How to Beat Turnitin Guide

All Posts

12 Aug 2021

Ask an average college student about their thoughts regarding the Turnitin plagiarism check system and you will definitely hear negative comments. The purpose of this guide is to tell you about how to beat Turnitin and stay safe without being accused of plagiarism or getting into the trap of this system. We shall study the list of things that seem to work well and will tell you about what must be avoided as you try to cheat Turnitin.

how to beat turnitin

What is TurnItIn?

You might have already heard about Turnitin before. This plagiarism detection software has been around since 1997. One of the reasons why it seems so popular is that it implements clever text-matching. It aims to educate students on how to cite and reference various sources without falling into the trap of cheating. In practice, it does way more than check academic integrity. It is an AI-powered system that is quite controversial.

In simple terms, Turnitin compares your submitted document against an endless archive of various documents found online, encrypted and open data, a repository of all the papers that have been submitted before, and the selection of periodicals, journals, books, blogs, and various digital and print publications. Once done, it creates a special "Originality Report", which can be seen both by students and college professors. It is hard to say for certain that it is helpful. It identifies the text bits where a student has taken something from another source. In practice, it will only show you the matches that have been based on those papers that have been submitted before.

What is your Originality Index?

Check your text with a plagiarism checker to stay safe

  • No Check Limit
  • Totally Confidential
  • Ad-free
Check Now

To put it simply, imagine a situation when a fellow student from your course uploads his or her part of the team project that also includes the prompt that you all have to include. By doing so, this student will submit the first original version, which will make your submission "plagiarized". While this is a simple example, it shows that this system does not detect plagiarism per se but only helps to match a particular text with a student's assignment based on what text it could find. Therefore, it is vital for lecturers and students to realize that Turnitin cannot be considered as the final report of someone's academic integrity and honesty.

According to numerous reports encountered online, the software does not always work correctly. It tends to provide false positives or refuses to accept certain submissions. It is also unclear whether using Turnitin is ethical. This software is used to teach students about academic dishonesty, yet the universities still turn to a solution that does not really work or show that a person has written something unique.

Just think about engineering papers where students have to provide standards by explaining them word-by-word to maintain the safety standards. As it does not care about our sources or references, it will just find a similar part online and generate a negative report. Moreover, using Turnitin also means that students are forced to upload and share their intellectual property, which becomes stored in the database without the student's consent.

How Does Turnitin Work?

While it is not a precise recommendation for colleges and universities in the United States, a lecturer may choose to implement Turnitin for a particular essay or a course assignment. As a rule, if you have to use it, it will be mentioned in your campus area online. It means that when you submit your paper, it is usually automatically added to the Turnitin text-matching database. Here is what happens next:

  • Turnitin matches the text that you have written in your assignment and compares it with the endless list of student submissions.
  • As the next step, it checks your paper against a special archive of Internet documents, stored data, and an archive of periodicals, journals, and publications. It must be noted that it is not the same as just browsing through Google or Bing.
  • Finally, it creates an "Originality Report". You can save and share it with your college professor who will see it as well.

You should remember that this system will only show you the list of matches with the links, which is why it does not work as a classic plagiarism software that would detect something that has been discovered online and has no source.

Turnitin also stores a special record of all that has been submitted to its central database. It is done with a clear purpose: to let all the assignments that are checked in the future to be checked against what has been sent in the past. It is said that while Turnitin retains a copy of every paper that has been verified, it does not reveal these papers to any third parties. However, this subject is controversial. It makes it quite difficult not to see the papers where the matched parts appear, meaning that someone else's original paper is still disclosed even if there is unintentional plagiarism and you did not try learning how to fool Turnitin.

It must be noted that Turnitin does not accept files that are password protected. It also does not check Microsoft Works files or MS Word 2007 files with macros-enabled elements. The same relates to Open Office text files that have been created and download from Google Docs online. It also includes files created by Open Office. The other forbidden formats include Apple Pages, spreadsheets created outside of MS Excel, PDF, and any text files that contain visual effects.

How Accurate is Turnitin? Is it Effective to Detect Plagiarism?

Unfortunately, it is safe to claim that Turnitin is not always accurate and does not represent the most efficient way to detect plagiarism. It must be added that while it scans through an enormous database of previously submitted academic papers, getting good results does not mean that everything is fine. Likewise, negative reports do not mean that a student has plagiarized the paper.

According to the Turnitin website, it is not a plagiarism index software. There is no score of being "good" or "bad". The report only provides you with the matches that have been encountered online or via various databases. Therefore, all accuracy aspects are purely subjective and will always differ from person to person who checks the paper and sees whether it matters or not.

The true problem lies in the list of these similarities when people use quotes or turn to certain parts of engineering or nursing standards where the case study can be used as a reference or an example. Without a doubt, such issues must be approached by college professors who will see whether a plagiarism issue takes place. Since the system does not detect plagiarism per se, it is impossible to say that it is accurate or not. It only helps educators and students to make informed decisions regarding similarities encountered online. Still, even that does not mean that a text that has been fully copied from some source will be detected as we are still dealing with an automatic software solution. It leads to an important question of how to beat Turnitin and still keep your results good in 2023 where the amount of papers submitted is even greater than ever before.

Does Turnitin Detect Self-Plagiarism? What are Plagiarism Risks?

Let us imagine a situation when a writer uses his or her portion of text again and publishes it partially or entirely in a new paper. Fortunately, such aspects can only be identified by college professors who may know the student's past works and see that it has already been used or repeated. Regardless if it has been done intentionally or purely by accident as a reference, Turnitin does not detect self-plagiarism, yet there are ways how to reduce similarity on Turnitin. It means that if you upload your paper that has not been submitted before with the elements from your past assignments, it will not detect it. However, if you copy something that is already available online or represents a part of the database, it will detect it right away with a high similarity percentage report.

It is vital to remember that using your ideas from the past is still considered a self-plagiarism unless you have it discussed with your college professor or the university in question. Things may get even worse if you have already published the paper and used certain parts again without notifying the publisher and everyone in question.

The problem is seen differently when one thinks about Turnitin’s policy of storing the papers in a global database or in those cases when something has been uploaded by accident. Since it is impossible to receive your paper back right away or have it deleted, it poses certain copyright and plagiarism risks. Fortunately, you can place a request with the company for a particular document, yet it will take about two weeks to review the issue, which is not always acceptable.

Note: Regardless if you are using the system or not, knowing how to beat Turnitin will not keep you safe from plagiarism if you are not honest with your academic activities.

The Tricks On How to Cheat Turnitin

As a way to help you stay safe, we have compiled a list of different tricks that will not work as you try to cheat Turnitin as well as the methods and recommendations that will help you to keep the similarity rate at acceptable levels.

Methods That Won't Work

Even though you will encounter the methods provided below as safe elsewhere, our team of experts guarantees that these hacks will not work and may only place you in trouble as the final Similarity Report will reveal all the tricks. Do not forget that Turnitin has been around for decades and it is a commercial product that has been adjusted to detect all the specific changes and modifications to any document that has been submitted.

  • The Good Old Thesaurus Method. Unfortunately, it will not work as replacing some words in a quote with synonyms will not get you by. It is one of the strongest points of this AI detection software. It does not mean that you should avoid paraphrasing altogether as it is an acceptable method that helps to achieve success as you are brainstorming ways how to bypass Turnitin trouble.
  • Swapping The Letters. It is an old trick of replacing some letters to fool the system by using special symbols or foreign language letters. It is good to know that Turnitin has a system that recognizes such characters and will always reveal this trick to you and to your college professor.
  • Word Macros Won't Work. It will either not accept your file or will strip it by checking the original text "as-is". Even adding special fonts and symbols will not trick the system as it all will be reflected in your similarity report file with all the methods that you have tried. Surely enough, you would not want your college professor to see it.
  • Adding Images for Paper Length Increase. Such papers will be flagged and reported right away as those that do not have a sufficient word count. The tricking of the system in this way is still vague. It also represents a dangerous method that is both unethical and plain dull. The similarity report will always display the final word count.
  • White Text Trick. It will not work if you choose "invisible" fonts. It will be detected because of unusual word length or words that are not part of the various dictionaries. Even though this method remains one of the most popular among students in 2023, it is also the most dangerous Turnitin hack as the system detector has been updated to detect this issue. Moreover, it will always be highlighted as you receive the final report.

Most importantly, remember that phrases in quotation marks are automatically excluded unless the system is tuned otherwise by your professor. The general rule is to avoid doing anything that you would not like to be seen. The system will detect every unusual modification and the list of special symbols that you have used for beating Turnitin. Therefore, the purpose of our guide here is to let you know how this system works and what things to avoid to stay safe from trouble.

Some Hacks That Could Work

  • Paraphrasing. If it is done in a clever way, it is one of the best ways that work, especially if you construct the sentences differently and add more of your own. Of course, it is always risky but a legal way to trick Turnitin.
  • Use Clever Quoting. Remember that the use of quotes in your paper must be done in a careful way with quotation marks and references. Even if the system might not “catch” it or place it in the safe list, it does not mean that your college professor will not see it.
  • Adjust Your Writing Style.  You should always find the golden medium between your ideas or anything that you would like to quote. If you have to write about a nursing theorist and you are just paraphrasing something that you have read in the book, the safest method would be to adjust your style by using several quotes and using your thoughts and analysis by telling about the facts and how they make you feel or why they are important.
  • Use Transition Words. As a way to increase your chances of tricking TurnItIn, use various transition constructions like “therefore”, “as a rule”, “in the majority of cases”, or “according to the latest research conducted”. It will help to add some variation to your writing.
  • Add More Explanatory Content. This part is a bit tricky because you will have to think over alternatives to the most common phrases that you are using. For example, when you are talking about some court study, think about how you could explain things in simpler terms and add some explanation. While some legal phrases are obligatory, add more explanation to trick the system.
  • Use Synonyms. This aspect is quite creative! When you are planning to use “great” or “excellent”, think about using “exemplary research” or “exceptional quality contribution” to make your text more unique.

Most importantly, one should not try to cheat Turnitin because the way to handle the system right is by checking your quotes and the parts that make you feel concerned. Of course, no student would like to receive a negative report from the system, yet it does not mean that you are in trouble unless you have copied the entire text from another source!

How Can I Check My Paper for Plagiarism Before Submitting it to Turnitin?

We all know that sometimes we just cannot avoid Turnitin when our university requires it. That is why we all need an additional way to check our college papers. The safest and most reliable plagiarism detection tool you can use without limitations is Online Plagiarism Checker. It does not store your information anywhere and lets you check your writing as much as necessary without having to register or learn how to cheat Turnitin 2023 style! A fully reliable and accessible way to stay safe!


  • How do I avoid high similarity on Turnitin?

The most obvious answer to this question would be to write in your own words if at all possible and avoid so-called "mosaic plagiarism" when you only change the order of words slightly. The risks are still high to get a similarity detected. Next, always use correct quotes by turning to quotation marks. It is recommended to limit your use of quotes to keep the right balance. This way you do not have to learn how to plagiarize without getting caught by Turnitin. Even then it does not guarantee your safety with the system.

  • What is the acceptable percentage for Turnitin?

Even though your university may have different rules, the acceptable percentage for Turnitin is considered anything that is 5% and below. However, anything starting above 10% is considered unsafe, yet it does not mean that the paper is plagiarized. In certain cases, you may encounter specific rules that will accept papers with 15% similarity detected. Remember that this percentage is not plagiarism and your professor is free to check things manually!

  • Сan Turnitin detect paraphrasing?

In basic terms, it can detect paraphrasing if it is done with little change to the original text. It uses machine text recognition algorithms, which helps it to compare the similarity index. While it will not always work, it is safe to say that it detects paraphrasing that takes place in a single sentence. You can trick Turnitin by breaking your sentences into several smaller ones.

  • Can Turnitin detect PDF?

No, it does not check or scan PDF files. They are considered files with images or visual data in them. Since it is not possible to scan or highlight such documents, it is not accepted.

  • What do the colors mean on Turnitin?

The colors are encountered in your report file and show the similarity score of your documents. When the color is blue, it means that it has no matching text. Green stands for one word to 24% matching text. Yellow color means 25-49% matching text, orange means 50-74% matching text, and red stands for the cases when you have 75-100% matching text.

  • How long does it take for Turnitin to work?

In the majority of cases, it takes about fifteen minutes to generate a full similarity report after you submit your file. Sometimes, however, it can take up to 24 hours to generate your report if you are dealing with the high academic season.

  • Can I submit a paper on Turnitin twice?

Once you have submitted your paper, you must wait for 24 hours before you are allowed to resubmit your document in case you have made some editing or brought certain changes.

Was this article helpful?

125 readers found this helpful

Yes No
Thanks for your feedback!

Related Articles

We keep you up to date with the latest news and industry insights