Fragmented Matches

Why is it I sometimes see fragmented matches pitted through some student’s work in Turnitin?

Turnitin will highlight these small ‘fragmented’ words when it has found similarity to a larger portion of text elsewhere within the student’s work from the same source, and the total of these result in an overall % which is deemed ‘significant’ enough by Turnitin to show.

Please be aware that Turnitin is best at matching larger, more verbatim sections of unoriginal text, it is not a paraphrasing detector. It would not indicate where a student may have paraphrased a series of small sections from multiple sources, then woven these together and not attributed them.

If you believe you may have seen a similar, although not verbatim, sentence / paragraph / phrase in a source which has not been attributed by the student, it may be that there is not an overall match to that source with the student’s work for Turnitin to highlight it. Using an Internet Search engine, such as Google, may help as these search on keywords.

Why is Turnitin telling me I am marking a Draft submission?

Under the standardised University Turnitin set-up, after a student has submitted to a Final (on time) Turnitin Assignment (submission point) they can update their submission with a new file any time up until the submission deadline.  This is useful in the case of accidental submissions of the wrong file (although they can only see their Similarity Report once, after the deadline). 

If you add feedback to students’ work before the submission deadline for Final (on time) submission points, you will see this notice:

Turnntin warning prompt stating: "This is a draft submission. Any and all marks will be deleted when or if the paper is resubmitted. Would you like to continue?". Buttons available are "OK" and "Cancel"

This does not mean the student has submitted a draft to self-check their work – there are separate submission points for this.  It is a warning that, because you are adding feedback before the submission deadline, your feedback will be lost if the student updates their submission. 

Note: this is not the case for Final (after deadline) submission points.  Students can make only a single submission to these.

I am unable to view a Similarity Report and/or Feedback, why is this?

After opening a student’s submission in the Feedback Studio (document viewer) you may find that you cannot see the Similarity report and/or Feedback that has been provided for the submission. In order to view these, you will need to turn on the relevant ‘layer’. You can do this by clicking on the layers button (fig. a) and ticking the layer(s) you wish to view (fig. b).

Note: the originality layer will only be viewable if the Turnitin Assignment has been set up to generate Similarity reports by the Programme/Registry team.

Can I access Turnitin to mark at home?

Yes, Blackboard/Turnitin are available like any other website, either directly at or by following the links from the home page.

Note: It is not recommended to use RDS to access Blackboard/Turnitin. This is because it may block certain browser tokens necessary to ensure that you are authenticated properly.

Saving Feedback and Marks


Saving Feedback and Marks

When grading papers it is important to understand how Turnitin saves the different types of feedback that you may apply to a paper. Here is a breakdown to assist with your marking:

NOT SAVED: Turnitin has two feedback types that do not automatically save: Grades and Feedback Summary. Each of these will be surrounded by a glowing blue border when you click into them allowing you to enter the desired grade/text. In order to save these feedback types, do the following:

  • Grade (top-right corner) – after entering a grade you must click off of the area (i.e. click anywhere else in the window) in order to save. The glowing blue border around the grades box will disappear and be replaced with the usual grey outline. Note: pressing the Enter key after entering a grade does not save the grade.
  • Inline Comments / Feedback Summary (right-side panel, pencil icon) – same as above, after typing feedback into the Feedback Summary side panel, in order to save this you must click out of the text box by clicking on another area of the screen such as the white space next to the formatting options. The glowing blue border around the grades box will disappear and be replaced with the usual grey outline. When editing feedback, ensure you have moved your cursor to the appropriate section within the comments and you have left clicked your mouse once.

Important: As Turnitin has a security time-out feature that locks open papers that have not been interacted with after approximately 10 minutes, we recommend that markers either save regularly or draft their feedback in a word-processor (e.g. Word, Notepad, etc) first and then copy and paste this in.


  • onscript bubble comments
  • QuickMarks
  • onscript text summary comments and strikethroughs

Accessing Submissions to add Feedback

Turnitin in Blackboard Original

Within your module Blackboard

Screen image of the Blackboard Menu, highlighting the Turnitin Assignments link
  • Select Course Tools > Turnitin Assignments
  • Click on the title of the Turnitin Assignment you wish to view submissions for
screen image showing a list of Turnitin Assignments accessed via the Control Panel in Blackboard
  • With the Assignment Inbox displayed either select the Title of the submission you wish to view or select the Pencil icon under the Grade column
screen image showing the assignment inbox with the title of the submission highlighted as well as the pencil icon in the grade column
  • The submitted script will open in a separate window: Turnitin’s Feedback Studio for you to view, add feedback and mark.

Grade Centre Column visibility to students

When Grade Centre columns are visible, the students’ marks are released as soon as you have entered them. Students will only see their own marks, not each other’s. You cannot release marks to some students but not others.

Grade Centre column drop-down menu highlighting the edit column information

Each Grade Centre column settings can be changed through the Edit Column Information using the drop-down menu next to the column name.

Screen image showing the Options area of the edit column information to show a grade centre column to students

From the Edit Column screen, scroll down to the bottom of the page to the Options area.

Select Yes to Show this Column to Students, or No to hide it.
If you have selected No, an icon will appear at the top of the
column. This indicates that it will be ‘hidden’ from students.

screen image showing the icon that appears on a grade centre column heading when the column is hidden to students

It is recommended that all the columns are set to NO initially, and then changed to Yes Show This Column to Students as and when you want the marks released for each individual assessment or assignment

Check for Hidden Columns

How to check for hidden columns

  • From within your Blackboard site, select the Course Management > Control Panel > Grade Centre > Full Grade Centre.
  • Within the Grade Centre, select the Manage drop-down and select Column Organisation.
screen image showing the Manage Column Organisation drop down menu in Blackboard Grade Centre

The Column Organisation window will open. Items that are hidden will be ‘greyed out’ and marked (Hidden).

Screen image showing the Blackboard Column Organisation window in the Grade Centre with hidden columns highlighted

To unhide an item, select the chekbox next to the item name and click on the Show/Hide and choose Show selected columns then click Submit. Any columns that were previously hidden from ‘your’ view will now be visible in the Full Grade Centre.

Before you start with the Grade Centre

Before using the Grade Centre:

  1. Check for hidden columns. Are any columns hidden from your view?
  2. Control when students see their marks and feedback. Some columns are automatically visible to students, which means any marks you enter will immediately be visible to students, check and hide columns if necessary. Further information on controlling when students see their grades and feedback.
  3. Check Calculated columns. Auto-Total columns can make marks available to students without realising it.

Blackboard Grade Centre

The Grade Centre is a dynamic and interactive tool allowing you to record data, calculate marks and monitor student progress from within the Blackboard environment. The Grade Centre also allows the customisation of what information is shown* to your students and can be useful as a mark repository before transferring these into the student record system.

The Grade Centre automatically includes data from Turnitin Assignments (using Grademark) and Blackboard Assignments. In addition Blackboard Tests, Surveys, Discussion boards, Blogs and Wikis can be set up to be included in the Grade Centre. Grade Centre columns can also be created for any activities or requirements you wish to record e.g. project work or non-electronically submitted work.

*Some Grade Centre information is automatically switched on / calculated and may be unintentionally viewable to students. Please review the Before you start section for more information.