Getting Started with Turnitin

Creating a Course in Turnitin 

Step 1: Create an Account

Contact if you need a turnitin account. Note the course you are teaching in your message. Once your account has been created, you will receive an email from Turnitin prompting you to create a password. If your TAs are marking papers you will also have to request that they be set up as instructors.

  • If you were previously a student in a Turnitin course, please notify the help desk as your account will have to be set up in a special way.
  • If you are a student, see the SFU Canvas student guide for instructions 

Step 2: Choose Your Class Type (Class or Master Class)

If you are the only instructor, you will need to create a 'class'. However, if you have TAs who will be marking papers you should create a 'master class'. Note: you will need to give your students the class id and enrollment key generated during this step so that they can access your class.

To create a class:

To create a master class:

Step 3: Create an Assignment

Create an assignment to which students can submit their paper  

Click on the "+" sign to read more

Turnitin FAQs for Instructors

Does the SFU Turnitin license also cover use by SFU staff and SFU prospective students?

  • No, only persons registered in an SFU course can use the Turnitin site license.

Can I submit a paper to Turnitin myself?

  • No, our license with Turnitin only covers instructional use, not instructors submitting papers. You can also not submit student papers yourself to Turnitin as this contravenes the Turnitin privacy policy.

Is there an email acknowledgment after submitting a paper so that a student can use the email as proof of submission?

  • Yes, once a paper is submitted, a paper ID number is generated on screen. The student can write down this number or print the screen. An email is also sent to the student (see the Turnitin training video: Submitting a paper).

Can the cover page be excluded from originality checking? Or can a certain page be excluded?

  • No, the entire paper is scanned. However there are options in the report to exclude specific matches or quoted material.

Is there a Web form to ensure the same format is used for all submitted papers? If not, how can I make sure that the submitted papers have the desired format?

  • There is no Web form, however Turnitin accepts multiple formats including MS Word, WordPerfect, RTF, PDF (text), PostScript, HTML and plain text (.txt). It also allows for a copy and paste window for any other format.

Can you use Turnitin for thesis or academic dissertations?

  • Unfortunately use with academic theses and dissertations is not covered by SFU's Turnitin license. Paid alternatives include: enago or ithenticate

Step 4: Access the Similarity Report

Once students submit their papers, you can check for plagiarism and AI usage using the Similarity Report.

Adding Students to a Turnitin Class

Please note the following considerations when adding students to your class:

  • Student rosters should not be directly uploaded to the Turnitin system. While technically possible, compliance with B.C. privacy law prohibits instructors from directly entering student information on a system that stores and provides access to personal information outside Canada. Instead, direct your students to register with Turnitin on their own.
  • The class id and enrollment key should not be provided publicly (e.g., it is okay to put this information in a Canvas course or other restricted site requiring CAS login, but not on the open internet). Public exposure of the class id and enrollment key contravenes SFU’s agreement with Turnitin. Note - if you have a master class, each section will have its own class id and section enrollment key. 
  • Once provided with the class id and enrollment key, students should be advised to go to the Turnitin site to create their account


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