Plagiarism Checkers & How to Check for Plagiarism in 2023

Plagiarism Checkers & How to Check for Plagiarism in 2023


Plagiarism is a major and growing concern in multiple arenas including academia, journalism, and publishing. With billions of webpages just a click away, the temptation for writers to pass off others’ work as their own has only increased in the digital age. However, plagiarism – whether intentional copying or accidental inadequate citations – continues to have serious repercussions that demand solutions.

Recent studies of 21,723 students at 25 top universities in the United States found over 15% of sampled work contained significant plagiarized content. In a survey of 500 publishing professionals by Webceo, 51% reported discovering plagiarism in manuscripts they edited in the past year. News organizations are also continually reporting cases of reporters fired for plagiarizing online sources into their articles.

These statistics indicate plagiarism is far from a waning issue that can be ignored. The wealth of easily accessible information paradoxically makes properly crediting sources more essential, yet frequently neglected. This oversight opens doors to copying, whether deliberately or innocently. However, with reputations, brand trust, and careers at stake, plagiarism has consequences requiring proactive attention by all producing original writing.

This urgent concern is precisely why plagiarism detection software has rapidly evolved in recent years. Advanced algorithms, expansive databases, and insightful reporting enable uncovering plagiarized text from any online or offline source.

By integrating these modern tools into their workflows, writers can confidently verify originality and attribute references properly. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into what constitutes plagiarism, its risks, and how checkers effectively combat issues in 2023 and beyond. With vigilance and the right technology, plagiarism can be tackled.

So What is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism refers to using someone else’s work or ideas without properly crediting the original source. It is considered unethical across all arenas of writing and publishing. Plagiarism takes many forms, ranging from minor to egregious. Any type requires correction and has potential consequences.

Verbatim Plagiarism

This most obvious type of plagiarism is copying text word-for-word from another source without using quotation marks or attribution. For example, if a student took a full sentence or paragraph from a website and pasted it into their essay without citations, that is verbatim plagiarism.

This category also applies to piecing together multiple verbatim passages from sources into a “new” work without proper quotation. Verbatim plagiarism is easy to catch using plagiarism detection software as the copied text will match published sources. It represents intellectual property theft and is viewed as highly unethical in any context.

Paraphrasing Plagiarism

When writers paraphrase, they express someone else’s ideas using their own original wording. However, if a writer paraphrases content from another source without citing it, this also qualifies as plagiarism.

Even if certain words are changed or synonyms are used, keeping the same overall sentence structure and meaning as the original source is misrepresenting the ideas as one’s own original work. This frequently occurs unintentionally in academic writing when students do not realize that unique rephrasing still requires a citation to the source. Paraphrased content without attribution is plagiarism.


This refers to reusing one’s own previous work in a new piece without indicating that it has been published before. For example, copying paragraphs from your old essays to create a new paper is considered self-plagiarism in academia.

In publishing, reusing old writings in new books or articles requires citing yourself as the original source. Self-plagiarism misrepresents prior publications as new content at the time of resubmission. While less egregious than other forms, it is still considered a type of plagiarism that requires correction.

Contract Cheating

Also called “ghostwriting”, this is the most egregious type of plagiarism. It occurs when a student, writer, or public figure pays someone else to produce content for them which they then claim as their own original work.

This is rampant in academia where students hire ghostwriters for essays, theses, and dissertations. In journalism and publishing, celebrities have faced scandals over hiring ghostwriters for purported memoirs and other content. This undermines integrity and will be uncovered by thorough plagiarism checking.

Consequences in Academia

In an academic context, plagiarism represents intellectual fraud and theft of credit. As such, it carries severe disciplinary consequences including failing grades, suspension, expulsion, loss of scholarships, or revoked degrees. All universities have policies prohibiting plagiarism with clearly defined penalties. Checking student work is crucial to catching plagiarism and upholding academic integrity standards.

Why Check for Plagiarism?

Plagiarism detection is a crucial component of the writing and publishing process. Diligently running plagiarism checks provides benefits at both the individual and institutional level. There are several key reasons that plagiarism checking matters now more than ever in the digital information age.

Avoiding Accidental Plagiarism

Checking one’s own work during drafting helps writers avoid unintentional plagiarism. During research, it is easy to neglect citations for statistics, quotes, and passages paraphrased from source material. Running plagiarism software identifies areas missing proper attribution. Writers can then correct accidental omissions and improve citation practices. For students learning to cite sources, self-checking papers is essential to developing rigorous research skills that will prevent issues down the road.

Upholding Institutional Integrity

Schools, publishers, and news organizations rely on plagiarism checkers to verify originality and maintain high standards of integrity. Academic institutions want to confirm students are submitting their own work to earn fair credit.

Book and journal publishers must guarantee no plagiarized content gets printed which would damage their reputation. News companies require reporters to produce wholly original writing and need to validate their content is not copied. Across fields, institutional plagiarism policies are upholding through rigorous similarity checks.

Avoiding Reputational Damage

In addition to internal institutional checks, public scandals can erupt around published plagiarized content. Periodicals, blogs, and social networks use software to detect and publicly call out copied writing.

News outlets or book publishers may face backlash for printing plagiarized material. For public figures, plagiarism scandals uncovered post-publication can be reputation-ruining. For companies producing any public-facing content, plagiarism checking is essential to avoid this brand damage.

Maintaining Online Visibility

Search engines actively scan web pages and online content for duplicate or plagiarized text. Pages with copied content may be removed from search results or ranked lower. This could mean major losses in site traffic and revenue. Websites, blogs, and digital publications therefore need to plagiarism-check all posts to avoid this consequence and maintain prominence in search engine results pages.

For all of these crucial reasons, plagiarism detection through software checks needs to become standard practice for any individual or institution producing written content. It provides a protective safeguard at multiple levels.

How to Check for Plagiarism Step-by-Step

Plagiarism detection is an essential part of the writing process. Carefully checking your work for copied or improperly cited text should become standard practice. Here is an in-depth look at how to run plagiarism checks on your writing using software detectors:

Choosing Plagiarism Checking Software

The first step is selecting an appropriate plagiarism checker based on your needs. Consider the following features when deciding:


The accuracy of the algorithm is critical for identifying all potential plagiarism. Paid tools like Copyleaks and Unicheck use advanced scanning to catch more instances than free checkers. Their algorithms compare your text against billions of sources for the most comprehensive results.


If you routinely write long works like books and theses, you need high text upload capacity. Many free checkers limit checking to a few pages. Subscription services often allow uploads of 100+ pages for thorough scanning.

Source comparison

Some checkers just scan the web and databases. Others allow comparing your document against specific sources for publisher checks. This helps validate you have properly cited all references.

Similarity reports

Robust plagiarism checkers like Unicheck provide detailed similarity reports highlighting matched text and the original sources. This allows for easy identification of unoriginal content.


Free checkers have limited capabilities ideal for quick checks. Full-featured subscriptions with advanced reporting start around $10-15 a month. Institutions may pay more for enterprise packages.

Ease of use

The tool should allow seamless text uploading and checking through a simple interface. More complex enterprise software requires training.

Integrating Checks into Your Writing Workflow

To catch plagiarism effectively, checks must become a routine part of your writing process:

Check frequently while drafting

Scan chapters or sections as you write them to refine citations and disputed flagged passages while fresh in your mind.

Run checks before submission/publication

Do final plagiarism check on the full completed work to catch any remaining issues.

Establish clear improvement thresholds

Set maximum plagiarism score thresholds based on institutional or publisher policies to guide your revisions.

Record and save reports

Retain copies of original and final plagiarism reports to demonstrate your improvements.

Building in plagiarism detection throughout drafting, editing, and finalizing ensures you resolve issues fully before publication.

Performing Thorough Text Scans

When running checks, meticulous scanning is important for catching all plagiarism:

Check page-by-page

Initially scan in sections to quickly resolve problems in each part before compiling the full work.

Review the final document

Do one final scan on the completed full text to catch any issues between sections.

Watch for small copying

Even a few words may get flagged, so check thoroughly for snippets.

Use text upload not just cut-and-paste

Uploading direct text allows for more accurate results than pasting into a search bar.

Compare against original sources

If available, compare your work directly against source material for academic integrity.

Careful and methodical text analysis is critical for plagiarism detectors to work optimally.

Analyzing and Resolving Plagiarism Reports

The plagiarism checker will produce a report indicating percentage of unoriginal text and highlighting flagged passages. Carefully evaluate the results:

Identify false positives

Small common phrases flagged may be coincidental and require no change.

Review all flagged passages

Assess each highlighted section to determine if plagiarism requires correction or just better citation.

Check against original sources

Where possible, cross-reference flagged text against the original material to make your determination.

Categorize severity

Gauge whether issues are minor errors or extensive unoriginal copying needing substantial rewriting.

Revise and requery

Make corrections following plagiarism review, then rerun checks on revised work to validate fixes.

Analyzing the software reports closely and categorizing the types of issues allows for targeted revisions to eliminate plagiarism.

Finalizing Plagiarism-Free Texts

In the late editing stages, complete final plagiarism removal refinements:

Resolve all significant issues

Rewrite extensively copied sections in your own style and language.

Refine citations

Ensure quotes, facts and references have clear in-text and bibliographic citations.

Confirm acceptably low plagiarism score

Text should be below plagiarism score thresholds set by your institution or publisher.

Polish text

Make any final language edits needed while maintaining your unique voice and style.

Retain plagiarism reports

Keep the original and final reports to document your process proving due diligence should any concerns arise.

Following this comprehensive plagiarism checking process ensures you submit an original, ethical, properly-cited work.


Plagiarism remains a critical concern in 2023 for writers in all arenas. Both intentional and unintentional copying carry consequences, making plagiarism detection essential. Modern checkers like Unicheck and Copyleaks offer powerful algorithms, identification of even obscure sources, and detailed similarity reports to protect against plagiarism.

Utilizing a trusted plagiarism checker throughout your writing and editing process can help ensure your work meets any institution or publisher’s standards for original content. With plagiarism on the radar, writers can submit assignments, articles, and manuscripts with full confidence in their integrity.

Here are some of the top plagiarism checkers to consider using in 2023. Do your own research and check what is best for you.


  • Free and paid subscription options
  • Plagiarism checker integrated into overall writing assistant
  • Scans text against 8 billion web pages
  • Highlights copied text and generates plagiarism score
  • Limited to 20,000 characters per scan in free version


  • Paid subscription service for educational institutions
  • Compares against internet sources, academic databases, and archived student papers
  • Generates detailed originality reports
  • Ideal for academic integrity checks


  • Offers free trial and paid subscriptions
  • Compares text against internet, academic databases, and proprietary content
  • Advanced options include competitor content comparison
  • Used widely in academia and professional writing


  • Paid plagiarism checker focused on academic institutions
  • Scans against internet and academic library databases
  • Offers administrator accounts and integration with LMS
  • Provides detailed similarity reports


  • Free and paid subscriptions available
  • Scans against over 10 billion web pages
  • Supports bulk uploading of multiple documents
  • Integrates with Google Classroom


  • Free and paid plans
  • Developed specifically for students and writers
  • Checks against over 40 billion web pages
  • Highlights plagiarized passages in-text


  • Specializes in academic integrity checks
  • Paid plans for individuals or institutions
  • Checks against internet, journals, and internal database
  • Integrates directly with learning management systems


  • Focused on academic institutions
  • Compares documents against internet, academic databases, and other students’ papers
  • Offers administrator portal for managing multiple students
  • Provides detailed similarity reports