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Can Turnitin Detect Essays Bought Online?

will turnitin detect my own work

As an experienced IB writer, I’ve seen my fair share of academic challenges, and one question that frequently pops up is: can Turnitin detect essays bought online? This concern is particularly prevalent among IB students continually striving for academic integrity while dealing with the complexities of plagiarism detection tools. So, let’s dig into this topic and highlight what can Turnitin detect.

Understanding Turnitin’s Functionality

Turnitin, a tool almost synonymous with plagiarism detection, compares submitted papers against an extensive database of previous submissions, publications, and internet sources. From my experience, students often wonder, “Will Turnitin detect my own work?” The answer is nuanced. If you’ve submitted your work elsewhere and it’s in Turnitin’s database, then yes, it could be flagged.

It brings us to another critical query: What can Turnitin detect? Well, it’s not just about copying and pasting text; Turnitin is sophisticated enough to catch paraphrased content and similar structuring, making it a formidable tool in a teacher’s arsenal.

Here is a list of Turnitin’s key detection capabilities:

  • Exact Match Detection. It identifies verbatim copying of text from sources in its database.
  • Paraphrasing Identification. Flags text that has been significantly rephrased but retains the original idea from a source.
  • Structural Analysis. Detects similarities in sentence structure, even when words have been changed.
  • Cross-Referencing Student Papers. Compares submissions against a vast repository of student work to spot instances of copying.
  • Internet Source Comparison. It scans the Internet for matching content, including published articles, websites, and online books.
  • Publications and Journals. Checks against an extensive collection of academic journals and publications for any matches.
  • Multiple Language Support. Can identify plagiarism in various languages, expanding its effectiveness globally.
  • Source Origination. It provides detailed reports indicating the sources of matched content for further investigation.

Turnitin’s multifaceted approach not only spots blatant plagiarism but also educates students about the nuances of original writing and the importance of intellectual honesty. It makes Turnitin not just a deterrent against academic dishonesty but also a valuable educational tool in teaching students about the importance and value of originality in their academic pursuits.

What Does the Database of Turnitin Include?

Interestingly, the question of “Does Turnitin check previously submitted work?” often surfaces. Absolutely, it does. Turnitin’s database includes a vast repository of student papers, which means any significant similarities with previous submissions can raise red flags. This database is a double-edged sword — it’s incredibly efficient at detecting similarities but can also cause anxiety among students who fear false positives in their original work. Here is what it includes:

  • Student Paper Repository. A vast collection of student-submitted papers from various institutions worldwide. Each paper submitted to Turnitin becomes a part of this repository, enabling the system to check for self-plagiarism and cross-student plagiarism.
  • Web Content. Turnitin regularly scans and indexes content from the internet, including websites, blogs, and online forums. It ensures that any content lifted from online sources can be easily identified.
  • Published Works and Academic Journals. The database includes many publications, from academic journals, books, and articles to published research papers.
  • Commercial Content and Databases. Turnitin partners with publishers and content creators to include commercial texts and databases in its scans. It includes material that might not be freely available on the internet.
  • Multilingual Content. Turnitin’s database also encompasses content in multiple languages, enhancing its detection capabilities across different linguistic contexts.
  • Institutional Document Archives. Some institutions opt to maintain their private repositories within Turnitin. This feature allows for checking against works previously submitted at the same institution, further enhancing the detection of internal cases of plagiarism.

Now you have the answer to the question, “Does Turnitin detect plagiarism from other students’ papers?” However, educators need to use Turnitin’s reports judiciously, understanding that the tool is a guide to potential plagiarism, not a definitive judgment. This balanced approach helps maintain a focus on learning and integrity rather than solely on punitive measures.

Can Turnitin Detect Essays Bought Online?

Now, addressing the elephant in the room: Can Turnitin detect essays bought online? In my opinion, while Turnitin is powerful, detecting a bought essay depends on various factors. Turnitin might not flag it directly if the essay is custom-written and not previously submitted or published. Yet, there are other aspects that Turnitin, and more critically, educators, can pick up on:

  • Writing Style Inconsistencies. Sudden changes in writing style within a student’s body of work can raise suspicions. Educators familiar with a student’s writing can often detect discrepancies that suggest the work might not be their own.
  • Quality Fluctuations. Significant shifts in the quality of writing, from one assignment to the next, can also indicate purchased essays. For instance, if a student who typically produces average work suddenly submits a high-caliber essay, it could prompt further review.
  • Content Relevance and Depth. Bought essays might not adhere closely to the specific assignment requirements or lack the depth and insight from a genuine understanding of the topic, which can be a giveaway to instructors.
  • Metadata Analysis. Sometimes, the digital document properties (such as authorship, timestamps, and editing time) can reveal clues about the document’s origins, although this is more in digital forensics than Turnitin’s direct capabilities.
  • Peer Review Discrepancies. In classes where peer review is a component, discrepancies in feedback between what would be expected from a student’s known capabilities and the submitted work can also be a red flag.

So, while Turnitin might not directly flag a custom-written essay bought online if it hasn’t been previously submitted or published, there are various indirect ways through which educators can identify such cases.

Comparing Student Submissions: A Turnitin Overview

In addressing “Does Turnitin com check other students’ work?” and “Does Turnitin detect plagiarism from other students’ papers?” the answer is a resounding yes. Turnitin’s ability to cross-reference student submissions across different institutions makes it a robust tool against inter-student plagiarism.

It’s also important to note that the Similarity Index in Turnitin doesn’t outrightly declare a piece of work plagiarized. Instead, it highlights the percentage of text matching other sources. This similarity index can be a source of worry for students purchasing essays, especially if the purchased paper borrows heavily from published materials.

In reviewing some case studies, I’ve noticed instances where Turnitin failed to identify essays purchased online. At the same time, the tool has identified some essays written by students in a hurry and without proper time management as plagiarized.

How to Use Turnitin: Tips for IB Students

As a seasoned IB writer, I’ve had extensive experience with Turnitin as a student and later in an advisory capacity. I’d like to share some insights and tips on effectively using Turnitin, tailored for IB students.

Check out Turnitin’s Reports

Turnitin provides detailed reports on the similarities it finds in your work. From my experience, taking the time to understand these reports can significantly enhance your understanding of what constitutes plagiarism and how to avoid it.

Use Turnitin as a Drafting Tool

As I know from my IB days, writing drafts is crucial to the writing process. Submitting early drafts to Turnitin can help you identify areas of unintentional plagiarism, allowing you to revise and refine your work before the final submission.

Reference Properly

According to general IB criteria, referencing is not just a requirement but an academic skill. Ensure that you credit all sources correctly. Turnitin can help identify sections of your text that need proper citations.

Paraphrase Effectively

In my experience, effective paraphrasing is a skill that Turnitin helps develop. It’s not about altering a few words but rewriting the source material in your voice while retaining the original meaning.

Develop Original Ideas

From my perspective, Turnitin encourages originality. The more you can inject your analysis and ideas into your work, the less likely you will encounter issues with Turnitin.

Also, don’t hesitate to ask for guidance. Teachers and IB coordinators help you understand how to use Turnitin effectively and ethically.

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Stay Ethical and Organized

Remember, Turnitin is a tool to ensure academic honesty. My advice is always to stay true to the principles of academic integrity. It’s not just about avoiding detection but valuing the learning process.

Sometimes, students submit the wrong draft to Turnitin, leading to unnecessary confusion. By staying organized, you ensure that the correct version of your assignment is submitted for review, and you can keep a clear record of your improvements and changes.


To conclude, Turnitin effectively detects unoriginal content, but its effectiveness in catching bought essays varies. As students, engaging genuinely with your assignments and developing your writing skills is the best action. But if you still want to buy a quality and 100% unique paper, the best solution is to contact Extended Essay Writers.

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