Student Submissions in MyCourses


(All except the first section copied to MC help)

Are you submitting a draft or a final version for grading?

The Aalto University Code of Academic Integrity recommends that the teacher gives students the possibility to practice originality checking of their work before the final submission (which may be graded).

Practising allows students to learn to cite reference sources correctly and to learn to write the referenced text in one's own words (paraphrasing). Errors in citing sources or in paraphrasing, like making only minor changes to the source text (which is a form of plagiarism), in the work being graded requires the teacher to handle the situation according to the procedure described in the Aalto University Code of Academic Integrity before giving the grade.

The teacher can arrange opportunities to practise good writing practices in several ways. The obvious way is to have an explicit submission box for drafts. However, a submission box for the final submission can contain a draft submission possibility in it in a separate tab. More information on this feature is in the teacher's instructions. If you are not sure whether the submission box contains a draft submission possibility, ask your teacher.

If a course workspace does not contain the possibility to make draft submissions or, in the case of thesis writing, your thesis supervisor does not have a dedicated MyCourses workspace for thesis supervision that contains draft submission boxes, you can use the common MyCourses workspace for the entire Aalto community called Independent Turnitin Originality Check for Academic Year 20xx-20yy (use the MyCourses search utility to find it) for this purpose.

Supported file formats and file size

Turnitin accepts many file formats for the originality check. The typical ones are listed below:
  • PDF (also PDF/A)
  • Microsoft Word® (.doc & .docx)
  • OpenOffice Text (.odt)
  • Rich text format (.rtf)
  • Plain text (.txt)
  • HTML
  • Google Docs via Google Drive™
  • Microsoft PowerPoint® (.pptx, .ppt, .ppsx, and .pps)
  • Microsoft Excel® (.xls and .xlsx)

For details, a description of restrictions, and a complete list of supported files, go to Turnitin's page here.

In order to create a pdf file using LaTeX, for now, the use of PdfLaTeX is recommended, that is, run your tex source file using pdflatex to create your pdf file. To write your thesis, use only the Aalto LaTeX templates from their respective distribution sites (template for the bachelor's, master's and licentiate thesis and the template for the doctoral thesis) and follow the instructions there to create the pdf or pdf/a file. These have been tested to create pdf files that are readable by Turnitin. Do not use templates and files available on the internet or in Overleaf since they may be outdated or not work otherwise as expected.

The file to be checked should contain at least 20 words. When submitting a pdf file, ensure that the text is indeed text and not an image or bitmap created as the result of the conversion or a merging of files gone wrong. The maximum file size is 100MB or less than 800 pages. Bigger files must be split into two or more separate files and submitted into the indicated sub-boxes: the first one into Part 1, the second into Part 2, and so on. By default, a submission box has only one part called Part 1 if not changed by the teacher, but your teacher can add parts by editing the settings of the submission box on request to accommodate a submission with multiple parts.

A complete description of restrictions is given in Turnitin's guides.

Submission in MyCourses workspace

Follow the steps below to successfully submit your work in a Turnitin assignment n MyCourses (numbered in the screenshots below).

1. A Turnitin submission box in MyCourses is identifiable from the logo and activity identifier encircled in the screenshot. Find the correct activity from the name of the submission box where you must submit your assignment. The name of this submission box is "Homework assignment".

2a. Assignment instructions given by the teacher are seen under Description. You can hide the description by clicking on the red '-' or make it visible by clicking on the green '+' that appears when the description is hidden. If you hide the description by clicking the green spot (turns +), the submission function (5.) can be seen more easily.

2b. A submission inbox can contain one or more tabs to submit your work, as in this screenshot with Draft and Final version. By default, the tabs are named Part 1, Part 2, ..., which the teacher can rename. Check that you submit your work in the right tab.

2c. The marks you can get for the submission are shown under Marks Available. The default scale is 1-100, which is shown also when the teacher does not give marks but assesses submissions in other ways. When the teacher attaches assessing criteria to the assignment, the rubric icon appears next to the marks available.

3. Click on the icon to open the submission dialogue box (see item 4 below).

4. Give your submission a name

5. Upload your file either by

5a. dragging and dropping your file in the designated area or

5b. using the File picker to (5b1) browse your computer and (5bii) upload your file.

6. Check the box to confirm

i. that the submission is your own work and

ii. that you agree that the work may be stored in Turnitin's standard repository. Submission is not possible without checking the agreement box. Papers saved in the repository are protected against plagiarism. The teacher decides whether the submission is stored in the standard repository (as for final submissions) or not (typically for drafts). It is recommended that the teacher informs students about this choice.

7. Upload the submission. When using Turnitin for the first time, you are asked to agree with the terms in the Turnitin User Agreement.


8. You will see a digital receipt on the screen for successful submission. In case of problems making a submission, see the tips in Turnitin's support.

9. Open the submission receipt here.

10. As soon as the Turnitin similarity report is ready, the similarity percentage and a coloured rectangle appear in the submission box. This can take from a couple of minutes up to 24 hours. If it says Pending instead of a percentage, the similarity check is still being processed.Once ready, click on the percentage number or coloured rectangle to open the similarity report in the Turnitin Feedback Studio in a new tab. Read Turnitin's pages for details on the ranges of the coloured rectangle on ranges of the coloured rectangle (the similarity icon) and on interpreting the similarity score. The similarity percentage on its own is not very meaningful; every similarity found must always be interpreted in the context it is written. Some matches, like those in a reference list, are perfectly OK. See here for tips on interpreting the similarity report.

11. When the similarity status is Pending, you may click on Refresh Submissions to see whether the processing has ended. Click on Refresh Submissions if on resubmitting a new version the similarity report is not updated.

12. Post date is the date after which the teacher's feedback and assignment grade is visible to the students.

13. The grade given by the teacher for the assignment is visible here too as also in the similarity report. It is visible only after the Post date. A pencil icon appears alongside the grade that can be clicked to open Feedback Studio to see the teacher's possible feedback. See the details in Student views feedback

14. If allowed by the teacher, you can resubmit your work until the due date or later if late submissions are allowed by clicking on Submit Paper. See Resubmission below for details.


A resubmitted paper replaces the earlier file and the new report overwrites the earlier one. After three resubmissions, a report of the fourth file will be generated only after 24 hours. Resubmission may also be disabled by the teacher (setting "Report Generation Speed  = Generate reports immediately, resubmission not allowed").

If resubmission is allowed before the due date, you can first submit a draft of an assignment, inspect the resulting originality report, correct possible flaws, and then resubmit the corrected version for grading.

Removing a submitted file

If the file is stored in the Turnitin student paper repository (comparison database), it will be stored there for the period determined by Aalto University. Teachers may remove files from the submission box in MyCourses, but this does not remove the submission from the comparison database. By default, submissions are not stored in a repository. However, your teacher may have changed this setting. It is in your interest to save your submissions in the repository since in this way the submissions are protected against plagiarism.

If you want your submission removed from the repository, send a removal request with the link to the submission box and the paper ID to turnitin(at)aalto.fi. The work ID is on the digital receipt.

Note that the paper submitted in a course submission inbox cannot be removed until eight weeks after submission in order to allow for possible grading. However, papers submitted in the MyCourses workspace Independent Turnitin Originality Check for Academic Year 20xx-20yy can on request be deleted right away.