Turnitin: What percentage of matched text is acceptable?

The percentage match doesn’t indicate plagiarism and there is no ideal percentage to aim for. The percentage only indicates the amount of text in your assignment Turnitin has matched to other sources in it’s database and should only be used as a guide. It is up to you to evaluate the separate matches shown in the report and make sure they are correctly referenced .

Use the guidance in the Academic Integrity Toolkit to help you.

What percentage of matches is safe?

There is no ideal percentage to look for and your work is bound to contain some words from other sources.  The percentage will vary depending on the type of assignment and the requirements of the work involved.

As you’ll see, Turnitin will show similarities that you can safely ignore and also ones you need to make changes to. (List of standard matches Turnitin will make in your work that you should not worry about.)

I have a lot of matches or a high percentage?

If you have lots of matches or a high percentage of matches in your work, this can often indicate an over-reliance on direct quotations or paraphrased text, or text that has been copied and pasted directly from the Internet.
Make sure matches are converted into properly referenced quotations or, preferably, rewrite them into well-written and referenced paraphrases.

Remember! You can get support from Study Advice and guidance from the Academic integrity Toolkit.

Think about using referencing software like Endnote to keep track of and recall all of your original sources.

A 100% match means your assignment has previously been submitted to Turnitin. This can happen if you are resubmitting work and you have already submitted the assignment to the Turnitin database to another assignment in a different module on Blackboard. Contact your tutor or the Support Centre for advice if this happens.

I don’t have many matches?

If you don’t have any matches or have a low percentage, it could mean that the report has been set up by your tutor to automatically exclude quotations, small matches and the bibliography.
It could also mean that there is little or no use of direct quotes. Depending on the nature of the assignment, this is not necessarily an issue. It could also mean that you’ve appropriately paraphrased and summarised the text from your sources. If this is the case, then just ensure that all of them have been cited or referenced.