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How to Read the Similarity Report

The following article explains how to read the Similarity Report. 

  • To view the Similarity Report when grading an assignment, go into SpeedGrader and click on the colored rectangle on the assignment submission screen. 
  • A general recommendation is to check papers with yellow, orange, or red color.  A dark blue color could indicate a sentence or two could be plagiarized, however.  Also, a yellow or orange color could indicate using common sentence starters which wouldn't necessarily be plagiarism.
  • Over time, the instructor will see which phrases and sentences are flagged by Turnitin and will determine the best cut-off score for their own course.  For example, one instructor may select to manually check papers with a score of 20% or more (dark blue color), whereas another instructor may select to check papers with a score of 30% or more (yellow color).

  • To view the Similarity Report after you have graded the assignment, go to the Grades screen in Canvas.
  • You will see the colored rectangle.  However, you cannot click on it to view the Similarity Report.
  • Instead, click in the score box for the assignment and click on the arrow at the right of the assignment box.
  • Then click on "SpeedGrader" to open the grading screen.
  • Now, you will see the colored rectangle you can click on to view the Similarity Report.





  • The icons on the right of the Similarity Report give more details for why the paper received its score.
    • A. Flags for Review
    • B. Match Overview
    • C. All Sources
    • D. Filters and Settings
    • E. Excluded Sources
    • F. Download and Information Tools

  • A. Flags for Review
    • This screen shows if the student tried to intentionally bypass the Turnitin algorithms.  The two items checked for are:
    • Hidden text - a student may try to enter  characters in between text and change the font color to white
    • Replaced characters - a student may try to use similar looking letters from other scripts such as a Latin "e" and Cyrillic "e".

  • B. Match Overview
    • This is the main screen instructors will use.  It shows which sources (e.g. student repository, website content) that is flagged in the student's paper.  If you click one of the sources at the right, then it will show in the paper at the left the specific phrases/sentences that are from the source.

  • C. All Sources
    • This screen shows all the sources (e.g. student repository, website content) found in the paper.  Whereas "Match Overview" shows only one matching source on the internet, "All Sources" will show all the webpages that have the identical information.  This is useful in order to show the student all the possible webpage sources they may have copied from.

  • D. Filters and Settings
    • This allows you to change the settings used in the Canvas assignment.  For example, if you didn't click "Exclude Bibliography" in the Canvas assignment instructions, you may now click that option and click "Apply Changes" to re-run the report with the new settings.

  • E. Excluded Sources
    • This screen shows sources that were excluded due to user settings.  For example, if the instructor chooses to not include a specific source when running the report, then the source will show on this screen.

  • F. Download and Information Tools
    • 1. Current View
    • 2. Digital Receipt
    • 3. Originally Submitted File
  • The "Current View" download option is useful if you wish to share the report with others. It will show which sources are found in the paper just as is shown in the Similarity Report screen

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