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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 is designed to help instructors identify text that might be prepared by a generative AI tool. Our AI writing detection model may not always be accurate (it may misidentify both human and AI-generated text) so it should not be used as the sole basis for judging a student's work. There should be a judgement from instructors according to academic policies to determine whether any academic misconduct has occurred.


  • The percentage, generated by Turnitin’s AI writing detection model, is different and independent from the similarity score.
  • AI detection will only work for content submitted in English. It will not process any non-English submissions.

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.

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