Turnitin in a Canvas Course


Turnitin is a plagiarism checker that provides instructors with the tools to engage students in the writing process, provide personalized feedback, and assess student progress over time. Turnitin is used by more than 30 million students at 15,000 institutions in 150 countries.

Currently, Turnitin can be utilized in Canvas as an LTI through their external tool or  the new Plagiarism Framework. 

Turnitin has many useful help guides regarding its functionality in Canvas, many of which are linked throughout this article.

Curriculum Designers: External Tool or Framework?

There are two ways to use Turnitin as a plagiarism checker as an assignment: as an external tool or a framework. The Plagiarism Framework is suggested in a majority of cases, but Turnitin as an external tool is an available option. Refer to the following chart to see which use of LTI would be beneficial for the assignment:

Plagiarism Framework External Tool
Canvas Speedgrader
Turnitin Feedback and Grading
Similarity check All Turnitin features
Ease of creation and maintenance More extensive and detailed plagiarism check


  • Allows grading within Canvas
  • Turnitin similarity check is available within Canvas Speedgrader
  • Functions as a setting enabled within the Canvas assignment submission page

For admin information about how to activate the framework within the course, refer to Turnitin's Configuring the Framework article

External Tool 

  • Allows feedback and grading within Turnitin
  • Allows Peer Review Feature within Turnitin
  • Functions as an embedded Turnitin page in place of a Canvas assignment submission page

Technical Operations: Assignment Creation

Within the assignment, make sure the Submission Type is set to online and that at least one online entry option is selected.

Once an entry option type is selected, a Plagiarism Review box will appear. Change the first dropdown from "None" to "Turnitin"

From here, change any settings to fit the course's needs. When everything is finished, press "Save" at the bottom of the page. 

Turnitin can be attached to assignments within Canvas. For a step by step walkthrough, refer to the Canvas Community help guide.

For more general information about creating assignments using Turnitin, see Turnitin’s page on creating assignments.


Turnitin on LMS - Safari

An issue was reported wherein users logged into Turnitin through an LMS on Safari are logged out. In this case, the message “Loading Error: We couldn't carry out that action because you have been logged out. Please log in again from the Turnitin home page” appears. This is caused by Safari privacy settings set to block cookies.

For more information, view the Turnitin issues article

Canvas Speedgrader Turnitin App

When using the Turnitin App on the iPad to grade submissions, the grade recorded does not get sent to Canvas and must be entered manually. There is currently no way to fix this issue.

For more information, view the Turnitin issues article.

Turnitin Compatibility with Internet Explorer 9

Turnitin is not compatible with Internet Explorer 9 when it Explorer is not on compatibility mode. When using this browser, the error message "Would you like to open or save t_submit.json from api.turnitin.com" appears. 

For more information, view the Turnitin issues article.

PeerMark Defaulting to First Peer Review

When multiple students provide peer review via the PeerMark function, the first review is set as the default. The other reviews can still be viewed, but the default cannot currently be changed.

For more information, view the Turnitin issues article.

You are done. Great job!