Turnitin: I received an error while submitting my work – what should I do?

What to do if you receive errors when submitting work to Turnitin: Most of the time students get error while submitting an incompatible file to Turnitin. If you are experiencing any issues, please check the compatibility of your file.

Please check:

  • Check whether your file meets minimum Turnitin requirement. Check this “Turnitin File Requirements” guide for details.
  • Ensure file size is not larger than 100MB.
  • Remove all the excessive formatting in your document. (avoid using word and PowerPoint templates)
  • If you are submitting a scanned PDF or a word document which consists of images, please add at least 20 selectable words in your document. Check this guide for more info: “Turnitin: Submit Scanned / Handwritten Work
  • If you are resubmitting your work after the deadline has passed, please contact your Programme Admin team. Turnitin does not allow students to resubmit work after the deadline has passed.
  • If you don’t see an error, but your file taking long time to upload or not being uploaded, please check your internet connection (try wired internet connection), or try a different internet browser.

Report the issue:

If you are unsure of the likely cause of the issue, please report the issue through the IT Self Service Portal

Use this Blackboard Help Request Form to ensure that your query is addressed by the appropriate person as promptly as possible. 

Avoid late submissions: Always leave plenty of time and try to submit your work well in advance. If you are submitting your work just before the deadline and experience any  technical issues (apart from the official system outage), please send your work to your Programme Admin team via email to avoid any late penalty.


For more information, please read following

When submitting to a Turnitin Assignment you may encounter errors.

They are usually descriptive and easy to resolve, but you may encounter some you aren’t sure about.

Styling Issues

Here are some you might see:

The paper you have submitted seems to have an unusual number of excessively long or short words. Please try changing your font and submitting again.


The paper you are trying to submit is incorrectly formatted. There seems to be spaces between each letter in your paper.

This error is common if you are submitting a PowerPoint Presentation with lots of styling. To resolve this, export your sideshow to a PDF. You can export in a way that your notes are visible, if that is part of the work you want your instructor to see.

Convert PowerPoint presentation to PDF if Turnitin does not accept the submission →

Images and Handwritten Work

Another possible error is:

We weren’t able to process your submission. Please try re-submitting your file. If you need further assistance, please contact TurnitinUK support.


You must submit more than 20 words of text.

In this case it’s likely that your paper is either scanned or has insufficient selectable text. To resolve this, please add 20 words of text to your paper.

You can see more about this error here:

Submitting scanned / handwritten work to Turnitin →

Get Help

If you need help with using Turnitin please log a ticket on the IT Self Service Portal

Use this Blackboard Help Request Form to ensure that your query is addressed by the appropriate person as promptly as possible. 

Remember: If you're having issues submitting, you may wish to send your work to your programme administrator so they have a copy of it before the deadline. Please follow your school/department's instructions on who to contact.

General Errors

If Turnitin shows you an error stating:

Error 9999 – Turnitin Assignment not linked with Grade Centre

If you didn’t receive an error but your work is not uploading, it may be due to a browser issue. Please try a different browser. If you are using Safari, you can see how to resolve possible issues here:

Resolve problems using Turnitin with Safari on macOS →

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