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Plagiarism Checker: When is a plagiarism check worthwhile?

5. February 2021, INFO

Are you in the final stages of writing your thesis and want to be on the safe side when citing? Then a Plagiarism Checker might come in question before your final submission. Here we will weight up the advantages and disadvantages of using such a service and what you should look out for when choosing a provider.

What is a Plagiarism Checker and why is it useful?

When writing a scientific paper, it’s important to distinguish between your own work and the result of other people’s ideas, research and results. Additionally, your thought process must be comprehensible and easy to follow and therefore requires substantiation. Whether we like it or not, citing is just a way of doing so and is simply considered a basic rule of scientific work.

Choose to take the matter of citing too lightly and you may be faced with a warning or in some cases, even criminal charges! Though this can seem extreme, plagiarism is defined as the theft of intellectual property. Strictly speaking, it’s copyright infringement. You’ll notice that it’s not uncommon for public figures to be confronted with accusations of plagiarism, even years after submitting a piece of work. If found guilty, their academic titles are revoked. When you hand in your thesis or any other scientific paper, your university will check your work for plagiarism using software designed specifically for this purpose. Therefore, it’s hardly surprising that many individuals spend several hours double-checking their sources. However, it is worth pointing out that plagiarism is not always the result of malicious intent. Sometimes, carelessness or lack of time results in sources being incorrectly cited or missed out totally. People make mistakes, so a professional Plagiarism Checker does help you submit your work with more ease.

This is how a Plagiarism Checker works

Nowadays, plagiarism checking is software-based and therefore doesn’t take too much time. After you’ve uploaded your document, it is automatically scanned for sentences and sections which appear to match already existing sources and checked for citations. Additionally, you should receive a final report after your work has been checked, stating the percentage of plagiarized text, as well as listing out ‘suspicious’ sections of your work. If you use this to correct and finalize your work, you can avoid any awkward accusations down the road.

What to do if the percentage of plagiarism seems high?

If you’ve used a Plagiarism Checker and you’ve received your report back with a bunch of highlighted (suspicious) texts, you should by no means panic, nor ignore this. After all, the point was to be aware of all this BEFORE submission. Breathe and look through the report quietly and note which passages require alterations. It may be the case that not all marked texts feature an error – technology makes mistakes too!

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a plagiarism check?

A Plagiarism Checker provides you with a certain degree of security, regarding the quality of your scientific work. This way, you can detect gross errors in the source information before you officially hand in the document. Since writing a thesis or paper is a time-consuming task for many students in general, it can save you a lot of time. If you know that proper citation is not necessarily your strong suit, this will also give you additional confidence. Nevertheless, as previously mentioned, Plagiarism Checkers are not 100 percent accurate and can be prone to error, which is why you should inform yourself about different providers before you begin.

Free versus professional plagiarism check: advantages and disadvantages

Student budgets can be limited, which is why free Plagiarism Checkers can often be tempting. However, they often have a catch: For example, there is a restriction on the number of characters or pages you can upload which means you are required to manually divide up your work and upload it in intervals. This is not only labour-intensive, but risks the potential for errors. Other providers may allow you to upload a document with no limits, but may check only every other sentence for plagiarism. That means caution is advised! Either way, be sure to read up on how your data will be handled before choosing a provider, as this isn’t always transparent. If you’re looking to double check a source for only a specific part of your work, a free plagiarism check should be sufficient.

The cost of having your work checked for plagiarism actually remains within reasonable limits and certainly costs less than a night out. Shorter texts may have a starting price of approximately €15, so it may be a worthwhile ‘investment’. In exchange for using a paid-service, you should receive not only a more comprehensive report, but additional services incase you have any questions or issues. As for the topic of data protection, you’ll have more luck finding transparency with a paid provider.

How do you find the right Plagiarism Checker for you?

Now you know what is important when choosing a provider and what differences can exist. To help you on your search for finding the right one, we’ll introduce you to a few Plagiarism Checkers for students.

Free Plagiarism Checkers

  • Google Scholar: Free Plagiarism Checker through the Google Scholar search engine, which is well suited for literature research on single sentences and text passages.
  • PlagScan: When registering, you receive a free test credit to try out the PlagScan service without obligation. If you want to continue using the service, you can choose between packages that include different numbers of pages or words. You can also upload more than one document. A plus is that data protection is a priority here.

Commercial Plagiarism Checkers

  • BachelorPrint: In order to find possible duplicates in your text without a source reference, you can use BachelorPrint. The document will be automatically deleted after verification and will certainly not gather dust in any database. The prices are scaled according to the number of words in your scientific paper. You will receive the report after just ten minutes. In addition, the provider advertises other services such as printing, binding or proofreading, which are particularly convenient for students with time constraints.
  • Scribbr: The plagiarism software from Scribbr also advertises fast results within ten minutes. In addition, the software can detect not only direct quotes, but also paraphrases. Here, too, you can choose between three packages to find the right one for you. You can also be sure about data protection and purchase additional services such as editing or proofreading. Another tip: Use the free citation tools from Scribbr.

Commercial Plagiarism Checkers

Want to know more about how to go about writing a thesis? Check out our blogpost on how to take on the challenge!



Josephine is our Social Media and Community Coordinator. Internationally raised and fluent in sarcasm, she is a huge foodie who dreams of travelling the world in a van with an adopted puppy.

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