Plagiarism Checkers — How Do They Work?

When writing something for your school or university, there are…

When writing something for your school or university, there are a couple of things you should keep in mind. First and foremost, your paper should be free of any kind of spelling and grammar errors.

The second most important thing is making sure you aren’t plagiarizing someone else’s work when writing an essay for school. You must give credit to the original publisher to avoid plagiarism.

Most of the plagiarism you may encounter (or make) is unintentional. Everyone who writes on a professional level, for school or for creating content for the Internet, uses a plagiarism checker.

But how do plagiarism checkers work? How accurate are they in detecting plagiarized content? Keep reading if you want to find out the answer to these questions and more!

What is Plagiarism, and What Makes it So Bad?

clear framed eyeglasses on top of pile of books
Photo by Kari Shea on Unsplash

Plagiarism is the use of intellectual property without crediting its source material. Nowadays, plagiarism is considered a major problem in the literary world. The guilty are mostly students who use search engines to find original material and use that content at an academic level. 

Sometimes the easiest way for students to complete their content is to steal someone else’s work as original content.

The common victims of plagiarism are researchers, professors, and writers of serious content. The plagiarist gets all the credit without doing any of the work. For the detection of duplicate content, there are several plagiarism checking tools available.

Plagiarism, unfortunately, is very common in academic papers, articles, or essays. Students often cannot sustain the pressure of work and deadlines for their projects. To meet deadlines, they prefer to steal someone else’s work instead of creating original content.

Plagiarism is unethical for a couple of reasons: Firstly, it is unethical because it is a form of theft. You are taking intellectual property from others when you pretend they are yours. 

Second, it is unethical because the plagiarizer subsequently reaps the benefits from the theft.

How do Plagiarism Checkers Work?

You must understand first that plagiarism detection tools do not determine intent. If your content mirrors those found elsewhere on the Internet, it probably was unnecessarily done.

Even if you correctly cite your sources, the plagiarism checker will still light up because that’s how they work.

A plagiarism checker scans the Internet, finds content matches, and lets you know if it sees anything similar to your work. Many plagiarism tools offer a database of files they use.

They are very similar to search engines, in a way. But instead of looking for the thing you’re searching for, plagiarism detectors are looking for content that resembles yours.

There are various methods used by plagiarism checkers to identify plagiarized content. Here are the most common of them:

Keywords Assessment

The software program scans for instances of the same word in the same place when you input a document.

If the software program finds that you are using specific words in the same places as other articles, it will register a plagiarism violation. As a consequence, this option does not identify paraphrasing, which could also be plagiarism.

Phrase Assessment

Rather than looking to find a single word, this tool searches for strings of words ordered the same. Your match might be triggered by any word with more than five words in the same order.

Fingerprint Technique

This method is used to examine word fragments. It looks at the order of the fragments to see if the document has been lifted and pasted from another source.

If someone copies an article, pastes it, and then adds more paragraphs, the overall fingerprint remains the same. The plagiarism penalty will be triggered.

To Wrap Up

The question of how do plagiarism checkers work does not have a single answer. Different plagiarism detectors use different methods to catch if the content is plagiarized, intentionally or not. 

Also, different plagiarism checkers have access to different databases. Software may be good to check if your content is unique on the Internet. However, the same software may not work that well if you are writing an academic paper. 

Frequently asked questions

Do plagiarism checkers detect copy and paste?

These detectors are largely dependent on spotting strings of text that are identical between two sources. In return, they can pick up copying and pasting, but they can be fooled quite easily.

How do I copy and paste without plagiarizing?

Citations are helpful when avoiding Copy and Paste plagiarism. Block quotations are available if your quote takes up more than four typed lines. Indented blocks of quotation are inscribed on the main body of the page.

How do you check if a document is plagiarized?

Use an Online Plagiarism Checker. You can copy and paste your text into the text box provided on this plagiarism checker page, or you may upload your document.

Do plagiarism checkers actually work?

Checking for plagiarism differs depending on the application you use. Scribbr is the most accurate plagiarism checker according to our in-depth research. Free plagiarism checkers often fail to detect all plagiarism or flag texts as plagiarism.

What percentage of plagiarism is acceptable?

According to the convention, a text similarity below 15% is acceptable by journals, whereas a similarity of >25% is considered a high percentage of plagiarism.

How do teachers know if you copied and pasted?

Can a teacher tell if you copied and paste or not? Sometimes, a writer can tell a lot if he or she did not paraphrase well or cite correctly your sources. They detect plagiarism by using plagiarism scanners like Turnitin, which directs their readers to read the original paper where you copied.

Is plagiarism a crime?

Plagiarism is the act of presenting one’s work as if it were one’. In most cases, plagiarism is legal in the United States. Instead, it is considered a violation of honor or ethics codes, and may result in disciplinary action from a person’s school or workplace.

What plagiarism checker do universities use?

Turnitin is the most popular tool used by universities. These tools are designed to keep the university on time without any mistakes. You only need to run your paper through Turnitin so you can find an overview of all possible sources.

How do you plagiarize code without getting caught?

The University of Tennessee advises that you should add comments to your code and cite any source that you copy or borrow. “In programming, there is a greater tolerance for copying ideas without attribution, but when dealing with recruiters.

How do you trick plagiarism checkers?

  • Do Some Paraphrasing. The easiest way to get away with copying content when you turn it in is to paraphrase.
  • Format the document differently.
  • Choose a different language.
  • Order words in your browser.
  • Add photos to the paper.

Are plagiarism checkers 100% accurate?

This is the simplest way to prevent plagiarism.

How can I plagiarize and not get caught?

  • Adjectives and adverbs should be included.
  • Change the order of words a bit.
  • Plagiarize an obscure person with your name.
  • Use an accent
  • Don’t deny, deny or deny if you get caught.

What are the five examples of plagiarism?

  • Copying and pasting a Wikipedia article in a body of an assignment.
  • I forget to cite the source of an idea.
  • By failing to paraphrase a source properly, such as maintaining the original wording.
  • Citing a source without citing it.

What are the 4 types of plagiarism?

  • Direct Plagiarism. Plagiarism is the literal transcription of someone else’s work without attribution or quotation marks.
  • Self Plagiarism
  • Accidental Plagiarism
  • Mosaic Plagiarism

Why is plagiarism checker not accurate?

Another problem that free online plagiarism checks are not as accurate as they claim, as they only compare inputted content against a limited number of sources.

Plagiarism Checkers — How Do They Work?

Pam is an expert grammarian with years of experience teaching English, writing and ESL Grammar courses at the university level. She is enamored with all things language and fascinated with how we use words to shape our world.

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