How do I interpret a Turnitin Similarity Report?

You can watch the video guide or read the guidance below on how to view and interpret your similarity report for Turnitin assignments.

What is a similarity report? 

A Similarity Report is a summary of any matching or similar areas of text found in a submitted paper against any text matches from other sources:

  • periodicals
  • journals
  • publications
  • websites and webpages (including archived)
  • other student papers at our University and other Universities around the world

Turnitin checks your submissions against a database, if there are instances where your writing is like or matches against another source, it will be flagged for your lecturer to review.

It is perfectly natural for an assignment to match against some of the database.

If you've used quotes and referenced correctly, there will be instances where a match is found and that is totally OK!

How do I interpret a Turnitin similarity score?

The similarity score simply highlights any matching areas in your paper so your lecturer can use this as an investigative tool to determine if the match is or is not acceptable.

The colour of the report icon indicates the similarity score of the paper, based on the amount of matching or similar text that was uncovered. The percentage range is 0% to 100%.

The possible similarity ranges are:

  • Blue: No matching text
  • Green: One word to 24% matching text
  • Yellow: 25-49% matching text
  • Orange: 50-74% matching text
  • Red: 75-100% matching text

Both you and your lecturer can use a similarity report to identify examples of incorrect referencing and citation in your work. If you’re unsure about the results of the report, please consult your lecturer.

Once you have reviewed your similarity report you are usually able to make improvements with your referencing to avoid plagiarism and resubmit your paper before the deadline.

Visit referencing and plagiarism to find out more on improving your academic writing skills.


  • Student submission - If you are using a screen reader, you can access a text-only version of your similarity report by pressing Tab + Enter upon accessing the Similarity Report.

[Ask Us Home button]