Your teachers at high school used basic search engines to make sure your paper wasn’t completely copied out of Wikipedia. But most of the time, students could get away with some rewriting or paraphrasing.
College assignments are more challenging. Your professors use more sophisticated detection software, which could reveal paraphrasing practices as well. They also compare your projects against papers that other students have already submitted.
Plagiarism is still a common issue in the college setting. 36% of undergraduates have admitted to relying on copying and paraphrasing without referencing the source. If you want to be a good student, learn something from the writing process, and make sure you won’t get in trouble for plagiarism, it’s best to stay safe. We’ll give you a few tips on how to choose a plagiarism checker that guarantees you’ll submit a 100% unique essay.
1. Choose a Plagiarism Checker that Considers Billions of Websites
Some detection programs are more detailed than others. The best plagiarism checkers compare your content against billions of websites. You want to rely on those, since it’s what your professor will use to check your paper for uniqueness.
Copyscape is a good example of solid software with reliable results. If there’s anything too similar to your essay on the web, this engine will detect it. The only downside is that the credits might be expensive for an average student.
2. Make Sure the Checker Focuses on Phrases and Sentences, Not on Words
Many free checkers focus on individual words or a few words in a sentence to reveal “plagiarism.” That’s not the right way to do this. No matter how unique your content is, these programs will find sources that used similar words. That doesn’t mean you should change your entire essay. It only means that you should change your preferred plagiarism checker.
Good detection software will highlight phrases and entire sentences that you copied from another source. That’s plagiarism in its essence. If you referenced those sections, you don’t have to worry about the warnings. But if they show that you got too inspired from specific online sources, consider some serious edits to those sections of the paper.
3. A Free Plagiarism Checker for Students Might Work
Copyscape, Copywritely, Grammarly, and similar plagiarism checking services might be too expensive for students. They require you to pay for long membership, but maybe you need to check this one paper. For a student, a free plagiarism checker works best. EduBirdie is such an engine. You can use plagiarism checker for your essays without buying credits or paying for subscription. The good news is that this particular checker is very detailed, so it will indicate real problems in your essay.
If you plan to use a free program to check for plagiarism, it must be great. Many services only focus on words and warn you about sections you shouldn’t be worried about. But they will neglect the real plagiarism. Before trusting any free program, search for online reviews to make sure it works.
4. Get a Detailed Report
Grammarly and a few other services will allow you to check the essay for free. They will indicate a level of plagiarism in it, but they won’t give you a full report if you don’t become a paying user.
A mere percentage of matching text doesn’t mean anything to you. You need a full report that gives you links to the sources that match the content.
The more problematic part is that these services will tell you there’s plagiarism in your paper even if it’s completely unique. Grammarly gives a notification: “Plagiarism was detected.” But when you pay for the subscription and you get a full report, you might realize that your content is unique, after all. That’s the kind of manipulation that students would like to avoid.
If There Are Any Issues with Plagiarism, Fix Them
College professors rely on sophisticated plagiarism detection software to make sure that the students deliver unique work. Plagiarism is considered cheating of the worst kind, so you want to avoid it regardless of the circumstances.
Students are lucky to have access to similar software. But what happens when you see that some parts of your essays aren’t unique? You have two options:
• Edit those parts to make sure they are flawless, or
• Reference the sources that got you inspired to write those sections
BIO: James Collins is interested in educational concepts. He studies modern education, and focuses on research that would make it better. James often writes blog posts with tips for students. His intention is to help them get through the challenging period of college.