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Best (free) Plagiarism Checker

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I've always been really scared of plagiarism & always did my best to cite, use my own words etc. However TWICE last year I got caught (never anything big). For instance, on a final paper I actually used the wrong source of citing and thus the teacher refused to mark the paper so I got a 0 on it!!!!!!

For another class, I copied a line saying something general like "60 participants shall be used because of theoretical saturation" and forgot to reword it- but luckily the professor understood and I got a stern warning. 

 

Nevertheless, with my thesis and with grad school letters I am TERRIFIED. I smartened up a lot and every paper since I triple check using Grammarly, I research almost every line, I site every line as I write etc, but I am still scared...

 

Anyone know a really good plagiarism checker for FREE (I know turnitin is good but I can't afford the $8/paper for the year).

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I have the same problem I am writing my MA and hoping to submit it this semester however am totally scared about plagiarism . My supervisor warned me and told me I have many cases of plagiarism in my writing and I do not know how to handle it since i do not do it on perpuse what if u and some one else just have the same i dea out of the coincidence am so confused :( 

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Is there a writing center or an equivalent that you can make an appointment with at your current universities? I'm not sure if plugging your paper into a plagiarism checker and seeing what comes out is a good long term solution. Those services are usually for Teachers and Graders. I think you're better off seeking proper advising from people used to teaching academic writing. This is a case they'd understand, since part of academic writing is proper citation, not just prose, style, and grammar. Most universities have writing centers that deal with this.

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JoeyBoy: that's what I thought (assumed) too before I taught a year of freshman composition. I was surprised at the extent many students struggled with accidental plagiarizing. I discovered that learning the new lexicon is something difficult for a writer who is not accustomed to the various styles of academic writing.

Fiction, popular press, and other literature do not offer the same context as academic writing, and those are the forms of reading and writing most high school graduates are used to. What you as a grad student take as axiomatic is not necessarily the same type of maneuvers and devices they are fluent with. Practicing proper citation skills (along with the maneuvers one uses to introduce citations and paraphrasing), should very much be part of the mechanics and skills of academic writing. Yes, they do become often taken for granted by those who have an innate fluency or who are able to pull them off easily, but that's precisely why they get frequently brushed aside in approaching writing pedagogy.

I believe most cases of academic misconduct at universities occur not because of malicious intent, but because the student fails the fluency of navigating protocol, due to lack of exposure and training. Then, it becomes a viscious cycle, as students who are "caught" become less confident in their writing, often subconsciously inclined to consult less sources, avoid potentially relevant citations and paraphrasing, and write with fear.

Edited by comp12

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Guest Gnome Chomsky

Good points. I think another problem is people think they have to word things a certain way in scholarly writing. I took an intro to research writing class and the professor said the majority of scholarly articles are full of bad writing. That doesn't mean the research and conclusions are bad, but just the way the author wrote it. It's almost like people are afraid to write in a way that feels natural to them. I agree though that learning how to properly cite is important. 

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comp12 -- isn't that the reason why those courses are typically required for all students, regardless of major and why there are three or four years of classes with writing?

 

I can understand making mistakes as a college freshman, but to be honest, by the time you are in graduate school I think you should be able to tell pretty clearly when something is plagiarized and when it isn't. If not, then some serious time needs to be spent in the university writing center. For starters, never copy something directly into your paper unless you plan to use it as a direct quote. If you do plan to use it as a direct quote, cite it right then. Don't wait, just do the citation. If you are paraphrasing someone else's idea, cite it right then. If you make a reference to previously existing work without giving any details, cite it. If you aren't sure if you should cite something, cite it. Even if you know the idea in and out, can explain it a million different ways, cite the original source of that idea so people know where it came from. It's not going to hurt you to say "PersonsName (yyyy) has a pretty good idea, i [agree or disagree] with them because of all of these reasons." Well, it might hurt that it is a terrible sentence, but giving the credit for an idea isn't going to hurt.

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jmu: the suggestion of growing an annotated bibliography as you go along with your research and your writing is great. It definitely ought be part of every paper writing process as a grad student.

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Like Comp12 and jmu, I advocate for annotated bibliographies, because that way your notes can be directly attributed to a specific source. I also put the appropriate citation into my notes immediately, so there's no guesswork after I write about where something came from or whether something needs to be cited or not. The key to avoiding the sort of unintentional plagiarism the OP mentioned is documenting your information from the moment you start taking notes. It's too late when you start drafting. 

 

Also, when I take my notes, I do a lot of color coding as I type. Text that is all mine stays black. If it's a quote or paraphrase that needs to be cited, it is in red or orange, that way my eyes are drawn to quoted/paraphrased information within the essay. It's easier to identify where my stuff ends and other sources begin. It's also helpful to see if you're lacking support for something. On my final proofread, I spend extra time with each colored section of text to make sure I have documented it appropriately. Once I'm sure, I change the text color to black.

 

I hope this is helpful. In any event, it's a better plan than using plagiarism checkers after you've already written. It really is true that an ounce of prevention beats a pound of cure.

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Guest Gnome Chomsky

Like Comp12 and jmu, I advocate for annotated bibliographies, because that way your notes can be directly attributed to a specific source. I also put the appropriate citation into my notes immediately, so there's no guesswork after I write about where something came from or whether something needs to be cited or not. The key to avoiding the sort of unintentional plagiarism the OP mentioned is documenting your information from the moment you start taking notes. It's too late when you start drafting. 

 

Also, when I take my notes, I do a lot of color coding as I type. Text that is all mine stays black. If it's a quote or paraphrase that needs to be cited, it is in red or orange, that way my eyes are drawn to quoted/paraphrased information within the essay. It's easier to identify where my stuff ends and other sources begin. It's also helpful to see if you're lacking support for something. On my final proofread, I spend extra time with each colored section of text to make sure I have documented it appropriately. Once I'm sure, I change the text color to black.

 

I hope this is helpful. In any event, it's a better plan than using plagiarism checkers after you've already written. It really is true that an ounce of prevention beats a pound of cure.

The color coding thing is an interesting idea. I'll have to give that a try. 

 

As far as making sure you cite things as soon as you write them--not to sound like a dick--but that should be common sense. Why would you paraphrase a whole block of text and then not cite it, only to be scampering around for the original source 6 months later when you're getting ready to finalize it? 

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The color coding thing is an interesting idea. I'll have to give that a try. 

 

As far as making sure you cite things as soon as you write them--not to sound like a dick--but that should be common sense. Why would you paraphrase a whole block of text and then not cite it, only to be scampering around for the original source 6 months later when you're getting ready to finalize it? 

 

You would think that properly citing sources would be common sense, and by graduate school it should be. But having taught composition for several years and worked as a writing tutor for graduate students, I can tell you that it (unfortunately) is not. Properly documenting sources from the moment you start taking notes is something you really have to teach some students. You can't just assume that they know it. 

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The Plagiarism Checker is a tool that fullfill all your requirements. with this tool you can find whether your content is duplicate or not. It is very easy to use for everyone. It can Check Duplicate Content free of cost. You don't even have to sign up. Just visit our website and start checking for unique content. It is useful for every professional person even students can also use it.

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Write Check is a tool for students and is by the makers of TurnItIn (which is the plagiarism checker I use as a TA/instructor).

 

They seem to have a litany of great resources, though they are not free. I would echo what others have said about seeking out your institutions writing centre. Beyond that, if you think that one really detailed and comprehensive review of a paper would be instructive, Write Check might be worth looking into.

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On 8/18/2013 at 2:16 AM, Guest Gnome Chomsky said:

I don't see how people have problems plagiarizing. Just don't copy word-for-word and don't forget to cite. 

Totally agree. Or at least paraphrase.

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On 1/7/2016 at 9:51 PM, pyraxic said:

Plagiarism Checker is one of the tools I have used in the past. The results are quite accurate as it used Google searches on the backend.

 

On 1/7/2016 at 9:51 PM, pyraxic said:

Plagiarism Checker is one of the tools I have used in the past. The results are quite accurate as it used Google searches on the backend.

 

Thank you for your suggestion. Does it also have the ability to pick up shills?

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On January 1, 2015 at 6:27 AM, Andrew Carter said:

The Plagiarism Checker is a tool that fullfill all your requirements. with this tool you can find whether your content is duplicate or not. It is very easy to use for everyone. It can Check Duplicate Content free of cost. You don't even have to sign up. Just visit our website and start checking for unique content. It is useful for every professional person even students can also use it.

This is a horrible service. I just copied and pasted an entire abstract from a research paper and it said it was 100% unique content. I did another essay that I found online and it said that it was also 100% unique content. Don't use it.

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On 01.01.2015 at 6:23 AM, surefire said:

Write Check is a tool for students and is by the makers of TurnItIn (which is the plagiarism checker I use as a TA/instructor).

 

They seem to have a litany of great resources, though they are not free. I would echo what others have said about seeking out your institutions writing centre. Beyond that, if you think that one really detailed and comprehensive review of a paper would be instructive, Write Check might be worth looking into.

Yes, Write Check is a popular tool among students. Mostly because it is made by the same company as Turnitin is. But it's rather costly. 

Recently I came across a free plagiarism checker made by Unplag. Can be found here. It has daily restrictions on checks (up to 500 words, 3 checks per day), but it's very fair for free version of the commercial service. And it works fine. 

Plagiarism checkers are helpful tools, but students in graduate school should know how to write academic papers and follow the citation styles.
 

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When I was an academic consultant, I scanned my students' admissions essays in Viper, which I guess is now scanmyessay. It was free and worked really well. I caught a student who copied from the engineering page of the university they were applying to. The student was very surprised I caught them, and hopefully I taught them to paraphrase, and not just copy from websites.

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