There Is Only One Way to Trick Turnitin in 2023, and You Won't Like It

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For many students, the Turnitin plagiarism checker has become the bane in their academic lives. Because of its complex algorithms, students are forced to make unrealistic edits to their paper assignments.

Plagiarism is a serious issue in the academe, and students who commit this academic misconduct will have to face the consequences – with the worst being expulsion. A lot of students believe that they can “cheat the system” and even trick the complex algorithms of plagiarism software like Turnitin. If you Google ways to beat it, you'll find plenty of articles suggesting various ways on how to trick Turnitin and battle it. But here's the harsh truth: You CANNOT outsmart its algorithms.

Turnitin is well aware of these attempts, which is why they constantly update their system and make changes that adapt to the latest academic integrity standards. In short, you're better off not tricking its system. For the students, there's only one fail-safe solution left, and that is to hire an essay writer.

But first things first…

Let's get started!

What Is Turnitin?

Turnitin is a highly popular originality checking and plagiarism detection service, developed by the iParadigms group. It was originally known as and was designed for teachers and professors who need a tool for improving paraphrasing and quoting on their academic works.

Today, the Turnitin checker works on a commercial basis and requires users to register a user profile. It's used by over 30 million students from all over the world. Teachers also use it to check for the originality of their students' works. Turnitin's system compares written materials with indexed Web content, with previously submitted written works, as well as with large databases of text.

How Does Turnitin Work?

Turnitin's database consists of three elements:

  1. A collection of existing academic papers submitted by students (which have created a number of accusations of copyright infringement, since many students don't give Turnitin permission to use their works as comparison materials)
  2. All accessible pages on the Internet
  3. Commercially accessible pages extracted from books, newspapers, and journals.

Basically, Turnitin analyzes these elements and highlights what's been plagiarized, if anything. Turnitin for students can be beneficial but if your goal is to avoid getting your paper compared with the written sources found in their database, then it's important to understand how exactly it works. This way, you can be able to bypass the Turnitin similarity score, and reach your academic goals without problem.

How To Use Turnitin?

After becoming a commercially available service, Turnitin can now be used not just by teachers and teaching assistants, but by students as well.

Teachers can ask their students to submit their papers to Turnitin. The system will then help them check if the papers are original or was paraphrased or copied from another student's papers or outside sources. Turnitin will provide a detailed report showing the percentage of originality, as well as the exact source materials the text was copied or paraphrased – called the Similarity Report.

On another hand, students use Turnitin as a tool to help them prevent copyright infringement and plagiarism. But in some situations, the service creates more trouble for students, even for those who don't intend to cheat. This is because it looks for similar word and sentence combinations but can mistakenly detect parts of an otherwise unique content, as copied or paraphrased.

Why Are There No Ways to Beat Turnitin?

Instead of wasting your time with a list of baseless tricks to cheat Turnitin, we're here to tell you the truth, which is that there are simply no loopholes to its system. Turnitin's algorithms are extremely difficult to trick. There have been many creative attempts to bypass its system, but there's no one trick that truly succeeded. We're aware of some of these hat tricks.

Yes, they may have worked in the past but with Turnitin's constant updates and changes to their system, these methods no longer work against them. In fact, they could do more harm than good, and could potentially land you into serious trouble with your instructor. Below are some of the “tricks” you should avoid:

Methods That Don't Work

1. The Thesaurus Trick

Some people think they can get away with plagiarism by replacing some words in the original source material, with synonyms.

Well, too bad, because one of Turnitin's main selling points is that it can easily determine synonyms.

2. Letter-Swapping

One popular trick done by many students is that they replace a letter like "N" throughout their text, with a foreign-language letter or character that looks like "N", but is in fact different (i.e. the Cyrillic "П").

Little do they know that Turnitin has developed their own map of similar-looking characters from various languages. Their proprietary algorithms replace these characters with the corresponding English letter, and works by matching words that contain every character variable.

3. Using Word Macros As A Disguise

Other folks advise using Microsoft Word's macros or PDFs to disguise copied content.

The thing is, Turnitin's algorithms strip macros from Word documents, particularly for Word 2003 and older versions. When stripping a macro from these files, whatever the text the student originally had in the file will appear.

For instance, if the file starts with an "~e" and the student replaces it with the standard "e" in macros, Turnitin's Feedback Studio feature will strip these macros, making the original "~e" appear in the paper. This will definitely reflect in the Similarity Report, as well as in other files that will be submitted by the student to their instructor.

4. Adding Images to Reach Paper Length

Some students just don't know how or what to write for their paper assignment, so they resort to adding images on the text so it appears, for example, like a 500-word or 5-page essay.

Turnitin, however, can easily detect this form of deception since their algorithm is also designed to detect paper and word length. They will immediately flag such papers.

5. Make It Invisible

Many students think they can cheat Turnitin by replacing spaces in their paper with "invisible" (white) text. For example: OR likeXthisXXbutXXXwithXXXtheXwhitedXXXXoutX.

But again, with Turnitin's Feedback Studio, papers that appear to have this whiteouts will immediately be rejected due to the unusual word lengths. What's more, the text-only Similarity Report will still display all text no matter what color the student would use.

6. This Is "My Work"

Other students add quotation marks around their paper to make it look as if they've written it themselves.

The problem is that Turnitin doesn't automatically exclude quoted material. Only teachers can tweak the default settings if they choose to exclude quoted materials from Similarity Reports. The report will also show the quotation marks at the beginning and end of the paper, in the same-size text as the rest of it. In addition, if the teacher opts to exclude quoted material, Turnitin will display a warning when a huge percentage of a student's paper appears within quotation marks.

What's the ONLY Way to Trick Turnitin (And Why Won't You Like It)?

While it's true that you can never outsmart Turnitin, there's still a way to “beat the system”. By that, we mean you can still pull off writing a paper assignment that will definitely get a passing score in Turnitin's Similarity Report. It may be a hard pill to swallow for some, but the answer is simple: You need to provide original text.

Here are two options students have (which you probably won't like!):

1. Rewrite it yourself. The first and most reliable method is to just do the work on your own. It's not beating the system per se, but it's the most foolproof way there is. You'll never be accused of plagiarism because you did the manual labor yourself! Some people may find this time-consuming, but it's a rewarding learning experience—one that will help you improve your own writing skills and allow you to get a better grasp of the topic at hand.

2. Hire an essay writing service. If you can't complete an essay or any paper assignment on your own, it may be time to get the help of a professional writer. It's not cheating because you'll only receive a paper that you can use as a model/reference paper. And with that, you must NOT submit the purchased work without fixes, nor pass it off as your own.

1. Paraphrasing

Perhaps one of the more effective and safe methods to tricking Turnitin's seemingly unbeatable algorithms, is by paraphrasing. Its system was specially developed to detect passages and constructions that appear the same, but it doesn't always see paraphrased content, which makes this method a probable way to trick Turnitin.

But of course, this will take some time – and a bit of risk-taking – to see if it really works at all times. On one hand, if you take a well-written essay on a similar subject and paraphrase the whole piece with your own words, then you'll get original text that's actually authored by you. Your professor won't suspect anything!

2. Hire A Reliable Academic Writing Service

If you've exhausted all your options (which is honestly not too many), then it's probably time to get yourself a professional writer to lift the heavy burden for you. This is an effective way to acquire a well-written paper with minimum time and effort wasted on your part. Most importantly, you have better chances of avoiding plagiarism issues!

With top ten essay writing services, you will not only trick Turnitin, you'll also forget all those worries about how to cheat its system, because a reliable writing service will always provide you with a 100% plagiarism-free, completely original paper. Just make sure to send the necessary instructions to your writer, including the structure and formatting guidelines required.

What Are the Pitfalls to This Method?

Turnitin has an entire suite of tools that aim to combat the entire spectrum of academic cheating, which is to say they also keep a close eye on custom writing services. Here are the possible pitfalls to hiring an essay writer:

  • If you unknowingly purchase a paper from an unreliable writing service or essay mill, chances are you will receive a low-quality, possibly plagiarized paper (or worse, one that has been resold or reused!).
  • While trustworthy essay writing services ensure 100% plagiarism-free papers and transfer its ownership rights to the customer, students are highly discouraged from submitting it as their own, unless they've rewritten it. Turnitin has data insight panels that dig deep into document metadata, which could potentially detect even those made by essay writing services.
  • The higher the quality, the pricier it gets. Essay writers don't sell their services for cheap. If you're on a limited budget, you may not be able to afford the convenience of hiring a custom writing service.

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Bad News: There Are No More Ways to Cheat the System!

End of the line, folks! We've spent ages trying to figure out how to beat Turnitin, but it's a near-impossible feat. The next best move is to get those creative juices flowing and write the work yourself. But if you're a risk-taker, you can always attempt to outwit Turnitin and your teacher (though it's not the best trick in the book).

Frequently Asked Questions

• How can I check my paper for plagiarism before submitting it to Turnitin?

You can use any alternative to Turnitin for students. Another way is to hire a good writing service, since all ordered papers are guaranteed 100% original.

• Can I submit the same paper to Turnitin twice?

A paper can be resubmitted to Turnitin only until the set deadline. You can upload an updated version of a paper as many times as you need by using the Turnitin Test page (which can be accessed via Dashboard or My Modules) to check the similarity score, and then upload the final version on the module page.

• How long does Turnitin keep papers?

Turnitin gives its users the ability to "opt out" of their database. This provides teachers the option to have an "institutional database" of student papers and as such, can remove papers by request. The paper will then be removed from their database within 2 weeks.

• How much does Turnitin cost?

Unfortunately, Turnitin doesn't post their prices on their website, and instead uses a private quote system. The latest anecdotal evidence was from the Financial Times, pegging the cost at $2 per student per year.

• Does Turnitin check old papers?

Yes. Like a smart detective, Turnitin can detect copy-pasted work. So if your paper was copied elsewhere, was not carefully rewritten, and/or was not properly referenced, you can bet Turnitin will remember it, especially if the old paper was submitted for anti-plagiarism scan.

• How long does it take for Turnitin to check a paper for plagiarism?

Traditionally, the Turnitin Originality Report should be ready within 15 minutes, although it may take up to 24 hours during peak times like in the middle or end of semesters when many papers are being submitted to Turnitin.

• Turnitin says I plagiarized, but I didn't. What should I do?

Turnitin's algorithm provides 100% accuracy in plagiarism detection, so the likelihood that a string of 16 words match is "just a coincidence", is less than 1 in a trillion. The instructor can choose to exclude "small sources" like common phrases and quotes. However, the Similarity Report will still pick up on some of these things so it's important to actively evaluate them by reviewing the report – unless you really intend to cheat Turnitin.

• What do the colors mean on Turnitin?

The colored squares represent how much of a paper matches something that's already in Turnitin's database. These will be one of 5 basic colors: Red (75% - 100% match), Orange (50% - 74% match), Yellow (25% - 49% match), Green (0% - 24% match), Blue (less than 20 words in the paper matches something that's already in the database).

Let's Recap

  1. There's no foolproof way on how to bypass Turnitin. Many students are likely unaware that Turnitin constantly updates its system and has a suite of tools that combat an entire spectrum of cheating methods, including plagiarism.
  2. If you can't complete a paper assignment on your own, it's better to stick to more reliable, less risky ways like rewriting or hiring a professional from an essay writing service.
  3. Rewriting is the way to go. When you rewrite the paper yourself, you don't cheat Turnitin's algorithms because you create original content. It takes effort and is relatively time-consuming, but it's honest work, helps improve your writing skills and allows you to get a better understanding of a subject, and your paper will pass Turnitin's Similarity Score with flying colors.
  4. With an essay writing service, you can get a custom paper that you can use solely as an additional resource material for writing your paper assignment. You own the rights to the purchased paper but while it's 100% original, it must not be submitted as your own, because this is grounds for academic cheating (check our Honor Code for recommendations).

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David Anderson is the founder of IHateWritingEssays. He hates the idea of companies baiting unsuspecting individuals with fraudulent services. Starting from school, he too, struggled to find a helping hand when it comes to writing assignments. Over time, he focused on publishing comprehensive reviews and helping students find reliable essay services. Thus, the review site came to be – serving as the "voice and the iron fist" of an industry expert.