Types of Plagiarism you should know

Plagiarism is one of the major headaches of writers today. Whether it involves you copying another person’s work or your own work is being copied, detecting and avoiding plagiarism is very essential in the life of successful writers in modern times. Grammatical issues, punctuation and structural issues in writings can be taken care of easily using existing proofreader software & tools. But handling plagiarism issues is more difficult to deal with.

There is an increasing need for writers, students and teachers to deal with plagiarism in order to make their works safe. Plagiarism can ruin your writing career. It can make your blog weak and less marketable. You need to understand how to check whether your work has plagiarism issues or whether your work is being copied. Teachers, academic professors, writers, bloggers and students constantly need to stay away from plagiarism troubles to keep their works original. This article provides basic knowledge of what plagiarism is all about and top plagiarism checkers you can use to keep your work safe.

What is Plagiarism?

The term ‘plagiarism’ is used to refer to copying another person’s work without giving the person credit. This means your work is not original. Plagiarism consists of taking part of another person’s work without citing that person for that part of the work you used. You should give due credit to any person you use their work. To say it the way it is, plagiarism is actually intellectual theft. It consists of using someone else’s work and publishing it without giving credit to the original owner of the work. It is has to do with using another person’s work as if it is yours.

Examples of Plagiarism

Plagiarism comes in different ways. Here are some examples;

1. When you copy someone else’s work without citing them properly, it is regarded as plagiarism.

2. When you pay an external writer/essay mill to write an essay on your behalf, it is also regarded as plagiarism. This is a bit controversial as someone could argue that once you pay for a job you own the copyright. But this practice is classified as plagiarism in some quarters.

3. When you steal ideas and verbal conversations (overheard during discussions etc) and present them as your own, this is plagiarism.

4. Copying data from websites, library books and other sources verbatim without proper citation is also plagiarism.

5. When you use someone else’s images, music, videos and even style of writing in your own work without their explicit permission, it is a punishable plagiarism example.

Types of Plagiarism

You might be engaging in plagiarism without knowing it. This is why it is essential to know the different types of plagiarism. Plagiarism can be divided into 5 types. They are as follows:

Direct plagiarism: When you copy someone’s work verbatim (word for word) without giving credits.

Self-plagiarism: When you copy or produce an assignment influenced by your own previous work (also called unintentional plagiarism).

Mosaic or patchwork plagiarism: When you quote someone else’s work without quotation mark or maybe you changed the language (of original work) while keeping the structure same.

Accidental plagiarism: When you unintentionally forget to cite the original work, misquotation etc. You may not have had the intention to plagiarize the work but that doesn’t rule out the crime. This is also innocent plagiarism.

Outsourcing: When you pay essay mills, friends, hiring article writers, bloggers to write on your behalf. Even though you paid to own the copyright, it is seen as plagiarism by some persons.

What is Plagiarism Checker Software?

Before providing a list of best plagiarism checkers let’s first understand what the concept means. What plagiarism checker software does is to scan through text to see if there are instances of plagiarism within the written content. Free and paid plagiarism checkers shows the writer whether or not their text has duplicate content within a body of text which requires proper credit given to the original owner. Most tools cross-reference public websites and web pages to help identify instances of plagiarism. Techradar says some plagiarism checker tools also leverage a large online database of published work they use for cross-referencing.

Extra features exist in more advanced paid plagiarism checkers such as alerting the writer to whether or not a section of their writing requires a citation, providing citation formatting guidelines or tools, and giving a document a score based on how original the content is. There are some advanced tools which offer plagiarism checking in different languages. They also make use of Artificial Intelligence technology to help identify identical and paraphrased content.

How Do Plagiarism Checkers Work?

What plagiarism checker software does is to allow users copy and paste the text they wish to check for plagiarism into an interface on the plagiarism checker website. You can also upload a word document or other accepted file format for scanning using the software. There is an advanced feature which you get in some paid plagiarism checker software. They have a facility that makes provision for users to install an extension in their browser that they can use to dynamically check their writing as they type, in order to detect plagiarized content early enough.

For organizations that are looking for a plagiarism detection tool to use across the whole company, some vendors offer tools that can be directly integrated with a business website to scan for instances of plagiarized or paraphrased content. This includes the content published on the website, blog content, and sometimes even coding assignments. Paid plagiarism checker have advanced feature that make the process of detecting duplicate contents easy.

Who uses plagiarism checker software?

Every serious writer needs plagiarism checker software. However, the specific focus area where the software is needed more is in the world of schooling and academia. Students, teachers, and administrators in secondary schools and higher education institutions (colleges and universities) use these tools to keep their works safe.

The fact is that every serious writer requires this software. This is why the software is frequently used outside of education and academia as well. Whether you are in the corporate, nonprofit, and government sectors, once you are involved in writing you need these software products too. People who either write full-time or are responsible for publishing content will want to ensure the content they produce is not accidentally plagiarized. This is what plagiarism checker prevents. Among those that specifically need to have this software are bloggers, content creators, contract writers, professional writers, SEO experts, are marketers. Writers outside the school system need plagiarism software.

What to Consider Before Choosing Plagiarism Checker Software

You have to understand how plagiarism checker works before deciding on which one to go for. There are three basic factors to consider before deciding to start using a free or paid plagiarism checker tool. Techradar provides the following factors;

Cost of the tool

Paid tools always offer more than free tools. Free tools hardly offer additional features beyond letting you quickly check the plagiarized content of a few words in your work. On the other hand, paid tools are ideal for someone who writes frequently, or for businesses looking for a suite of writing tools to use for their whole business. Among the advanced features offered by paid plagiarism checker software include spelling and grammar checks, calculating the authenticity score of the document, and the ability to integrate with websites and third-party applications. Free tools often restrict the number of words you can check at a time. So you consider these options before deciding on whether to stick to a free tool or go for a paid option.

Ease of use

You have to consider whether the software is user-friendly before going for it. As a writer who needs a quick and easy way to check your writing, it is very essential that you have an easy to use tool. On TrustRadius, products have a ‘usability’ score on their product scorecard that you can check to see how user-friendly a certain product is.

Scope

Scope here refers to features provided by the plagiarism checker. Free ones are basically standalone plagiarism checker tool while the ones paid for are more comprehensive and offer writing and proofreading tools, in addition to the plagiarism checker facility. Free and cheaper tools will often provide basic plagiarism detection features, while more expensive tools will offer more advanced writing improvement features that go beyond just plagiarism detection. Someone in the writing business requires a paid tool that offers more features.

Ten Best Plagiarism Checker Tools

There are several very good plagiarism checker tools out there you can use to achieve your writing goals. However, the ones presented here are very popular and also noted for their efficiency. What we presented here are both free and paid plagiarism checker software that are proven to be very good.

1. Grammarly

Grammarly is widely rated as the best plagiarism checker tool available. It is very efficient and popular among teachers and students. Grammarly is an automated proofreader and plagiarism checker. It has a huge database of 16 billion web pages and ProQuest’s databases. Every document/writing you process through it is instantly scanned by Grammarly’s plagiarism checker to identify any traces of similarity or copied content. This is very good in identifying unintentional plagiarism for teachers.

Grammarly is rated as having the World’s largest used grammar checker tool which checks for over 400+ types of grammar mistakes, contextual spelling mistakes, redundancy and incorrect sentence structure to name a few. It is very reliable in detecting mistakes in grammar while you write, that is if you install its extension on your Google Chrome browser. Grammarly also cross checks your material from over 16 billion web pages and ProQuest databases. This free service in itself provides accurate plagiarism checks every time.

Another very great feature of Grammarly is ease of use. This is what people enjoy most while using this software for plagiarism checks. As soon as you hit scan after pasting your content, Grammarly will let you know in an instant whether or not you have copied or unoriginal content, and paying for Premium will also grant you access to the resources you need so you can cite and credit properly, avoiding plagiarism altogether. Writers like it when their job is made easier through such facilities.

2. Unicheck

Unicheck is another very popular plagiarism checker you can rely on. It is used across the globe and has ease of use as one of its advantages. This software is noted for being one of the best options not just for individuals but also for businesses and universities.

Unicheck has a set of features that make them stand out which include a Google Docs add-on which makes copied contents to be detected simultaneously as you’re writing. As you write into that Google Docs file, Unicheck will be highlighting citations and similarities at the same time. This facility helps to save you more time than you thought you could save. Aside from Google Docs, Unicheck also offers Add-Ons for G Suite and Microsoft Office 365, all of which you can utilize for convenience. These features constitute one of the major strengths of Unicheck. This software also promises 99.9% uptime and chat, email and phone support available 24/5 should you encounter any difficulty while using it. Professional writers love using Unicheck because it gives them the services they love.

3. Scribbr

Scribbr is very good in detecting diverse kinds of plagiarism in a work. It is rated by students’ as one of the best choices in plagiarism checkers in the market. It has a large source database which is used to cross check and detect plagiarized contents. One of their most notable features is the Own Sources Checker which makes it possible for users to check for self or auto plagiarism easily. Though this comes with a fee, this add-on tool proves to be a big help especially for students who are publishing a manuscript but have no time to cross examine their work.

Scribbr offers detailed plagiarism reports that include accurate plagiarism percentage, a report of sources that matched, access to settings to customize your report, and a guide to improve your text. It also protects users’ privacy not just by securing their server cloud, but by not storing your files in any database at all. Scribbr is also known for their advanced software in detecting plagiarism to give you more accurate results each time you run a plagiarism check. This software has a database that includes journals and books, which gives them quite an advantage over other plagiarism checker alternatives. It also has ease of use advantage which users like a lot. Scribbr also supports twenty languages which increase the user base of the software.

4. PlagScan

PlagSacan is another very good plagiarism checker you can rely on. This software offers users the options to either copy and paste text or upload a file directly to start plagiarism detection. It makes use of Yahoo’s BoSS-API to scan for plagiarism, making each scan very accurate to do the job. It has different plan options for users to choose from to start scanning, depending on their needs.

The paid option has Lite, Professional and Enterprise plans. Users pay monthly fees for any of these plans. These plans can include URL checking, plagiarism checks, full reports, and customer support. All available plans are easy to use and understand, so you can cross match with how many pages you need checked. One of the huge advantages of PlagScan is flexibility. This factor makes it an excellent choice for both students and entrepreneurs. There are even plans for higher education, schools, and large enterprises. PlagScan lets you find the plan that’s custom fit to your needs. It is among the plagiarism scanners very serious writers make use of.

5. Quetext

Quetext makes use of a more advanced technology for their algorithms to perform contextual analysis and word placement in plagiarism scans. It has DeepSearch technology which helps in achieving fast, accurate scans, making it a preferred choice by most bloggers, teachers, writers, professionals, among others.

Quetext has a feature that gives you feedback with corresponding color codes once it spots what looks like plagiarized content. This comes when you subscribe for a monthly fee. This makes it possible for you to have a side by side view of your text and matches so you can work while getting it scanned simultaneously. You might say this feature is common among plagiarism checker tools, but is actually extremely convenient. Your text is cross matched against billions of sources before your plagiarism score is handed over to you. This makes Quetext user-friendly and reliable.

This plagiarism checker has a free tool which allows you to scan up to 2,500 words or five pages of documents along with the use of their ColorGrade feedback tool, contextual analysis, fuzzy matching and conditional scoring. When you go for the option of monthly fee, you get access to their premium features including 100,000 words or 200 pages, DeepSearch Extended, their exclusive citation assistant, a downloadable report, custom URL exclusion, Interactive Snippet Text, and premium support. There is also data security when working with Quetext because it does not store your files in any database. Working with Quetext is something you should consider as a writer.

6. Plagramme

Plagramme is also a very good plagiarism checker which is user-friendly and accurate in cross checking contents for plagiarism. It has real time plagiarism checking feature making it possible to detect whatever similar contents with another person’s work. Here’s how it works; it starts by detecting possible types of plagiarism such as copy and paste plagiarism, invalid sources, mosaic plagiarism, auto plagiarism, etc. After generating a report, you will be given a similarity score where you can see the number of similarities found in your work so you can give appropriate credit to the original owner of the work. The software then highlights detected plagiarized for you to make the needed adjustments or corrections. Plagramme is simple and easy to use.

Unlike most other plagiarism checkers, the free version of Plagramme has no word limit when which means you can check for plagiarism across all your content. Writers, authors entrepreneurs, students and educators alike find Plagramme extremely helpful in checking for plagiarism. You get a percentage point after evaluation of your document so you know how much of your content is original, and how much is unoriginal. Research paper and thesis authors find this software very useful and convenient because of the advanced plagiarism checker it offers.

The process of signing up for a free Plagramme account is fairly easy. You can start using the software to check for plagiarism immediately you create your own account. According to Digital GYD, this tool has billions of indexed websites, and this makes it easy to create an in-depth report for a small fee. This gives the user a better look at the available sources that can be cited in the process of revising the manuscript to remove plagiarized contents. This software is very reliable and popular among writers.

7. Turnitin

This is another confirmed top plagiarism checker tool you can use and enjoy. This tool is not free but it has features that make your work very safe and it is reliable. This tool is authorized to use for any class, and this can check entries consequently against a variety of information. Turnitin will detect the plagiarisms, while the unique article, in the meantime, will remain unhighlighted. This tool can be used to check the originality of an item. It also checks if your article has any reference if it was copied. After scanning for plagiarism, the copied or similar content is displayed on the right side. You then remove and modify it the highlighted contents that were plagiarized. Students and educators enjoy using this software a lot.

8. Pro writing aid

ProWritingAid has a feature that can detect plagiarized content, improve the language and also acts like a spell checker. It is a total package that provides all the help that you may require in content writing. This tool also underlines off base sentence structure and grammatical errors in yellow. It is also an AI-controlled punctuation and style checker. This is one of its numerous advantages.

ProWritingAid provides alternate suggestions to improve both your sentence structure and writing style after scanning your work. You can utilize ProWritingAid as a work area application or coordinate it with Microsoft Word, Google Docs, Scrivener, and most internet browsers. This software has a free version that is very efficient. This is why it is one of the best free plagiarism checker tools available. ProWritingAidcan is customized to cater to your varying needs. Diverse kinds of writers in different parts of the world find this tool very useful and reliable.

9. Plagiarism checker X

Plagiarism Checker X is another software with impressive qualities. It has a feature used for checking and detecting identical article inside numerous reports. This is a valuable tool to check if your content was duplicated or whether you copied another person’s content. Plagiarism Checker X is a complete tool and easy to use. All you have to do is introduce the product on your PC and you are set to start using it. You can put the blog URL, transfer the article or paste the article for filtering. It is one of the best free plagiarism checker available on the internet. The free checker facility makes it very popular among many writers across the globe.

Plagiarism Checker X works very fast and examines your article to discover plagiarized words or sentences. It has a feature which shows you results of level of similarity with other people’s works so you can make the necessary corrections and citations. Educators, website admins, and associations in several countries across the world make use of this software. This tool is very useful for writers of all kinds.

10. Copyscape

Copyscape is another top rated plagiarism checker tool professional writers make use of. It has features that protect your site from plagiarism. When you place the URL of your post in the URL portion and scan for plagiarism, this device detects if anyone in the business copies your article. You get complete results of all the near article pages after the check. You can check your article for uniqueness before you distribute it on the web. One huge quality of this software is that it is precise and easy to use. You can simply sign up and start using the tool to do your check. Copyscape is also a website plagiarism checker. Bloggers and other online content providers use this tool a lot.

Copyscape is a mainstream literary theft checker that is explicitly intended for bloggers and site proprietors. It has a free form which you can easily use to check your content for plagiarism. It is also a very great ‘hunt’ device for experts. This tool checks a current page URL for duplicates on the web. Once you suspect your work is probably being replicated somewhere else, this is the best software for you to use in identifying such intellectual thieves and protecting your contents.

Finally!

Plagiarism checker is very essential for every serious writer. You need to know the tools available out there in the market in order to opt for the most appropriate one. I hope you have learnt a few things about the concept “plagiarism”, plagiarism checker, and the best software to use in checking your works for plagiarized contents.

The Author

Chinenye Nwabueze

Nwabueze is a communication researcher with several years of lecturing experience in Nigerian universities.

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