Canvas How-To: Turnitin Assignment

This page explains how to use Turnitin in Canvas.  Turnitin is already enabled on the whole Stan State account and does not need to be turned on individually by instructors.

Enabling Turnitin on a Canvas Assignment

Instructors can choose to enable Turnitin on any regular Canvas assignment – it is not a separate assignment tool as it was in Blackboard.

First, go to the Assignment and begin configuring it.

  1. Open the Submission Type menu and select External Tool
  2. Click Find.

Add a TII assignment

From the list of External Tools:

  1. Select the Turnitin tool
  2. Click Select.

Part 2 of TII configuration

Note: it is recommended to leave the box for "Load This Tool In A New Tab" unchecked.

Comprehensive Turnitin Guide

Testing the Assignment?

The basic Canvas "Student View" will not work to test Turnitin assignments and there is no regular need to do this. When students go to the Canvas assignment, they see a very obvious button to start the submission. If students report a problem uploading papers to your Turnitin assignment, please contact oat@csustan.edu for assistance.

However, if it is desired to rigorously test a Turnitin assignment, please contact oat@csustan.edu for assistance.

Viewing the Similarity Report

Turnitin generates a "similarity report" for each submission. This feature provides a simple percentage score representing the amount of the submission that is substantially present in other documents in the Turnitin database. The report for each submission further breaks down the sources of the similarities for the instructor.

How to interpret the Similarity Report


Within the assignment details window, click on Speedgrader.

Once in Speedgrader, click on the percentage highlighted in the red box. This will open the paper in Turnitin's similarity environment.

Full documentation on the Similarity Report

The Similarity Report has different features for you to use.  In the column on the right-hand side, the first button [1] indicates what percent of the paper was found to be plagiarized.

Student Viewing of Turnitin Feedback

If you provide feedback using Turnitin's own GradeMark toolset (rather than Canvas's SpeedGrader), you will need to tell students how to access that feedback.

Students should:

  1. Login to the course and click the Grades link in the navigation menu.
  2. Locate the assignment in the list of assignments.
  3. Click the colored icon on the far right of the row to open the Turnitin interface.
    Canvas grades page highlighting the Turnitin feedback icon
  4. Inside Turnitin, review the feedback and click any blue "Comment" icon to read the comment.

Submit Directly to Turnitin on Student's Behalf

Sometimes things go wrong and an instructor needs to submit a student paper to an Canvas assignment on behalf of a student.  The Canvas integration with Turnitin does not have a way for instructors to do this. Instead, instructors can login to the Turnitin.com website, locate the assignment, and then upload the file.

  1. Go to the Turnitin website and request a new password using your Stan State email address. Then, log in.
  2. Find the Canvas course containing the assignment.
  3. Upload the paper. (Instructions)

Submit Student Papers Directly to Turnitin - No Canvas Assignment

Sometimes it's necessary to upload a student document to Turnitin without having a Canvas assignment in place. In this case, instructors can submit student papers directly to the Turnitin website using the Quick Submit tool.

  1. Go to the Turnitin website and request a new password using your Stan State email address. Then, log in.
    • If you receive an error about not having an account in the Turnitin system, please contact oat@csustan.edu and one will be created for you. You can then proceed with the rest of these instructions.
  2. Enable Quick Submit for your account (instructions)
  3. Submit a paper via Quick Submit (instructions)

How to resolve Turnitin Error: date_post

If you have imported or copied content from a prior course, in some cases the “date” fields for the Turnitin assignments still display the prior semester’s due dates/availability dates. If that occurs, you may receive the following error after attempting to input your current semester assignment due dates:

Sorry, we could not process your request. Turnitin assignment could not be created. date_post – post date must be after start date

Steps to resolve

To resolve this issue:

  1. Edit the Canvas assignment and remove any dates for Due date, Available, and Until. Click Save. You should see the Turnitin assignment Inbox appear below your assignment details.
  2. Click the Turnitin assignment settings gear icon to edit the Turnitin settings. Clear the date entry from the Start date; if applicable, you can also edit the date to your current Assignment start date. Also, change the due date to your current Assignment due date. Click Save/Submit. 
  3. Edit the Canvas assignment again and modify the Assignment Date settings to include your current Assignment due date and if applicable, start/end dates. Save your assignment changes.