Putting SafeAssign to Work for You

Before digital research sources, people used to walk into a library to get sources which were physical books and journals. It was easier to draw boundaries between your own work and other people’s work. Now that everything is digital, it is sometimes harder to draw those boundaries. That’s where SafeAssign can help.

As an online student at Wilmington University, chances are you’ve used SafeAssign. Maybe you’ve submitted a SafeAssignment in a course, or perhaps your instructor has checked your work in a direct submission. Either way, if you think of SafeAssign as an annoying fact checker, peering over your shoulder, we want to change that. Wilmington University wants you to discover how you can put SafeAssign to work to your advantage.


How does it work?

SafeAssign scans a student’s work and compares it to both a local database based on work previously submitted to the university, and a larger web database. SafeAssign very quickly will show where academic sources need to be cited.

Sample report imageOnce an assignment has been processed through SafeAssign, you will see an originality report. If you’re curious about what SafeAssign Report looks like and how is it interpreted, click here to view a sample report.

It’s important to remember the following points when reading your report:

  • Common turns of phrase or clichés are often marked as plagiarism
  • A matching score does not necessarily indicate that you have plagiarized
  • A writing assignment with a research requirement will generate a higher score

When you edit after running your paper through SafeAssign, your score can help you identify areas of work. “When you’re writing papers using other people’s ideas, it’s best to paraphrase so the writing flows naturally and reads like your writing.” said Katherine Cottle, Chair of Literature & Humanities in the College of Arts & Sciences at Wilmington University. ”The ideas still need in-text citations, but paraphrasing rather than quoting really shows that you understand the material.”

If your paper has generated a high score, first check to make sure all quotes are cited correctly. That is, enclose quotes in quote marks with the source identified. Then review your paper, looking for opportunities to inject your own ideas and inferences into the text.

A good score goal for a research paper is less than 15% direct quotes, which shows that you have included supporting quotes and perhaps some common phrases, but the body of the paper is your original text. Remember, even if they are your words, if they are someone else’s ideas, you must cite the sentences and tell us where you got the information.

How do I use SafeAssign?

We’ve developed a tutorial video to explain how to submit assignments, plus a handout for students:



If your instructor does not use SafeAssign, you can use the Student Success Center Tutoring course within Blackboard to submit your paper online and view an originality report. Here are the instructions:


Academic integrity and original student work are cornerstones of Wilmington University’s approach to online learning. Academic integrity includes acknowledging the work and ideas of others, even if they are widely and readily available. Using SafeAssign can help you maintain your personal and academic integrity.