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How to Create a TurnItIn Assignment Dropbox

Important: Following the update to Turnitin, the advice on this page has now been superseded by this support page: Turnitin Update 2022


Turnitin is an Internet-based plagiarism-detection and assignment submission service. While this tool is supplied within Blackboard, the Turnitin UK service itself is not hosted or maintained by the University but is instead managed by Turnitin UK.

Table of contents

Create a new Turnitin Assignment

In the module’s content area:

  1. Select the Assessments button. From the drop-down menu that appears select the Turnitin Assignment link.

  2. The Add Turnitinuk Assignment window will open. Select Paper Assignment then select the Next Step button.

  3. The New Assignment page will open.

  4. Complete the Assignment title text field. This is the title that the student will see in their Assignment list for the class.

  5. The Point Value field is optional. This setting allows the instructor to set a point value for the assignment. Setting a point value allows the grade to be set by rubrics (if used) and be sent to the grade book.

  6. The Start Date is the day and time the student can begin submitting to the assignment.

  7. The Due Date is the date and time the students papers are due for the assignment. This sets the “To do” message in a student’s institution messages.

  8. For assignments using anonymous marking, the Post Date is when grades are passed from Turnitin to Blackboard and when the author names become visible.  Otherwise the post date relates to the availability of GradeMark (Turnitin's online marking system) papers to students and has no bearing on when grades are available in Blackboard.

  9. Select Optional Settings and insert instructions for your students

Please note:

Once the first student paper has been submitted, certain Optional Settings cannot be changed:

Exclude bibliographic material from Similarity Index for all papers in this assignment

Exclude quoted material from Similarity Index for all papers in this assignment

Also, changes to dates, once papers have been submitted, can jeopardise grade and submission data.

Optional SettingExplanation

Allow submissions after the due date?


An instructor can enable submissions after the due date and time.  When enabled, students will be able to submit papers after the due date as long as that student has not already submitted a paper to the assignment.  These submissions will be marked ‘Late’ in red text.

Originality Reports


Originality reports enable you to view text matches between student submissions and other sources in the Turnitin database.  To ensure that Turnitin checks student submissions for potential plagiarism, you should select Yes for this option.

Generate Originality Reports for student submissions

The usual option is to select ‘immediately first report is final’. Originality reports will be generated immediately.  Students cannot resubmit unless their first submission is deleted by the Instructor.

Theimmediately (can overwrite reports until due date)’ option allows students to resubmit as often as they want until the due date.  Originality reports for the first submission are generated immediately.  For subsequent submissions there is a 24 hour delay before the originality report is created.  Originality reports are regenerated within an hour of the due date so that student submissions can be compared against each other.

‘On due date’ means that originality reports are not generated until the due date and time.  All submissions will be checked against each other as well as the Turnitin databases.

Exclude bibliographic materials from Similarity Index for all papers in this assignment?


If set to Yes and it constitutes more than 15% of the whole submission, the entry will be marked with an exclamation mark in a black circle.

Please also note that bibliographic materials can be included or excluded from originality reports when the reports are viewed following submission.

Exclude quoted materials from Similarity Index for all papers in this assignment?

Again quoted material (in quote marks) can be included or excluded from originality reports when the reports are viewed following submission.

Exclude small matches?

Again, small matches can be included or excluded from originality reports when the reports are viewed following submission.  If set to Yes, you can choose word count or percentage of total word count.  Caution is needed as 5% of a 2000 word submission is 100 words, however, it is 750 words of a 15,000 word submission.

Allow students to see Originality Reports?

Select ‘Yes’ if you want students to see the originality report.

Reveal grades to students only on post date?


Set the option to Yes if you want to hide any grade and annotated feedback until the post date.

Select No if you want students get their grade and any annotated feedback, when available.

Enable anonymous marking?

This hides the student names until the post date (please also see 'What are the implications of anonymous marking?' below.
Submit papers to:

The ‘standard paper repository’. stores submissions in the Turnitin database.

‘No repository’ generates a similarity report, however, the submission are not stored in the Turnitin database and will not be used in comparison with other Institutions.
Search options:These are default the databases against which the submissions are checked.

Attach a rubric/form to this assignment

If you are marking the assignments using the GradeMark online marking tool, you can select a rubric to be used for the assignment.

Would you like to save these options as your defaults for future assignments?If you choose to save the above settings they can be modified if and when you create another Turnitin assignment.

When you have selected your Optional Settings, select 'Submit'  A confirmation page will appear to confirm the Turnitin dropbox has been added, select 'OK'.


The link for the Turnitin assignment will be immediately visible to instructors at the bottom of the content area. Use the drag tool to reorder its position on the pages.

The assignment link will be available to student on the Start Date set in step 6.

What are the implications of anonymous marking?

  1. If you select anonymous marking, no one, not even Instructors will be able to see the student names listed in the Turnitin dropbox.  Markers will be required to mark submissions online using Turnitin GradeMark. Once students submit, the anonymous marking cannot be turned off in the general dropbox settings.  You can turn anonymous feature off for an individual student in the Assignment inbox, only before the Post Date by selecting the Anonymous Marking Enabled button next to the relevant submission and inserting your reason for revealing the student name.  However, you cannot re-hide the name again, it will simply remain visible.

  2. Before the Post Date (and specified time) is reached, you cannot access submissions in the Blackboard Grade Center nor Needs Marking. Student submissions simply remain invisible in the Grade Center. In the Turnitin dropbox, you can still download submissions via Course Tools, Turnitin Assignments and selecting the student submission within the Turnitin dropbox. You can also access submissions online through the Turnitin document viewer.
  3. Once the Post Date (and specified time) is reached, all marks and names will be revealed. You can also now, perform your usual Grade Center functions (View Grade Details, View Attempt etc).

  4. When Anonymous Marking is enabled, grades are invisible in the Grade Centre.  When the Post date (and time is reached) the Turnitin grades temporarily disappear (in the Turnitin dropbox) as they are being transferred from one part of the database at Turnitin to another. After 10 minutes or so, the grades should then re-appear in the Grade Center and the Turnitin dropbox.  For anonymous marking to work as designed, it is best practice to leave the Post Date as set.  Turnitin Support have advised that “Anonymous marking assignment settings will not function correctly when post dates are being moved forward or back”

Video Help - How to Setup a TurnItIn Drop Box