Does Turnitin Check Textbooks? Is It Plagiarism When I Copy My Answer from the Book?

Turnitin is considered one of the best plagiarism detecting and preventing software, having been widely accepted by numerous academic institutions and professors worldwide. The platform’s ability to detect similarities in the submitted papers has helped in controlling and eradicating the plagiarism menace in the education and publishing sectors.

This platform has a massive database of publications, journals, previously submitted papers, newspapers, web pages, and periodicals from which it compares the submitted papers to produce originality reports. However, some people may still ask, does Turnitin Check Textbooks?

Read this article comprehensively to answer this question and several others on this platform.

Can Turnitin Detect Books?

Turnitin can detect books. If a book is published, there is a pretty high likelihood that the book is contained in Turnitin’s massive database.

Therefore, this plagiarism detection and prevention software will detect the similarity of words and phrases if you copy any type of information from such a book and use it as your own.

It is vital to note that this platform employs an effective matching algorithm responsible for detecting matching strings of words and phrases using four different techniques. The first one involves keyword analysis where you key in the particular keyword, and Turnitin scans multiple documents to find the keyword.

The second technique that this software employs involves finding the order and sequences of related strings of words. The two methods of text matching are pretty effective, but not when paraphrasing is engaged.

Also see: Does Turnitin Detect White Text?

The third way, which is pretty effective, involves comparing your paper’s writing style to the style used in other documents that are within Turnitin’s reach. The only problem with this technique is that it is not highly strict in the word-to-word analysis and only employs the probability of particular sequences of words and phrases.

The last and the most effective technique employed by this software is called fingerprinting. It involves finding the unique prints of your paper, such as the tone, style of writing, and phrasing of words, and compares that print to other documents. This method is so effective that it identifies text-matching from the instances that you have poorly paraphrased your paper.

Therefore, when you copy information from a published book and paste the content in your article, Turnitin will detect the similarity. In addition, when you paraphrase your work poorly and fail to cite and reference the sourcebook correctly, Turnitin will also detect the similarity and notify your professor who may flag you for committing plagiarism.

Is It Plagiarism When I Copy My Answer from the Book?

It is plagiarism when you copy your answer from the book. Copying your answers from your textbook or any other source without giving credit to the original author is considered plagiarism. This is because doing so would be stealing someone else’s ideas and content and using it as your own which is wrong.

Remember, you can commit plagiarism in five different ways when you copy an answer from a book. These types of plagiarism include copy and pasting plagiarism where you lift the answer as it is in the book and use it that way, or style plagiarism where you write the answer as it is using a new style.

Also see: Can Turnitin Be Wrong?

In addition, you may commit word-switch plagiarism by changing some of the words and phrases in the answer, metaphor plagiarism, and idea plagiarism where you will have used the book’s idea to write the answer even though you write it in different words.

There might be a probability that you copied your answer from a physical textbook that was produced before the publishing era was introduced. In such a case, Turnitin might be unable to detect the similarity because the book does not exist in its database.

Even so, you will still have committed plagiarism because even though it is not detected, you have passed the book’s information as your own, which is cheating.

How Do You Avoid Plagiarism from Books?

As you may already know, plagiarism is a serious offense that is considered cheating and a way of infringing academic integrity. The repercussions that come with committing this heinous act include a ruined reputation, a reduced grade, suspension from school, legal repercussions, and even expulsion.

Also see: Can Turnitin Detect Copy and Paste?

Therefore, below is a list of pointers that you should keep in mind and utilize to avoid plagiarizing books.

  • Paraphrase your work

    Paraphrasing involves writing a paper in your own words after reading and understanding the text from which you are lifting the material from. Rewording gives you an opportunity to avoid plagiarism because by employing synonyms and changing the structure of the phrases in the original text you create a new text.

  • Conduct proper research

    Ensure you read the book comprehensively to enable you to lift ideas from the book. You can then use these ideas and combine them with your own to come up with a new essay that has not been presented and submitted before. By doing so, you can effectively avoid plagiarism.

  • Cite Your Sources Properly

    If you are to use a portion of information from a book, it can only be wise for you to acknowledge the original author. You can only do so by citing the book correctly so that even if a plagiarism detecting tool like Turnitin catches the paraphrasing, your professor will not flag you for plagiarism.

  • Hire an essay writer

A legit essay writing company will do your homework from scratch while properly citing all the material used to ensure your work is plagiarism-free.


So, does Turnitin check Textbooks? After going through this article, it is evident that Turnitin is so effective to an extent that it checks published textbooks. Therefore, as a student or a writer, desist from copying information from textbooks and passing the information as yours.