Turnitin will not be automatically enabled for new Quiz instances, you will need to change the Enable Turnitin setting to Yes.
  4. Some Turnitin settings to flag up:
    • Originality Report Options > Store Student Papers :

      • Standard Repository: Student papers submitted to this assignment are stored in Turnitin and checked against other students' submissions within this assignment, as well as other sources.

      • No repository - (not stored in Turnitin, for drafts/testing): The submission is not stored in Turnitin so student submissions will not be checked against each other, though they will be checked against other sources. Use No repository for testing Turnitin and for drafts, so other (standard repository) submissions won't be matched to it.

Note that this functionality can only be enabled for new quizzes. If you wish to use an existing quiz and enable Turnitin, please duplicate an existing quiz

Once a student has submitted, you can check the similarity scores for each student by clicking Review for the student attempt and scrolling down to the question.  The Turnitin status and score will be displayed below the essay question.


  1. Students will not receive a digital email receipt upon submission. 
  2. Student will not be asked to accept a plagiarism declaration upon submission.  Please ensure your quiz/exam description highlights the use of Turnitin in your quiz.
  3. Students must not paste images or graphs into their responses as these will break when attempting to display.  Students should use the native text editor in Moodle to add images or graphs.
  4. Turnitin requires a minimum of 20 words to generate a similarity report.  You can enforce a Minimum word limit in the Response Options for the individual Essay quiz question Settings.


5.  If you Allow attachments in the individual essay quiz question Settings, this document will also be added to the Turnitin database and a similarity score generated for it. However, to prevent any incompatible file or display issues, we recommend students do not submit attachments.  If you plan to allow students to attach files, please ensure you set Allow any file type to Yes in the main quiz settings for your quiz.

Further help

Further guidance is available on the the Essay question type.

If you have a specific question about the tool please contact the Digital Education team.