Can Turnitin Detect Handwritten Work?


Can Turnitin detect handwritten work? Discover the capabilities and limitations of this AI tool in detecting plagiarism in handwritten assignments.

If you were a student who studied during the pandemic (COVID-19), then you must be aware of a fantastic tool called Turnitin.

This is a tool that has seen widespread adoption during the pandemic due to online learning.

If you aren’t one of those students and are wondering what this technology tool is, don’t worry.

We have got you covered. In this article, we will discuss what Turnitin is and how it works, and we will answer your most asked questions: Can Turnitin detect handwritten work?

What Is Turnitin?

Can Turnitin detect handwritten work? Learn about Turnitin’s evolving capabilities and its impact on education.

Turnitin is one of the best AI solutions that is designed for students, teachers, researchers, and educational institutions.

Why did we say that it is an AI tool? It is because it uses AI to enhance its functionality.

What it has to offer is that it scans a document and compares it with a vast amount of data.

This data can be publications, student work, and internet resources or content.

The core purpose of Turnitin is to detect any plagiarism in the work by finding similarities.

It also mentions the sources from where the content is most likely to be copied.

It helps students to deliver original work and maintains academic integrity.

Understanding Turnitin’s Cheating Detection

Can Turnitin detect handwritten work? Discover how it ensures originality in student submissions.

Before diving into “Can Turnitin Detect Handwritten Work?” let’s first discuss how does it stops cheating.

Using Turnitin isn’t rocket science. It’s simple.

First, the teacher has to assign assignments or assessments through a university learning management system.

Once the student has access to the evaluation, they can work on it and have to submit it before the due date.

Once the assessment is submitted, Turnitin checks the work against its huge database to identify any instances of copying.

It can take up to a few minutes. Once done, professionals can review and grade the assessment online.

They can add any additional comments for the student as well.

Here is a necessary thing that you must know about the Turnitin:

After analyzing the submitted work, Turnitin generates a similarity report.

This report highlights the sections of content that seem identical to the content already available.

It also mentions the sources from which the text matches.

Do you think that’s all about similarity reports? You might be wrong.

It also provides a percentage of the content that seems similar or matches exactly with the extensive database of Turnitin.

Can Turnitin Detect Handwritten Work?

Can Turnitin detect handwritten work? Learn about the latest advancements in plagiarism detection technology.

The question “Can Turnitin Detect Handwritten Work?” is one of the most asked questions on the internet.

And, the straight forward answer to this question is YES.

Shocked by the answer? Let us clarify it.

If you had asked us a few years back, the answer would have been a clear No.

However, Turnitin is constantly evolving and becoming capable of handling handwritten work more efficiently.

It can easily detect any kind of plagiarism in handwritten work in 2024 and beyond.

How Does Turnitin Detect Handwritten Work?

You might be wondering how exactly does Turnitin detect handwritten work?

Well, the latest deep learning technology makes it capable of understanding and detecting handwritten work.

Turnitin leverages OCR technology to understand the handwritten work.

OCR? Never heard of it before?

OCR stands for optical character recognition.

It is a technology that converts text from images into typed texts.

This OCR technology that uses deep learning techniques helps Turnitin to better understand full handwritten pages with more accuracy than any other tool available in the market.

Limitations of Turnitin In Detecting Handwritten Work

Can Turnitin detect handwritten work? Discover how this tool is evolving to handle handwritten content.

Undoubtedly, Turnitin is evolving and leveraging different cutting-edge technologies to deliver outstanding results.

However, you can’t rely entirely on Turnitin when it comes to handwritten content.

It should not be your first choice when analyzing handwritten work for plagiarism.

As we already discussed, the OCR technology helps Turnitin interpret handwritten content, but it might struggle with the messiest handwriting.

Moreover, every person has unique handwriting, and it becomes challenging for AI solutions to interpret them precisely.

Here are some common factors that make it difficult for OCR technology to detect handwritten work properly:

  • Turnitin might not detect your handwritten work if your handwriting is messy and characters are not separated properly.
  • Turnitin might not detect your handwritten work if the image is blurred.
  • Turnitin might fail to detect your work when it comes to full-page handwriting, as it is more complex to detect.

Gradescope is a fantastic alternative to Turnitin when it comes to handwritten content detection.

Many educational institutes and professors are using it to overcome the challenges of handwritten content.

Tips to Make Your Handwritten Work Undetectable by Turnitin

Can Turnitin detect handwritten work? Understand the challenges and advancements in Turnitin’s plagiarism detection.

Here are some tips that you can use to trick Turnitin plagiarism detector so it doesn’t highlight your handwritten work as plagiarised:

  • You can paraphrase your content using paraphrasing tools, but it is advisable to paraphrase in your own words.
  • You can use citations to use someone else’s work by crediting them.
  • Before submission, you should check your handwritten work using plagiarism checkers to remove any potential issues.

Turnitin AI Writing Detection

After a few months of the launch of ChatGPT, Turnitin has decided to launch its AI detection tool.

In April 2023, Turnitin unveiled its AI writing detection technology to the world.

The tool checks the submitted work and scores it for humanized or AI-written content.

However, the makers themselves say that the tool can make mistakes in identifying human-written and AI content, and one should not completely rely on it.

You can follow these easy and simple steps to enable AI content detection:

  • You have to visit the Turnitin “Account Setting” page and click the edit icon next to the account or subaccount you want to edit.
  • Select “Edit account settings.”
  • In the AI Writing section, check the box to turn on the AI writing indicator for your instructors.


This article delved deeper into Turnitin and its capabilities and limitations.

We have answered your most-asked questions, such as “Can Turnitin Detect Handwritten Work?” and helped you have a better understanding of what you can use Turnitin for.

We can confidently say that this technology tool is constantly evolving and improving its OCR capabilities.

However, it hasn’t reached its best and can pose challenges when dealing with handwritten content.

But don’t worry! there are alternatives to Turnitin that you can use to identify similarities in your handwritten assignments.


Q1. What is Turnitin?

Turnitin is an AI-powered tool used by students, teachers, and educational institutions to detect plagiarism by comparing submitted work against a vast database of publications, student work, and internet content.

Q2. Can Turnitin detect handwritten work?

Yes, Turnitin can detect handwritten work using OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology, though it may struggle with messy handwriting and blurred images.

Q3. How does Turnitin generate a similarity report?

After a student submits an assignment, Turnitin analyzes it against its database and generates a similarity report that highlights identical sections and cites the matching sources, along with a percentage of matched content.

Q4. What are the limitations of Turnitin in detecting handwritten work?

Turnitin may not accurately detect messy handwriting, blurred images, or complex full-page handwritten content. It is recommended to use alternative tools like Gradescope for better results with handwritten work.

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