Advice on Best Practices for Using

by Star Muir, Senior Director of DoIT, Learning Support Services

George Mason University has purchased a site license for Turnitin, a service that processes student papers and provides an Originality Report indicating a percentage of matching material on the internet and several other databases.  Our license currently includes only Plagiarism Prevention, not any other features of the Turnitin system.

The best way to prevent plagiarism is to create assignments that engage students step by step in the researching and writing process, as Shelley Reid, Director of Composition, pointed out in the spring 2005 issue of Writing@Center.   (See also “Defining and Avoiding Plagarism: The WPA Statement on Best Practices at Used effectively, TurnItIn will complement other teaching strategies and will also provide learning experiences about proper source attribution.  Help resources at include Instructor Manuals, Quick-Start Guides, and instructional videos.

Use Multiple Strategies for Reducing or Preventing Plagiarism

Communicate Expectations Effectively

Maximizing Learning Experiences

Maximize Clear Decision-Making

Make Choices About TurnItIn Options

The Instructor’s Manual has information about a variety of options which may be of interest or use to faculty, for example :

To learn more about all of these options, see TurnItIn Instructor Manuals, Quick-Start Guides, and instructional videos at


Supporting WAC: