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Survival Guide

If you read one thing before taking your next online assessment, read this guide.

Which browser?

You must use an up to date browser to ensure you don’t experience compatibility issues when accessing Turnitin. We recommend that you use Chrome or Firefox and stay up to date with the latest versions. Safari browser users occasionally have problems submitting to Turnitin. Read our blog post for further information. Turnitin do not support Internet Explorer.


Use pdf where possible for Turnitin submission, but you should still refer to your School's instructions to see if there is a specific format required.

Save and close the file in your Wordprocessor before you try to submit to either a Blackboard or Turnitin assignment. Re-open your file to verify it's saved correctly.

If you're using OpenOffice, use the odt format or save as a pdf. The files you submit to Turnitin must satisfy some basic requirements - see the Turnitin guide for more info on files and common problems with submissions.

Leave yourself enough time

Tempting as it is, don’t leave submissions until the last minute—you don't want to miss the deadline and you'll need to complete your upload before your time's up!

At busy times, Turnitin can take a few minutes to process papers. If your internet connection is slow it could take longer than you think to navigate to the submission page and upload, especially on a shared home internet connection.

Stop Clicking!

Double clicking or repeated clicking on submit buttons doesn’t help. Click once and wait for the page to load. Clicking twice won’t speed things up!

Be methodical on submission day

Don't attempt to submit multiple assessments at the same time by opening more than one tab in your browser. You can end up submitting to the wrong assignment! Wait until your first assessment has uploaded … then navigate to the other submission area and upload the next paper.

Turnitin does not support opening multiple assignments in browser tabs.

Stay Wired

Try to use a wired connection—it’s faster and there’s no competition for a wireless connection. If you must use wireless, ensure your submission is complete before walking away.

Check your files

For essay type assignments Turnitin needs words—at least 25—and these must be selectable text (not images of text). Check your submission contains selectable text by copying and pasting into a notepad application.

Avoid using text boxes. Turnitin won't count the words in text boxes and may reject your file.

Your files must be smaller than 40 megabytes. See our compression guide for tips on reducing file size.

Get a receipt!

An on-screen receipt will display when you've successfully submitted your assignment to Turnitin—don't close your browser/tab until you have seen this receipt. Familiarise yourself with the process. You’ll get an email copy later in the day. A receipt is the only proof of submission. No receipt: no submission. Keep reading and we'll show you how to check for a successful submission.

Check you've submitted

If you're worried about a particular submission, you can check your submission yourself. There are three standard types of assessment in Minerva:

You should normally receive an email confirmation within a few minutes after submission, but these can take several hours to arrive during busy periods.

However you can check your own submission: Return to the submission area, click on the download icon, then select digital receipt. You can also use the download icon to get a copy of your submitted file. See the Turnitin guide for more information.

Return to the submission area and click on the name. You should be able to see your attached file(s) there. See the Assignment guide for more information.

Return to the test and click on the name. Click 'Begin'. You will have the option to view your previous attempt details on this page.

Save, Save, Save

Taking a test? Save as you go and submit when you're finished.

For Blackboard tests, you should save your answers manually every 10-15 minutes to ensure you're connected to Minerva.

If you are intentionally leaving a test which you can return to later, you should manually save your answers at that point to ensure nothing is lost. Remember to submit your answers when you've finished.

When things don't go to plan?

Don’t delay—it may be impossible to investigate issues retrospectively. Report technical issues in an invigilated exam to the supervisors immediately. For other assessments, contact your tutor or the IT Service Desk as soon as possible. Make sure that you:

  • take a screenshot of error messages and note what you just clicked
  • write down the date, time and your location (if you’re in an IT cluster, write down the PC number)
  • talk to the IT Service Desk, give them the module code and assignment name, and your contact number

If you think you are going to miss a deadline for an assignment submission, email a copy to your School to prove you did it on time.

Need help taking screenshots? Look here: Windows, Mac. On Linux pressing the Print Screen key usually does the trick.


Call +44 (0)113 343 3333 to speak to the IT Service Desk. You can also Request help online using the contact form.

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