Turnitin: I received an error while submitting my work – what does it mean?

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. 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 tyring 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 →


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 →


If Turnitin shows you an error stating:

Error 9999 – Turnitin Assignment not linked with Grade Centre

You should contact the IT Service Desk by emailing it@reading.ac.uk or calling the number 0118 378 6262. Make sure to mention the name of the course, the course code and the name of the assignment you’re trying to submit to when you do.


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 →

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.