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TurnItIn for Insturctors: User Guides, Manuals & Tutorials: AI Writing Detection

This guide will help you getting started with Turnitin.

AI Writing Detection

Turnitin's AI writing detection capability shows an overall percentage of the document that AI writing tools, such as ChatGPT may have generated. It was launched in February, 2023 that detects models including GPT-3, GPT-3.5 and GPT-4 and other AI writing tools that are based on these models such as ChatGPT with a 98% confidence based. 

It is important to bear in mind:

  • The percentage, generated by Turnitin’s AI writing detection model, is different and independent from the similarity score.
  • The AI detection score is visible only for instructors.
  • Turnitin does not make a determination of misconduct, rather it provides data for the educators to make an informed decision based on their academic and institutional policies. Hence, we must emphasize that the percentage on the AI writing indicator should not be used as the sole grading measure by instructors.  
  • AI detection will only work for content submitted in English. It will not process any non-English submissions.
  • The AI detector works only with prose text contained in long -form writing means individual sentences contained in paragraphs that make up a longer piece of written work, such as an essay, a dissertation, or an article, etc. The model does not detect AI- generated text in the form of non-prose, such as poetry, scripts, or code, nor does it detect short-form/ unconventional writing such as bullet points or annotated bibliographies. 

Status of the AI writing indicator

When you open a Similarity Report, the AI writing indicator is in the side panel. After a short period of processing, the indicator will display one of three potential states:

Blue with a percentage between 0 and 100: The submission has processed successfully. The displayed percentage that indicates the amount of text within the submission that Turnitin’s AI writing detection model determines (with 98% of precision based on data collected and verified in a controlled lab environment) was generated by AI.

This percentage is not necessarily the percentage of the entire submission.  

The AI writing report opens in a new tab of the window used to launch the Similarity Report. If you have a pop-up blocker installed, ensure it allows Turnitin pop-ups.

Gray with no percentage displayed (- -): The AI writing detection indicator is unable to process this submission. This can be due to one, or several, of the following reasons:

  • The submission was made before the release of Turnitin’s AI writing detection. The only way to see the AI writing detection indicator/report on historical submissions is to resubmit them.

  • The submission does not meet the file requirements needed to successfully process it for AI writing detection. The submission needs to meet the following requirements:

    • File size must be less than 100 MB

    • File must have at least 150 words of prose text in a long-form writing format

    • File must not exceed 15,000 words

    • File must be written in English

    • Accepted file types: .docx, .pdf, .txt, .rtf


Error ( ! ): This error means that Turnitin has failed to process the submission. This state means that the AI writing report cannot be opened. Please try again later. If the file meets all the file requirements stated above, and this error state still shows, please contact your Turnitin administrator.

Download the AI writing report

  1. Access the similarity report.
  2. The AI Indicator will appear as part of the Similarity Report, but will only be visible to you as an instructor.
  3. Click on the AI Indicator button.



















  •  The AI Indicator report highlights the text segments that Turnitin's model predicts was written by AI. It will be important for you to review the highlighted text and decide what is acceptable for the assignment.
  • You can download a PDF version of the AI writing report to your device by selecting the download icon located above right.

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