Understanding your Draft Coach reports

Turnitin Draft Coach provides you with the ability to use Turnitin’s tools while you draft your assignment.

Need to install Draft Coach first? Check out our guidance on how to add draft coach to your document.

Similarity Check Citation Check Grammar Guide

Similarity Check

If instances are found where a user's writing is similar to or matches against a source in our database this will be flagged for your review in the Turnitin Draft Coach side panel.

The database includes billions of web pages: both current and archived content from the Internet, a database of student papers that have been submitted to Turnitin in the past, and a collection of documents, which consists of thousands of periodicals, journals, and publications.

Interpreting your results

The percentage of the similarity score is based on the amount of matching text in a document. It is perfectly natural for an assignment to match against some of our databases. If you've used quotes and referenced correctly, there will be instances where we will find a match and that is totally OK! The similarity score simply highlights any matching areas in your paper so your teacher can use this as an investigative tool to determine if the match is or is not acceptable. Each matching source is color-coded and listed numerically to make it easier to distinguish between multiple matches.

There are two parts to your Similarity Check:

  • Match - This is text that is very similar or the same as some text you have in your work. Your matches are highlighted in your Word document and the colors will correlate with the sources listed in your insight panel.

  • Source - The source is where a particular match has been found. This can be a webpage, a student paper, or a published journal. Your sources are listed numerically in your insight panel and it is possible to have multiple matches for each source. Selecting one of your sources will reveal information like how many matches were found for that particular source and where each match was found on that web page, student paper, or journal.

What can I do with the information included in my checks?

The information in your Turnitin Similarity Check should help you make decisions about how to improve your writing, whether that is in later drafts of the same assignment or on future assignments of a different nature. If you have the opportunity to revise your writing based on your Similarity Score, consider the following:

  • choose only the most significant quotes to include from your sources

  • summarize, paraphrase, or explain an idea in your own words rather than quoting it directly

  • cite all of your evidence using the appropriate citation style

What is a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ similarity score?

Turnitin does not set a similarity percentage that you should try to avoid or achieve. However, your school or teacher may have assigned a certain number as the acceptable threshold for assignments at your school. Consult your teacher for details on this threshold. Some similarity is usually expected and can simply mean that you have included source-based evidence which is a requirement for some assignments. If you have concerns or questions regarding any aspect of your similarity score, your teacher will be able to advise you.

Don’t forget, you have a total of three reports that you can run for your draft. If your similarity score is higher than you would like, take a look at the highlighted matches and see where you can improve, and then run your report again when you are finished revising your first draft.


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