What do you get from the PDF Similarity Report?

Educators will surely benefit from the similarity score and online reports delivered by Turnitin Similarity upon completion of each paper check. They provide a lot of insights into students’ writing skills and understanding of the subject matter.

But as the article title suggests, we’d like to focus more on the benefits of PDF reports. They may serve you well as the evidence for graded papers and also as student guidance material.

Since you’ll need relevant similarity scores and text matches to initiate a conversation with a student, we recommend making all the necessary exclusions before the PDF report is generated. The information about excluded sources, quotes, and content repositories will be recorded in the PDF report.


The report will also feature a similarity score received and retain the highlights for the text similarity, along with numbers corresponding to the numbered list of sources provided at the top. This will simplify your navigation, and make it easier to explain to students which sources were cited inaccurately or which of them weren’t acknowledged at all.

You can also make use of source usage breakdown to build your conversation/feedback around bigger errors first and then proceed to some minor corrections.

 Sources overlapping the submission content with percentage of matches found

 In-text matches highlighted and numbered for quick navigation


You may also want to point out these things while talking to a student about the progress made:

  • The level of similarity expected: If a student isn’t expected to come up with a paper based entirely on their own ideas/findings, tell them an amount of similarity that would be considered normal. If they need to digest the data/facts explained by other authors, it’d be quite natural to legitimately cite/paraphrase them and include them in the writings.
  • Emphasize how students should make changes to improve by utilizing the data/details from the PDF report for that.
  • Highlight how much quoted vs. original input is required.
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