College of Graduate Studies

Frequently Asked Questions



1. What is Turnitin? Turnitin is a web-based teaching tool used at Unisa to prevent plagiarism by checking documents for originality.
2. Who has access to Turnitin Unisa? All registered Unisa Masters & Doctoral students are automatically enrolled in formal Unisa Turnitin classes. Selected Unisa Honours’ modules also make use of Turnitin.
3. How do I know for which classes I am enrolled on Turnitin Unisa? You will receive an email directly from Turnitin for each class you are enrolled in to confirm your access to the specific class.
4. Where to does Turnitin Unisa email the confirmation link? All Turnitin correspondence is sent to your Unisa myLife email address.
5. Where do I get more information? The Turnitin Unisa Student Guide is attached to the welcome notice you receive from Unisa Turnitin Team.
6. Where do I find Turnitin?

Go to the internet with one of the following browsers: Firefox, Chrome, Safari or Edge 

7. How do I log in online? Go to Turnitin with your web browser and click on the LOG IN button in the top right corner of the screen.
8. What is my username and password for Turnitin Unisa? USERNAME: You need to enter your full myLife email address as your username: PASSWORD: You need to enter your myLife email password
9. What if Turnitin Unisa does not accept my username? Make sure that you use the correct format: 
10. What if Turnitin Unisa does not accept my password? Click on 'Forgot your password?' then follow the onscreen instructions to reset the password for Turnitin
11. I logged in for the first time on Turnitin Unisa, what now? You need to accept the agreement and confirm your profile information before continuing to the student homepage.
12. Where do I find my Turnitin Unisa classes? Your student homepage will list of the classes you are enrolled in, simply click on the name of the relevant class to open.
13. How do I submit a document? After opening the class, just click the submit button for the specific assignment/research activity you wish to upload and follow the onscreen instructions.
14. What must be included in the submission?

Very important: UNISA Turnitin submissions are ‘all inclusive’, which means that every submitted document needs to include a title page (with your name and student number),
as well as a bibliography (reference list). The title page protects your submission as being your upload and the bibliography serves as confirmation of the research content within your document. We cannot protect your submissions without it.

15. Are submissions stored permanently for Turnitin Unisa?

YES: Submissions are permanently stored in Turnitin!!
This is done to protect your work from future plagiarism by others.

16. Can I submit a draft before I upload the final document? Yes, all formal Unisa Turnitin classes will allow a draft submission, giving you the opportunity to discuss the draft report with your lecturer/supervisor before making changes and submitting to the final.
17. Will my draft show up as possible plagiarism when I upload the final version? No, not when you log in with your myLife email address and upload the document yourself within the formal Unisa Turnitin class.
18. Which file types are acceptable for Turnitin Unisa? Turnitin UNISA requires you to submit your document in MS Word format. You may also submit an electronically created PDF document (but not a scanned PDF).
19. Which file sizes are acceptable for Turnitin Unisa? Documents need to be smaller than 100MB and must be less than 800 pages.
20. What if my document exceeds 800 pages? Contact the Unisa Turnitin Team for assistance
21. How long does it take to generate an originality report? The Originality Report is compiled online for both student and supervisor within 24 hours after submission. The duration will depend on network connections and the size of the document.
22. What is a Turnitin Originality Report?
  • The Originality Report provides a summary of matching text found in the submitted document.
  • The Originality Report also reveals the sources of matching text identified.
  • The amount of matching text is indicated by an index of similarity, shown as a percentage. The higher the percentage, the greater the amount of matching text.
23. May I view my originality report? UNISA students are permitted to view the originality reports for their submitted draft documents.
24. How do I open the originality report? Log in to Turnitin online 24 hours after submission and follow the actions under Step 4 in your Turnitin UNISA Student Guide.
25. What does the percentage on the originality report mean? The percentage shown on the Originality Report is an indication of NON-ORIGINALITY and is by no means a percentage of “plagiarism”.
26. What is the acceptable percentage for the overall similarity index? Proper interpretation of an originality report requires careful thought and discussion with your instructor/supervisor. Ask your instructor/supervisor about conditions under which a certain % of matching text may be allowed and how such text should be referenced in your document.
27. What is the acceptable percentage for an individual source match found?

Very important: As a universal rule for all Unisa students, the similarity of your document to any single source has to be below 5%. Please discuss with your lecturer/supervisor.

28. How do I improve the original content of my document?

If the matching of any single source is 5% or more, you may wish to revise and resubmit your document to Turnitin.
Please discuss with your lecturer/supervisor.

Last modified: 2021/07/29