Can Turnitin Detect ChatGPT? Yes, and Here’s How

ChatGPT doesn’t need an introduction. With more than 180 million users on a monthly basis, it’s evident that people have fallen for this tool. People are using it to create content for their blogs. The issue is that students have started using it to trick teachers and making assignments in minutes. As a result, there is a constant concern related to academic integrity.

Having said that, people are turning to Turnitin. It’s a popular tool used by educators to detect plagiarism. Recently, Turnitin has launched an AI detection feature. With this feature, educators are checking submitted work of students. So, if you are questions, “can Turnitin detect ChatGPT?” we would have to nod in yes.

With this article, we are sharing how Turnitin can detect AI or ChatGPT content in assignments!

Can Turnitin Detect Content Produced by ChatGPT?

This is a popular plagiarism checker tool, and its recent upgrade allows teachers to detect AI content. In particular, it can easily outline content that was produced through ChatGPT. For this purpose, it uses an indicator. It shows the probability of AI-generated content. There are multiple positive reviews sharing the effectiveness of this AI detection tool. 

However, there have been times when it flagged human content as it was generated by AI tools. For this reason, it’s important to use ChatGPT ethically. You should be careful about your morals in academic settings.

How Does AI Detection Work in Turnitin?

Everyone is wondering, “how to bypass Turnitin AI detection” However, finding the answer to this is not possible unless you understand how it works. Turnitin scans and analyzes the documents to find duplicated content. The duplicate content is known as plagiarism. In particular, Turnitin uses advanced algorithms that help compare the document and its content. 
It has a huge database, which includes students’ papers, books, academic journals, and articles. For instance, when you upload the documents on the Feedback Studio platform, Turnitin starts checking them. It cross-references the document with the database to look for plagiarism. If there is duplicate content and the student hasn’t cited it properly, it shows up in the high similarity index score. 

As far as AI detection is concerned, this feature was launched in TFS (Turnitin Feedback Studio). It uses a new technology that analyzes the content against human-written content. In addition, the content is checked against the content that was flagged as AI by other tools. The good part is that the database is huge, so the results are near to accurate. 
Turnitin has a special ChatGPT Screening tool, which is designed to identify content that’s generated by AI tools. It helps align with academic morals. In addition, the data identified as AI-generated is added to the database, which improves the accuracy of detection.

According to the CEO of Turnitin, software for detecting AI-generated content has been in development for more than two years. In addition, he mentioned that academic rules will also change to curb the challenges associated with ever-improving AI writing tools. 

This means that Turnitin and its detection technology are constantly improving. It will make teachers confident that there will be a tool available for the accurate detection of AI and plagiarized content. The content will be checked according to predictable patterns to see if an AI tool was used or not. The AI percentage is also shown in the Similarity Report.

This is important because while ChatGPT is great for providing more ideas to the students, it can lead to contract cheating. However, teachers can be assured that the students’ assignments will be properly checked for AI and plagiarism.

Can Turnitin Detect Something Else?

Yes, Turnitin can detect plagiarism. If your content source is available on the internet, Turnitin will flag it for plagiarism. For this reason, the students must add sources and citations properly. 

Limitations of Turnitin’s AI Detection Feature

If you wondered, “Can Turnitin Detect ChatGPT?” we are sure you’ve the answer. However, just like other tools available in the market, this one has its own limitations as well. For instance, it has issues detecting AI in mixed-source journals and essays. These are the essays or journals that have a mix of AI and human content. This can result in false flagging of content as AI.

Secondly, the GPT models are constantly upgrading. To illustrate, GPT-4 will roll out soon and will have the capacity to create human-like content. It’s better than GPT-3 because it would produce robotic content.

Given these limitations, it’s essential to teach students about morals and cheating rather than relying on detection tools. In simpler words, it’s not reliable to depend on technology solely because the tools don’t always deliver accurate results.

The Ethical Issues of Using ChatGPT

Using chatbots, including but not limited to ChatGPT, can result in ethical issues. This is because copying and pasting content produced by these bots is unethical. In fact, the assignments could be plagiarised completely, which harms academic integrity. Moreover, it’s putting a question mark on AI’s role in education.

For those who don’t understand, the content produced by chatbots can raise concerns related to academic integrity. The content won’t be authentic, which is against the primary principle of education. Also, it can lead to false positives because Turnitin might end up flagging unique and legitimate work as plagiarized only because it’s similar to ChatGPT content.

Similarly, the teachers must be careful while checking the Similarity Report. This is because some students use the tools for double-checking the spelling and proofreading.

Understanding the Role AI is Playing in Education

The use of AI is increasing, which is evident in the education industry as well. That’s because AI is improving teaching methods and overall learning. For instance, AI has managed to create new educational tools while chatbots are offering assistance to students. Moreover, there are automated grading apps that help students and teachers get instant feedback on assignments and papers.

While many people have an answer to “Can Turnitin detect ChatGPT?” the only concern is the academic integrity issue being posed by AI. Our personal take is that AI is a great tool if used ethically. In particular, AI is offering new tools to check student performance and find out weak points. Consequently, it will help determine where extra guidance or support is needed.

Detecting the Use of ChatGPT – What Can Teachers Do?

The teachers can detect ChatGPT’s use by keeping an eye on the writing style and inconsistency in the results. In addition, they must focus on coherence and relevance in the content.

Inconsistency in the Writing Style

Inconsistency is common when someone uses ChatGPT for content or assignment creation. To be precise, the content will have an unusual language and tone that isn’t commonly used by humans. Also, as a teacher, you will be able to tell a difference from the usual writing style of a student.

To illustrate, if the content seems too technical and sophisticated, it’s a clear sign that the content was copied from ChatGPT. Moreover, there will be inconsistency in overall sentence structure. Also, there will be weird grammatical errors. These signs also show that a student used ChatGPT.

Compare with Previous Work

If teachers aren’t sure about the tone, we recommend comparing the assignments with their previous work. It will clearly show you the difference in writing style. Moreover, you can ask students to explain a specific point. If they used ChatGPT, it’s likely that they will not have an explanation to share with you.

Assess the Coherence & Relevance in the Content 

Another way is to check the coherence and relevance of the content. In most cases, there is no relevance and/or coherence in the content. In simpler words, the content doesn’t match the topic or doesn’t fully answer the question. Thus, there will be variations in the overall structure, tone, and language.

For instance, if someone did an assignment related to climate change but didn’t focus on global warming or carbon emissions, it’s a clear sign that they used AI chatbots to complete the assignment. Also, teachers have the option to compare different assignments from the same student to understand their style.

Disadvantages of Using Turnitin’s AI Detection Tool

Of course, this is a tool and comes with its share of issues. This is why the teachers have to show vigilance on their own and do the due diligence. The disadvantages of the detection tool are as follows;

False Positives 

This means that detection tools can end up flagging genuine and human-written content as AI content. In most cases, the hardworking and truthful students are punished. Similarly, it can overlook the AI content in some cases, which means students who cheated don’t get the taste of their own medicine.

Improper Testing 

To ensure fair and accurate results, the software must be backed up by data properly. This is a huge issue because it has flagged the real and genuine assignments of students as plagiarized. In particular, it happened at multiple high schools in California. It seems like Turnitin’s AI detection was quickly adopted without considering the implications of inaccurate results on students. 

Overdependence on Technology 

This dependence on technology is becoming a huge concern in the academic community. That’s because when teachers are dependent on these tools, they won’t be able to discuss academic integrity with the students. In addition, it can result in a checkbox approach. This approach revolves around finding plagiarism rather than teaching students and educating them about originality. 

Privacy Issues 

This is a real concern for teachers as well as students. That’s because when teachers use Turnitin, they upload assignments on external servers. It can be a theft to their privacy. In addition, the intellectual property of students will be at stake. 

Insufficient Learning 

Depending on these tools can limit the learning opportunities for students. For instance, they won’t be able to learn about paraphrasing, citation, and referencing. This means that students won’t have the opportunity to learn from their mistakes or learn new things.

Alternatives of Turnitin AI Detection

You’ve the answer to “can Turnitin detect ChatGPT?” However, it’s also evident that this tool has its own limitations. For this purpose, teachers and students are looking for alternatives, and we have managed to find some of the best ones.


This is a versatile tool that can help check content. In addition to the detection features, it can create content that bypasses the Turnitin and Originality content. There are paid and free options available. There is a credit system, so you pay for the servers as you use them. In addition, the interface has all the features present, making them easier to access.


This tool has managed to coin its name for content creation and keyword research. There is a Golden Keyword Explorer, which helps find new keywords (primary and secondary) that are relevant to the topic. In addition, it automatically clusters the keywords and analyzes the search intent. 

Secondly, there is a Topic Discovery Module, which helps research the writing of different people. With the Content Creator tool, it will be convenient to produce new content.

Grammarly Business 

It’s got to be a go-to tool for improving your writing quality. That’s because it is more advanced as compared to regular word processors, so catching mistakes will be easier. Its plagiarism checker is just like Turnitin, but it’s more affordable. Also, it’s extremely beginner-friendly. 

Copy Leaks 

There are credit plans available for people who want to use this tool. The tool is convenient to use. That’s because you only have to paste the content, and it will share the AI percentage. With a free version, you can check only limited content. So, if you want unlimited usage, purchase a premium credit plan. 


As the name suggests, this is a proctoring tool that helps maintain academic integrity. In addition, it has facial detection technology, which respects the privacy of users. The plagiarism checker is similar to Turnitin. Truth be told, it’s more expensive as compared to Turnitin but it’s easier to use.

How to Bypass Turnitin AI Detection Tool?

Knowing the answer to “can Turnitin detect ChatGPT?” is not enough. That’s because you’ve to know how to avoid AI detection in Turnitin if you want to ensure your assignments pass through. We have done a lot of research to find out foolproof ways of bypassing the detection tests.

Go Through the Assignment Brief

To ensure your assignment is accepted, it’s important to go through the assignment brief. As a student, you must analyze the brief properly and understand the guidelines and instructions. It will ensure that you aren’t writing irrelevant content. It will not only make your assignment top-notch but reduce the chances of plagiarism. 

In fact, it’s better if you break down your multiple-page-long assignments into sub-topics. In particular, it will help determine different topic areas that you’ve to cater to. Secondly, it’s important that you grasp the questions that’s being asked by the teacher. All this will help us understand the primary goal of the assignment. Lastly, we recommend writing everything down on paper so you don’t forget anything.

Write Manually 

In case you are thinking, “how to not detect ChatGPT?” to make sure your assignments are passed, write manually. To illustrate, you should write your assignments in your own words. Also, don’t even think about copying from internet sources. It will ensure that your assignment doesn’t have any similar sentences that might get matched with published content.

However, you won’t be able to write manually if you don’t have a proper insights and understanding of the assignment. So, you must do the research according to the topic. After research, you’ve to paraphrase properly rather than copying it directly.

Opt for a Unique Topic 

One of the best ways of preventing detection is to choose a unique topic. That’s because writing on an overused topic will lead to a high similarity index. So, when you choose a unique topic, it will convince Turnitin that the content and its intent are original. In simpler words, you’ve to opt for an uncommon topic. 

However, while choosing the topic, make sure it aligns with the brief. It’s important because the theme should be relevant. Moreover, when you are looking for topic ideas, think about your interests. That’s because when the topic aligns with your interests, you’ll write more creatively. Lastly, you will be able to write from a fresh perspective. 

Paraphrase Properly 

Proper research and paraphrasing are important for bypassing AI detection tools. Paraphrasing means that writers will be able to write original content. For this purpose, you’ve to research the topic thoroughly and write the information in your own words. Keep in mind that paraphrasing is not possible without properly comprehending the topic.

Why Teachers Must Detect ChatGPT Content – The Importance

The teachers must detect the ChatGPT content to align with academic standards. It is vital for protecting academic integrity. To begin with, the teachers give assignments to help them learn. So, when students start using chatbots to learn, they stop learning. For this reason, teachers must keep an eye on students whether they are using their own intelligence or chatbots. 
Secondly, it is important to protect students from spreading false information. To illustrate, ChatGPT uses its training data to create content, which isn’t always correct. In fact, ChatGPT has always given a disclaimer that content is not 100% factually correct. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What cannot Turnitin detect?

It cannot detect plagiarism. This is because Turnitin is known for the similarity report. To create this report, the assignments are compared with the database. As a result, the similarity percentage is shared instead of plagiarism. 

What does Turnitin flag?

There are multiple algorithms in Turnitin, which plagiarized as well as AI content. When it sees any inconsistency in the submission, it will be flagged.

Can we exclude something from Turnitin’s reports?

Yes, there is an option to exclude some journals, research papers, and bibliographies. It is a great way of lowering the similarity index.

Is it possible to outsmart Turnitin?

Yes, it is possible. First of all, you should try writing manually, so you can share everything in your own words. In addition to this, you must change the sentence structure and add a lot of synonyms. Another way is to add your examples.

How much similarity index percentage is okay?

It depends on the universities and teachers. In most cases, the teachers and universities accept the similarity index of 10 to 15%. However, as a student, you should aim for the lowest possible percentage to increase your chances of submission.

The Bottom Line

So, it’s a yes for “can Turnitin detect ChatGPT? This is a reliable option for maintaining academic integrity and ensuring that students are really learning. However, it’s also crucial to understand the limitations of detection tools. It’s because they have the tendency to give false positives. So, as a teacher, you should check the assignments manually, as the patterns and tone can help you. 

Contrarily, the students should uphold their ethics. That’s because using chatbots to make assignments is morally incorrect. In fact, such assignments are rejected, and the consequences won’t be good for your grades. 

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