Monday, January 4, 2021

Using Originality Reports in Google Classroom

When students are writing in school, it is important for them to cite their sources properly and to avoid plagiarism. Even when students try their best, they may still miss a passage that needs to be cited. Likewise when teachers are grading dozens and dozens of papers, it can be a challenge to identify possible plagiarism issues or citation needs.

Thankfully if you are using Google Classroom, you and your students have "Originality Reports" to help you!

With Originality Reports in Google Classroom, you and your students can compare their written work against billions of webpages and millions of books to identify possible areas of plagiarism or passages that may need proper citation. This can help students catch problems before they submit their work, and allow you to easily check student writing while grading.

To help explain this feature I have recorded a short 8-minute video on how you and your students can use the Originality Report tool. See below for the video, as well as a detailed explanation of the process.

Tutorial Video (8 minutes)

And see all of my Google Classroom help videos here:

Enterprise Versus Free

Note: If your school pays for the Enterprise version of the Google Suite of tools then you can run an unlimited amount of Originality Reports. You and your students can check for plagiarism on every assignment in every class all year long.

However, if your school is using the free version of the Google Suite of tools then your use of Originality Reports is limited to five assignments per class. So for each class you teach, you can turn on the Originality Report feature for five different assignments in that class. Because of this you will want to consider which writing assignments in each class would benefit the most from this tool.

Set Up the Assignment in Classroom
  • First we will go to Google Classroom and create a new assignment as usual.
  • We can make the assignment just like normal including the title, instructions, attachments, due date, topic, and more.
  • For this example we will make an assignment for the students to submit their Economics Midterm Paper.
  • Where things will be different though, is we will need to check the box next to "Check plagiarism (originality)"

  • If you are using the free version of G Suite, when you click on the "Check plagiarism" box you will get a pop-up window that will let you know how many more times you can use Originality Reports in that particular classroom. 
  • If you are using the paid Enterprise version, then you will not get a pop-up since your use in unlimited.

  • We can now click the "Assign" button to post the assignment as normal.

Student View
  • As a student, we can open the assignment as normal and begin working on writing our paper.
  • When we are all done writing our paper, we won't turn it in yet, but instead we will close out of our Google Doc and return to the Google Classroom assignment.
  • Above the "Turn in" button we will see a link to "Run" the Originality Report. This is great to let the student see any plagiarism or citation concerns before they turn in their writing so they can make changes as needed.
  • We can click the "Run" link to run the report.

  • The student is allowed to run the Originality Report three times for each assignment. This allows them to see problems, and then make changes to their document, and then run the report again if needed.
  • Again we will click "Run".

  • It will take just a little time for the report to run, but when it is done we will have a link below the document.
  • We can click on "View originality report" to see it.

  • We will now get a new tab that opens up with the Originality Report.
  • In the top right corner we can see the number of passages that have been flagged as potential problems, as well as passages that appeared to be quoted from somewhere else and may still need to be cited. 
  • By clicking the slider button we can include the quoted passages in the list below.
  • In addition to the number of passages, we can also click on the percent button to see what percent of the total document these passages take up.

  • To view the details on any of these passages we have two options
  • First, each of the passages will be highlighted in gray in the preview of the document. We can simply click on a gray passage to see what we wrote and to see where the match was found on the Internet. A link will also be provided that we can click on to go out to the original article the text is from.

  • The second way to explore the passage of interest is to click on a source in the list.
  • This will jump us directly to the spot in the document where that text appears.

  • Do note that sometimes the source may be properly cited, but then other times it may not be and we will need to go back to our original Google Document and fix that.
  • We can do this by clicking on the "Edit" button at the bottom to toggle between edit mode and the report.
  • Or we can close out of the report and open our document as normal.

  • Before leaving the report though, we can also print or save the report by clicking on the printer icon in the top right. 
  • Here we can print the report out as normal, or we can choose "Save as PDF" to download a copy.
  • When we are all done with the Originality Report we can simply close out of that tab.

When the student is back on the assignment page in Google Classroom, the student can…
  • Click on the document to open it and make any needed edits.
  • Or can click on the report link to reopen the Originality Report.
  • Or can click the "Run" link again to run a new copy of the report for any changes made. Keep in mind the student can run a new version of the report three times for each assignment before they turn it in.
  • Or can click the "Turn in" button when happy with the document and ready to submit.

Teacher's View
  • As a teacher we can open up the assignment in Google Classroom as normal, and then we can click on a student's document to open it up.
  • When the student turns in their document, a new Originality Report will automatically run.
  • So all we have to do is go to the top right corner of the screen, and below the student's submitted document we will see a link to view the report which will list how many passages have been flagged.
  • We can click the link to open the report.

At this point the report will behave just like it did in the student view:
  • We can see the count or the percentage of flagged passages, as well as cited or quoted passages.
  • Just like before we can get more detail by clicking on the gray highlighted passages, or by clicking on the links to the sources that are listed.
  • And of course we can click the printer icon to print or download the report.
  • When done we can simply click the "x" in the top left corner to exit the report and return to our grading screen.

Post by Eric Curts. Connect with me on Twitter at

No comments:

Post a Comment