Plagiarism is the process or practice of using another person’s ideas or work and pretending that it is your own.
Bloggers, content creators, and students still choose to copy and paste. Checking for duplicate or copied content manually can be so tedious. It is therefore important to use Plagiarism Checker Tools.
The Common Types of Plagiarism
There are different types of plagiarism and all are serious violations of academic honesty. We have defined the most common types below and have provided links to examples.
Direct plagiarism is the word-for-word transcription of a section of someone else’s work, without attribution and without quotation marks. The deliberate plagiarism of someone else’s work is unethical, academically dishonest, and grounds for disciplinary actions, including expulsion.
Self-plagiarism occurs when a student submits his or her own previous work, or mixes parts of previous works, without permission from all professors involved.
For example, it would be unacceptable to incorporate part of a term paper you wrote in high school into a paper assigned in a college course. Self-plagiarism also applies to submitting the same piece of work for assignments in different classes without previous permission from both professors.
Mosaic Plagiarism occurs when a student borrows phrases from a source without using quotation marks or finds synonyms for the author’s language while keeping to the same general structure and meaning of the original.
Accidental plagiarism occurs when a person neglects to cite their sources, misquotes their sources, or unintentionally paraphrases a source by using similar words, groups of words, and/or sentence structure without attribution.
How Do Plagiarism Checkers Work?
Now we’ve come to the main question: how do plagiarism checkers work? If you want to use a scanner, the process is usually pretty straightforward. You just need to paste your content or attach the file that contains it, and run it through the scanner. This is usually done by pressing a button.
When this happens, the software will compare the text with thousands or millions of web resources. This can take a few minutes for shorter texts, and once the scanning is completed, you’ll get a percentage. This percentage will tell you how much of the content is plagiarized.
More advanced scanners will point out to the exact instances in the text that are plagiarized and even tell you the original source from which the content is taken. You’ll also get a plagiarism report. Some professors ask for a report that confirms that the content is 100% original.
These scanners do not save the text you enter into them. They erase it immediately so that it never appears in searches and doesn’t appear as plagiarism when your professor scans your paper, too. Wherever you are, you can use such software – paid or free, to check your assignments and see if they are original.
Let’s now break down the process of work of plagiarism scanners:
- They will identify the text elements in your file
- They’ll break the text into phrases and sentences that are logical and semantically relevant
- Check for similarities with the full base of publications, journals, and online sources
- Pass search engines to look for similarities
- Display the finalized report or percentage to the user
What Can a Plagiarism Checker Miss?
These programs are constantly improving and evolving, and some are considered flawless in detecting online plagiarized content. But, due to their nature, they cannot recognize everything. Things that a scanner cannot detect are plagiarized ideas that are entirely rewritten.
Moreover, plagiarism checkers cannot detect translated content, text sourced from images, or non-text content. Finally, if educational institutions have their internal database where they store work from former students, and this database is not shared with others, a commercial checker cannot find the copied content.