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Insider’s Guide to Beat Turnitin

Posted: February 27, 2023
Last update date: January 4, 2024
9 min read

Turnitin is an online plagiarism company devoted to selling products used by education staff to detect plagiarism in their students’ work. The software has evolved since its launch in 1997, as have students’ plagiarizing methods. Turnitin’s AI-assisted software is used by high school teachers and professors alike.

It takes three to five minutes for the Turnitin system to generate a plagiarism report. Times vary depending on the length of the document and file size, so your instructor can receive a complete account of your text from fifteen minutes to 24 hours (on busy days) after your submission.

Teachers upload your work to Turnitin’s extensive content database, which cross-checks your homework with academic papers, online content, and previously submitted work. If your work does not match the text in their database, it’s considered original. You’re plagiarism-free, good job!

If you get a high percentage match, you have plagiarized one or multiple works. Plagiarism can be a severe infraction for colleges and schools, resulting in disciplinary action. So it’s best to avoid it altogether (ideally) or get caught.

Turnitin is the most popular plagiarism checker in the world. Turnitin is ever expanding its tools with acquisitions like ExamSoft, an automated assessment solution tool to reduce academic dishonesty during exams.

Additionally, their other tool, Gradescope, is an assessment platform instructors use for submitting work and accelerating grading. By using the Turnitin tool, they help educators catch students out and turn a profit for the company.

We know how stressful college papers can be, especially around exam season. It’s easy to procrastinate on the assignments you want to do well when stressed. Turnitin works to identify students plagiarizing and trying to get by. We’re here to help you plan ways around that and have a successful semester. Even if you’re burnt out or overwhelmed. Software shouldn’t do a professor’s job, especially if you did well enough to fool them.

Know how to structure your paper
12-point Times New Roman
double spaced (275 words/page) / single-spaced (550 words/page)
0" between paragraphs
1" margin all around
0.5" first line of a paragraph
PapersOwl editors can also format your paper according to your specific requirements.

How does Turnitin Work?

Before we tell you all the ways to beat Turnitin, we should talk about Turnitin’s algorithms and how it works. When most students submit their work, college professors will upload the submitted paper to Turnitin’s plagiarism detector. Once online, your work is compared with their extensive content database and, when completed, provides your educator with a similarity score. If your text has little similarity to others on the web, highlighted by a uniqueness score out of 100, you’re plagiarism free. Hooray!

You could still be in the clear if your similarity report shows some matching text. Professors will have to manually read and assess your papers anyway. With their subjective judgement, they might consider some matching text allowable. Direct quotes could be necessary to mention, so a match doesn’t always mean you’re in trouble for copying.

Academic writing is bound to contain some matches in plagiarism detection software with quotations from other scholarly literature. The Turnitin repository contains copyrights, licenses, and commercial pages from published works, which will be matched in the similarity index. This means using books from your course’s reference list will definitely show up on Turnitin.

The challenge for the busy student is to limit the matching text as much as possible. Another way to fool Turnitin is by submitting a bought custom essay from reputable writers. They can edit and perfect your paper for you with original content and ideas. Below, we walk you through the easy steps to get plagiarism-free writing.

Turnitin’s Algorithm

Turnitin’s algorithms cross-check uploaded content with three types of content in their database:

  • Publicly available internet-based content.
  • Written content from books, academic journals and newspapers.
  • Previously submitted papers to Turnitin from students’ essays.

Turnitin works by identifying matching text, such as sentences with identical strings of words in the same order, and flags them in red. This flagging system is totted up into an overall uniqueness score. The higher the score, the more plagiarism Turnitin’s algorithm strip macros spotted.

Your classmates’ work is also submitted to Turnitin. Your essay will be compared to theirs to see if you’re handing in someone else’s work. Copying your friend or a past student will not work in this situation.

The AI in the machine will trawl through your work with a fine-toothed comb and assess your word choice, sentence structure and ideas with other students’ papers, indexed web content and similarity index. However, we’re glad to tell you that their system isn’t perfect and can be easily fooled with creativity.

Tricks that Can’t Help to Cheat Turnitin

  • Copying: Copying and pasting sentences straight from Wikipedia is a surefire way to get caught plagiarizing. Typing a scholar’s hypotheses word-for-word without quotation marks and passing the idea off as your own is another foolproof method for Turnitin algorithms to flag your work. The anti-plagiarism software will spot your mistake when you write an essay without correctly referencing your source’s author. Turnitin will give your educator handy data insight panels to illustrate your cheating. We’ve helpfully outlined the ways to get around this in an effort to ensure you work smarter, not harder and free up some time for overwhelmed students.
  • Synonyms: Don’t just use synonyms to jazz up a direct quote from an author. This is Turnitin’s bread and butter, meaning they know this method. Plus, your professor is an expert in the field you’re writing a paper on. They’ll know shoddy synonym-swapping when they see it. Try and take the overall meaning of the passage you want to insert in your work and put it in your own language and writing style instead.
  • Word macros: These won’t help you either. It will either reject your file or return it to its original state. Turnitin will detect plagiarism by scanning your word document and providing your instructor with an originality report not in your favor.
  • White text: We’ve all seen posts boasting about highlighting text in white to boost your word length. It’s quite a popular method among students’ papers. However, because it’s so popular, the developers at Turnitin know about it too. Their online plagiarism checker has a way of identifying it. In the final report received by your instructor, your uninspired crime will be found. So we recommend avoiding it altogether.
  • Swapping letters: Don’t listen to people if they tell you that replacing a letter in a word with a similar-looking letter from a foreign alphabet will fool Turnitin. It won’t. The software has been designed with these typical methods in mind. Using special characters will not beat Turnitin algorithms either.

Hacks to Bypass Turnitin


Check yourself: If you’re worried about your professors finding plagiarism in your work, you can check for yourself. Just use a website to check plagiarism online and take notes. This way, you can spot the text matches and change the sentence structure so it is different enough to pass Turnitin. It’s wise to do this to edit your work and highlight where you should focus. If you check your essay when you’ve finished writing, you will save time during the editing process, which is essential for students with little time.

Paraphrased content

By using your own words or shortening a passage you’re using for inspiration and re-jigging it a bit, you can cheat Turnitin. It’s tricky, so you must be smart about it (work smarter, not harder, remember?). Nowadays, we have so much helpful software to make our work easier. Try an online paraphrasing tool to do the work for you, and save time and effort by simply copying and pasting your text in the box. Don’t just change a few words with different synonyms. Use your comments for the meat of the text, and you should be able to fool Turnitin.

Explanatory content

By simplifying some of the common phrases you’re using in your essay, you can break up any quoted or flagged text you may have. You can add some explanation to your text, like translating a commonly used Latin phrase in medicine and fool Turnitin. It may take more brain power, but it’s a great way to avoid being caught.

Professional essay writers

Your time could be worth your money. Rather than wasting it searching for synonyms to paraphrase another passage, you can use the best essay writing service and have experts write the perfect essay for you. With this method, you’re guaranteed plagiarism-free content as a professional essay writer is conscious of the plagiarism detection software. They know how to navigate various essay-writing services and will gladly help.

Quotation marks

To trick Turnitin, you’ve got to use quotation marks for direct quotes from your sources. Adding these marks at the beginning and end of the section will explain away any sentences caught by Turnitin. Quotes are necessary, especially in college papers, so it’s a valuable way to cheat Turnitin and higher your word count.

Transition words

Certain vocabulary like ‘furthermore’, ‘next’, ‘moreover’, ‘and so’, ‘then’ and ‘therefore’, to name a few. They are useful in segmenting your sentence. The added words can give some variety to your paper and deliberately circumvent the text-flagging software your teacher is using. It’s another method to beat Turnitin.

Bright synonyms

As we outlined above, your professor is an expert on what you’re writing about. So use some creativity if you’re going to use the synonym method. Ensure you find an alternate word for each keyphrase in your sentence. A top tip is to change the third word in each sentence you’re paraphrasing to avoid detection. For example, using the previous sentence, a top method is to modify the third text in each string of words you’re paraphrasing to avoid being caught.

Word order

By changing the word order of a sentence, you can cheat Turnitin. If your essay uses lists, this can be the easiest method to change the word order and trick Turnitin into thinking your sentence is unique.


How accurate is Turnitin?

Despite the website’s boasts, Turnitin’s plagiarism checkers are imperfect and can be overcome with a bit of finesse. In fact, detecting plagiarism is subjective and needs the discerning eye of a human. Turnitin is really a similarity index software that highlights your essay when they find matches. The Turnitin software has also been known to produce some false positives in student papers with no plagiarism. In Turnitin’s own words, they are not foolproof plagiarism detection software. Instead, they are software with an extensive database they can compare uploaded files against to see if there are matches. If so, it’s suggested to instructors that so-and-so’s essay has a particular percent match with this passage from a journal or this previous student’s work. It stores all previously uploaded content and uses it as a standard to check new content. It’s imperfect and can’t be considered an exact plagiarism detector. All papers uploaded are only assessed if they match a corpus of existing texts in the database. The matching text is subjective based on your examiner’s metrics, and some similarities may be allowed, such as the use of clichés which crop up in such papers.

What do the colors mean on the Turnitin report?

After your teacher uploads your essay, they receive a similarity report. This report is color-coordinated based on the amount of plagiarism detected. Red means an article has 75-100% of flagged text and is the ‘worst’ score you can get, though Turnitin claims they don’t score ‘good’ or ‘bad’ essays. They merely flag matches in their database. Orange means 50-74% match. When the writing is highlighted yellow, it’s 25-49%. Green means that one to 24% of the text matches. Green means you’ve got a completely original paper. Go you!

What is a good Turnitin score?

While Turnitin can’t guarantee a high similarity index means you are definitely plagiarizing, you want as low a score as possible. Anything under five percent is considered a ‘good Turnitin score’. Higher than ten percent is a danger zone, though it is still up to your teacher to decide if it is plagiarized.

Will Turnitin detect a custom essay I bought online?

Another sure-fire method to cheat Turnitin is by using custom writing services. You can use writing agencies accustomed to paraphrasing, using quotation marks, and properly researching topics. They will produce a well-written essay with no plagiarism issues for a fee. You can be sure they check their work before submitting it with an online plagiarism detector, as mentioned above. This way, your text will be pre-screened and not flagged when Turnitin checks. Consider it as paying someone to remove plagiarism and provide you with an excellent paper that will dupe the Turnitin staff.


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