Plagiarism is the act of stealing someone else's work or ideas and passing them off as your own. As content creators, it's critical that we ensure all of our work is completely original and avoid plagiarizing others. Using a plagiarism checker is the best way to guarantee your content's originality before publishing it.
In this guide, we'll explore the types of plagiarism, why plagiarism checkers matter, the best plagiarism checkers for content creators, how to use them, and tips for getting the most out of plagiarism checkers. By the end of this guide, you'll have a solid understanding of plagiarism prevention and how to keep your creative work 100% original using the latest plagiarism detection tools.
What is Plagiarism and Why Does it Matter?
Plagiarism is the act of using someone else's words or ideas without giving them proper credit. As content creators, plagiarism is unethical and can damage your reputation and trust with your audience. It's critical we have a strong understanding of the different types of plagiarism and how to avoid them.
Types of Plagiarism
Direct plagiarism is when you copy another person's work word-for-word and pass it off as your own without crediting the original creator. This is the most blatant form of plagiarism and can have serious consequences.
Mosaic plagiarism is when you copy pieces of information from multiple sources and reassemble them into a new work without properly citing where you got the information. Even though the wording may be different, the ideas still belong to the original creators.
Self-plagiarism refers to reusing your own previous work in a new piece of content without citing the original work. While reusing some elements of your previous content can be okay, copying and pasting large amounts of unaltered text is still considered plagiarism.
Why Use a Plagiarism Checker?
Plagiarism checkers are automated tools that scan your content and compare it against a large database of online sources to check for copied or unoriginal work. They help ensure your content is completely plagiarism-free before publishing. Here are a few of the main benefits of using a plagiarism checker:
Ensure Originality of Your Content
The primary purpose of a plagiarism checker is to guarantee your content is 100% original and plagiarism-free. By running your work through a plagiarism checker before publishing, you can catch any accidental plagiarism and rewrite those sections to avoid copying someone else's work.
Build Trust with Your Audience
Publishing plagiarized content severely damages your reputation and trust with your readers. Using a plagiarism checker shows your audience you care about creating original, high-quality content. This helps establish you as an authority in your niche and builds long-term trust in your brand.
Avoid Legal Issues
Plagiarizing someone else's work opens you up to potential legal issues, like copyright infringement claims. Plagiarism checkers help ensure you don't accidentally copy another person's content, which protects you from legal consequences and the high costs associated with defending against such claims.
Best Plagiarism Checkers for Content Creators
There are many free and paid plagiarism checkers available online. Here are some of the best options for content creators:
Grammarly is a popular writing assistant tool that also offers plagiarism detection. It checks your content against over 16 billion online sources to identify any copied work. Grammarly offers both free and paid versions, with the paid Grammarly Premium plan providing more advanced plagiarism checking features.
Turnitin is a well-known plagiarism checker, especially for academic institutions. However, they also offer plagiarism checking tools for individuals and businesses. Turnitin checks against a database of over 60 billion web pages, scholarly works, and student papers to provide comprehensive plagiarism detection reports. Pricing for Turnitin starts at $29.95/month.
Plagiarisma is a popular free plagiarism checker. It scans your content against billions of online sources, scholarly publications, and a large database of student papers. For a free tool, Plagiarisma works quite well and provides a percentage of plagiarized content as well as links to matched sources. However, the paid options on this list tend to offer more advanced features.
Plagiarism Checker X
Plagiarism Checker X is an affordable paid plagiarism checker. Plans start at $5.83/month and provide unlimited checks, with bulk discounts available. It checks against over 10 billion documents, web pages, scholarly publications, and student papers. Plagiarism Checker X works for individuals and businesses and offers additional features like rewriting suggestions to easily fix plagiarized sections of your content.
Using a Plagiarism Checker
Now that you understand why plagiarism checkers are important and have options to choose from, let's explore how plagiarism checkers actually work and how to interpret the results.
How Plagiarism Checkers Work
Plagiarism checkers work by scanning your content and comparing it against huge databases of online sources, academic papers, books, news articles, and more to identify any text that matches other published works. They use algorithms to detect even small sections of copied or reworded content in your work.
Comparing Content to Online Sources
The plagiarism checker will scan through billions of web pages, online articles, ebooks, academic papers, and other digital content to compare your work against. Any word-for-word text, closely reworded sentences, or ideas without proper attribution found in these sources will be flagged as plagiarized content.
Scanning for Duplicate Content
Plagiarism checkers also compare your content against their own internal database to check for duplicate content, known as "self-plagiarism." This ensures you are not reusing large amounts of unaltered text from your previous works without proper citation. Some level of reusing ideas or revisiting topics is fine, but copying and pasting paragraphs verbatim from your other content is still considered plagiarism.
Interpreting the Results
Once the plagiarism check is complete, the tool will provide a report on any potentially plagiarized content found in your work. Here's how to interpret the results:
Most plagiarism checkers will give you an overall "plagiarism score" or percentage, indicating how much of your work contains plagiarized content. A higher percentage, especially over 25-30%, typically means you have some rewriting to do to avoid plagiarism issues.
The plagiarism checker will highlight or underline any sections of text found to be plagiarized in your content. Review each highlighted portion to determine if it needs to be reworded or properly cited and attributed to the original source.
Sources of Plagiarism
For each instance of plagiarism found, the report will indicate the original source that contains the same or similar text. Be sure to review each source to verify the plagiarism claim and make necessary changes to your content, such as rephrasing copied sections or adding proper citations and attributions.
Tips for Using Plagiarism Checkers
To get the most out of plagiarism checkers and ensure plagiarism-free content, here are some useful tips:
Choose a Reliable Choose a Reliable Plagiarism Checker
Not all plagiarism checkers are equal. Choose a tool that checks against a large database of web pages, academic sources, books, news articles, and more. Free plagiarism checkers can work in a pinch, but paid tools often provide more advanced features and more comprehensive plagiarism detection.
Check Your Content Before Publishing
Run your content through a plagiarism checker before publishing it live on your website or social media platforms. This ensures you catch any plagiarism issues before your readers do and gives you an opportunity to fix them.
Use Plagiarism Checkers for References Too
Don't just check the main content of your work. Also run any references, quotes, statistics, or other information you cite through a plagiarism checker. Ensure all of your sources are properly attributed and any verbatim text from references is properly quoted to avoid plagiarizing another author's work accidentally.
Consider Plagiarism Checker Integrations
Some plagiarism checkers offer integrations with popular writing tools like Google Docs, Microsoft Word, and Scrivener. These integrations allow you to check your content for plagiarism directly in your writing application of choice, which can save time and streamline your writing and editing workflow.
Double Check any Changes or Updates
If you make any changes or updates to your content after the initial plagiarism check, run your work through the plagiarism checker again. New edits could potentially introduce plagiarized content, so double checking ensures your work remains plagiarism-free after any revisions.
Plagiarism should be avoided at all costs, as it severely damages your reputation and trust with readers. By educating yourself on the types of plagiarism and using plagiarism detection tools to check your work before publishing, you can establish yourself as an authority in your niche and build a loyal audience that values your original content and ideas.
Plagiarism checkers play an important role in helping content creators ensure the originality of their work before it's published live. They scan your writing and compare it against billions of online sources to check for any copied text, reworded ideas, or self-plagiarized content from your previous works that need proper citation. By catching plagiarism issues during the writing and editing process, you avoid the consequences of publishing unoriginal work and losing trust with your readers.