Formatting Turnitin instructions for greater impact

When you create a Turnitin assignment, under the ‘Optional Settings’ area you can ‘Enter special instructions’ for your students.

It is good practice to use this space to enter specific instructions for the assignment, so that students are absolutely clear what is required of them e.g. Can they submit and resubmit drafts of their work? Is there a standard setting for naming their files?

The ‘special instructions’ text box  has no formatting options, so what you type displays as plain text only. That applies also to line breaks – if you press Return when entering the instructions it appears to start a new line, but once you Submit the line break will disappear.

This can lead to the instructions – which are designed to provide helpful guidance to students – appearing in a rather unattractive, even unreadable, way.

All is not lost, however: you can enter simple HTML code to introduce some formatting, to make your instructions stand out to students.

Here is a simple example. If you type the following:

<strong>This Turnitin submission point is for your final drafts only.</strong><br><br>

Your first submission is final and whatever you submit here will be marked.<br><br>

Please submit draft work to the Drafts assignment. <br><br>

the instructions will display as shown:

formatted 'special instructions' in Turnitin

Simple HTML you can use to make your instructions stand out:

<strong>bold text</strong>

<em>italic text</em>

<br>insert a single line break

Note: The code is shown within angle brackets and this is called a tag. The option to add bold text and italic text requires you to add an opening and closing tag around the text you want to modify, but to insert a line break you only need to add the tag in the position you want the line break. There is no closing tag.


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