Turnitin SimCheck in Engage Activities

Faculty > Plagiarism > Turnitin SimCheck in Engage Activities

Turnitin SimCheck is a plagiarism prevention tool that scans student submissions to identify plagiarism or incorrectly cited text. Submissions are compared against various sources to generate a Similarity Report where matched text is highlighted along with information about the matching source. It is possible for SimCheck to be enabled on Engage forums and assignments.

This document illustrates how faculty can access SimCheck Similarity Reports, interact with the reports, and enable SimCheck within an Engage forum or assignment.

Preparing to Use SimCheck

Before using SimCheck, it is important to understand SimCheck's capabilities and requirements:

Accessing the Similarity Report

A Similarity Report will become available after a file or post has been submitted and processed by SimCheck. Processing time is typically between 5-15 minutes but may be longer depending on file size and Turnitin server status.


  1. Open the assignment and select the View all submissions button.

    Assignment screen with view all submissions button highlighted
  2. Locate the student’s submission you wish to review.

  3. Click the Similarity Score percentage next to the Turnitin Icon to open the Similarity Report.

    Do not click the file name - this will download the original file instead.

    Student submission row with yellow Turnitin SimCheck Similarity Score percentage under student's file name.
  4. You can also open the Similarity Report from the Grade screen.

    Assignment grading screen with yellow Turnitin SimCheck Similarity Score percentage under student's file name


  1. Navigate to the forum and open the student’s post.

    You must click the title to fully open the forum post. You cannot access the Similarity Report from the accordion view on the main forum page.

    Forum page with student discussion post highlighted
  2. At the bottom of the post, click the Similarity Score percentage next to the Turnitin Icon to open the Similarity Report.

    Forum post with red Turnitin SimCheck Similarity Score percentage under post text
  3. Turnitin will also generate Similarity Reports for file attachments in forums. The Similarity Score percentage and the Turnitin Icon will appear below the file name. Click the Similarity Score percentage to access the Similarity Report.

    Do not click the file attachment name - this will download the original file instead.

    Forum post with file attachment and yellow Turnitin SimCheck Similarity Score percentage under post text

Using the Similarity Report

A high or low Similarity Score is not a definitive measure of plagiarism. The SimCheck Similarity Report and score should be used as a guide in evaluating the originality of a student's work. Always review the Similarity Report and consider the matched sources before making a judgment.

Viewing Matches and Sources

  1. The Similarity Report displays the student’s submission on the left and a Sources Panel on the right. Matched text will be highlighted on the student’s submission. Clicking matched text will open the corresponding entry in the source panel.

    Full screen view of Turnitin SimCheck Similarity Report
  2. The Sources Panel offers two views. Use the dropdown arrow at the top of the sources panel to switch between them.

    1. Sources overview: displays a list of the top sources found in the document. Overlapping sources will not be displayed.

    2. All sources: displays a list of every source found in the document. Includes overlapping sources, so the total percentage match will appear to be higher than the student’s Similarity Score.

    Closeup of sources panel with source option drop-down expanded.
  3. Click a source to view details:

    1. Number of matches from the source. Click the arrows to browse through additional matches

    2. Link to source (internet sources only)

    3. Excerpt of source text. The matched text is highlighted.

    4. View Full Text Depending on policy, this may not be available for matches with other student papers.

    5. Exclude Source button

    Source details with components labeled

Excluding Sources

  1. Individual sources can be excluded by clicking the Exclude Source button in the source details.

    Source details with Exclude Source button highlighted
  2. Once you have excluded a source, a Similarity Exclusion link will show at the top of the Sources Panel. Click the link to view a list of excluded sources.

    Sources panel with similarity exclusion link highlighted
  3. On the Excluded Sources list, click the name of a source to include it in the Similarity Report again. Click the Include All Sources link to remove all exclusions at once.

    Excluded sources list showing three individual sources with checkboxes and an Include All Sources checkbox
  4. Certain exclusion categories can also be set to reduce matches that do not typically indicate plagiarism, such as bibliographies. Note: these exclusions will not show on the Excluded Sources list.

    1. Click the gear icon at the top of the Sources Panel to open the Settings page.

      Source panel with gear icon highlighted
    2. There are 6 exclusion options:

      1. Internet (excludes all matches with internet sources)
      2. Submitted Works (excludes all matches with other student submissions)
      3. Bibliography
      5. Citations
      6. Small Matches
      Settings list with each option labeled

Enabling SimCheck

Turnitin SimCheck must be enabled on an assignment or forum for Similarity Reports to generate.

  1. From the assignment or forum, click the gear icon and select Edit Settings.

    Assignment screen with gear icon highlighted and gear menu expanded. Edit settings option is highlighted in gear menu
  2. Scroll down to the Turnitin Integrity section and click to expand.

    Turnitin Integrity plugin settings tab header highlighted within list of tabs on Edit settings page
  3. Choose your desired settings:

    1. Enable Turnitin: This must be checked for Similarity Reports to generate

    2. Exclude from Similarity Reports: exclude certain match categories by default

      • Bibliography

      • Quotes

    3. Submission Indexing: This setting must be enabled to store student papers in your institution’s submission repository. If this is not enabled, student submissions will not be stored for future comparison.

    4. Generate Similarity Reports: Choose when reports will generate.

      • Immediately

      • Immediately and regenerate on due date

      • Due date

    5. Student access

      • Allow students to view Similarity Reports: if this is disabled, students will only be able to see their Similarity Score.

      • Process draft submissions: If your assignment allows draft submissions, you can enable this to generate a similarity report for students before they have officially submitted. This is generally not enabled.

    Expanded Turnitin Integrity Plugin settings list with options labeled
  4. Once you have selected your settings, scroll down and click Save and return to course or Save and display.

    save and cancel buttons at bottom of Edit settings screen