Is Turnitin Free? The Truth, Alternatives, and How to Maximize its Features


As the use of digital technology becomes increasingly common in education, so too do concerns about academic integrity. Plagiarism can undermine the value of a degree and damage a student’s reputation, so it’s essential to have reliable tools for detecting plagiarism. However, the cost of these tools can put a strain on already tight academic budgets. In this article, we explore the question of whether Turnitin, a popular plagiarism detection tool, is free. We’ll cover the truth about Turnitin’s pricing model, alternatives to Turnitin, how to maximize its features, and how to donate unused credits for charity. We’ll also discuss the benefits of investing in Turnitin’s paid services and the history of this controversial tool.

The Truth About Turnitin: Is it Really Free?

Turnitin is a widely used plagiarism detection tool that offers several pricing plans, ranging from $0.0095 per word to $2 per student per year. However, there is no standalone free version of Turnitin that provides all the features and functionality of the paid plans. While Turnitin does offer a free trial, it can be somewhat misleading. The free trial only lasts for a week and does not provide access to Turnitin’s full range of features. This makes it difficult for educators to get a sense of the tool’s suitability for their needs within such a short evaluation period, which can make it difficult to budget appropriately for its use.

Additionally, Turnitin charges fees for certain features that you might expect to be included in a plagiarism detection tool, such as access to originality reports and online grading tools. These fees can add up quickly, depending on the size of your institution and the number of students who need access to these services.

Despite these costs, Turnitin remains a popular choice for many educators because of its reputation for accuracy and its long-time presence in the marketplace.

However, if you’re on a tight budget, there are alternatives to Turnitin that can be just as effective in detecting plagiarism.

Alternatives to Turnitin: Free Plagiarism Checkers That Get the Job Done

Not everyone can afford to invest in Turnitin’s paid services, so here are some effective alternatives to consider:

  • Grammarly: Known for its grammar-checking capabilities, Grammarly also offers a plagiarism detection tool that can detect similarities and matches with other online sources.
  • DupliChecker: A simple and user-friendly tool, DupliChecker can help you check your content against other web pages with similar content.
  • Quetext: Quetext offers a free plagiarism checker that brightly highlights any sentences or phrases found in your document that have text that appears elsewhere on the internet.
  • Plagiarisma: Plagiarisma offers a free tool that can check for plagiarism across 190+ languages.
  • Copyleaks: Copyleaks uses sophisticated AI and machine learning technologies to identify similarities in content from online sources, even in languages other than English.

While these free alternatives can be very effective, it’s important to note that they often have limitations compared to Turnitin’s paid services. For example, they may not be as comprehensive, accurate, or offer the same level of customization. If you’re considering using a free tool, it’s essential to do your research and ensure that it provides the functionality you need.

How Turnitin’s Free Trial Works: Tips and Tricks for Maximizing Your Evaluation Period

If you’re thinking about investing in Turnitin’s paid services, you’ll likely want to start with the free trial. Here’s how to make the most of it:

  1. Use it quickly: Turnitin’s free trial only lasts for a week, so be sure to sign up when you have the time to devote to testing its features.
  2. Focus on your needs: Consider the specific features and functionality you’re looking for in a plagiarism detection tool, and make sure to prioritize testing those features during the trial period.
  3. Involve others: If possible, get feedback from students, colleagues, or others who will be using the tool alongside you.
  4. Compare features: Make sure you compare features like accuracy, ease of use, and reporting capabilities against similar tools from other vendors before making a decision.
  5. Consider cost: Think through the cost implications of using the paid version of Turnitin for your entire institution, and have a plan for budgeting accordingly.

While the free trial can be useful for evaluating Turnitin’s suitability for your needs, it’s also important to recognize its limitations. Remember that the features you have access to during the trial may vary from the paid plans, so it’s essential to read the fine print carefully.

Why Institutions Should Consider Investing in Turnitin’s Paid Services

While the cost of Turnitin’s paid services can be a source of frustration to many educators, there are several benefits to investing in these services for your institution:

  • Accuracy: Turnitin is widely regarded as one of the most accurate and reliable plagiarism detection tools on the market, due to its sophisticated algorithms and machine learning capabilities. This can help institutions maintain a high degree of academic integrity.
  • Customization: Turnitin offers extensive customization options that allow institutions to set plagiarism score thresholds, exclude specific sources, and control how reports are shared with students and faculty.
  • Integration: Turnitin integrates with many popular Learning Management Systems (LMS), making it easy to access and use.
  • Support: Turnitin offers extensive documentation, training, and support resources for educators who are new to the tool.

While investing in Turnitin’s paid services can be a significant financial commitment, many institutions have found that it is worth the investment given the benefits it brings to their academic programs. Additionally, with careful budgeting and planning, it’s possible for institutions to afford Turnitin’s paid services without breaking the bank.

Turnitin for Charity: How to Donate Your Unused Credits and Foster Original Writing

If you’re a Turnitin user and have unused credits, consider donating them to Turnitin for Charity. This program collects unused credits from Turnitin users and distributes them to schools and students in need, helping to promote original writing and academic integrity.

To donate your credits, follow these simple steps:

  1. Contact Turnitin: Email Turnitin’s support team at [email protected] to let them know that you’re interested in donating unused credits.
  2. Specify your donation: Let Turnitin know how many credits you’d like to donate, and they’ll handle the rest!

Donating your unused credits to Turnitin for Charity is an easy way to support academic integrity and help schools and students in need.

A History of Turnitin: From Controversial Start-Up to Global Leader in Academic Integrity

Since its founding in 1998, Turnitin has grown into one of the most widely used plagiarism detection tools in the world. However, this growth has not come without controversy. Over the years, critics have accused Turnitin of violating student privacy, promoting a culture of suspicion, and undermining academic freedom.

Despite these controversies, Turnitin has continued to evolve and improve its services over time. Today, the company offers an impressive range of features and customization options that allow institutions to promote academic integrity and stay on top of emerging trends in plagiarism and digital citizenship.

Going forward, it’s likely that Turnitin will continue to play a vital role in promoting academic integrity and ensuring that students receive the recognition they deserve for their hard work and innovation.


While Turnitin is not technically free, there are many ways to use it effectively without breaking the bank. By considering alternative tools, maximizing the free trial, investing in paid services, donating unused credits, and staying up-to-date on emerging trends and best practices, educators can help maintain academic integrity and ensure that their students receive the recognition they deserve.

At its core, Turnitin is just one tool in the larger toolbox of promoting academic integrity. By staying informed, thinking creatively, and staying vigilant, educators can help build a culture of academic integrity that serves the needs of students, educators, and society at large.

Webben Editor

Hello! I'm Webben, your guide to intriguing insights about our diverse world. I strive to share knowledge, ignite curiosity, and promote understanding across various fields. Join me on this enlightening journey as we explore and grow together.

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