How to Check Plagiarism: Tools and Tricks

Understanding how to check plagiarism is Vital, there are tools and tricks that can help you tell plagiarized content regardless of its size. Instructors can confidently tell that a particular work is plagiarized just by weighing how he works with students daily. As they learn, students normally write and sound differently as they have in previous assignments or could sound different from anything you have heard from them or seen in the past. Whether learners fail to cite properly while composing their assignments or choose to buy plagiarized papers from essay websites, plagiarism can still be detected.

There are certain signs that help instructors keep an eye on students work before they set out to use digital plagiarism checkers.

  1. A sudden change in diction. One of the most reliable tips for spotting plagiarized work is an unexpected shift from normal diction. For instance, if a student suddenly changes a few sentences or paragraphs in a way to divert from a normal discussion, then perhaps this could not be their development.
  2. Use of more than a single font. It is easy to spot plagiarized work just by looking at the size, color, type and style of fonts and pay attention to any suspicious formatting or a change from one setting to another. Although students may have other legitimate reasons for submitting papers with such errors this act should be a red flag for plagiarism.
  3. Shifts in tense or uncalled for shifts of the first person. Instructors should always look carefully at the shift intense because it could probably be a sign of plagiarism.
  4. A mixed up citation system. Different courses have distinct methods of citations. At the same time, while issuing instructions, instructors always make it clear to students what citation style should be used in the paper, be it MLA, Turabian, Chicago, APA or any other existing style. When the paper is submitted to you with all forms of inconsistency, you could just be looking at a plagiarized development.
  5. Presentation of outdated data. While marking a paper, you might come across a passage that reads ‘Bill Clinton, our current President’ or ‘scientists from the Soviet Union’, these instances could be a sign that you have been presented with a plagiarized material. Such could also be a sign that students researching skills are poor or they have plainly ignored to follow instructions.
  6. A word for word quotes without quotation marks. This instance could not only be a sign of plagiarism but it is also the real definition of intellectual theft. Instructors should make it clear to students that failure to cite properly could lead to being found guilty of plagiarism and in as much as it could be accidental, one might not evade the consequences. If the quote you are reading sounds like somebody else’s words, then you could also investigate to find out the level of plagiarism.
  7. Acquiring a hit from a search engine. We are living at a time where the technology we enjoy has become the diagnosis for plagiarism. When students are issued with assignments, the first aid to the solution is Google. From Google, the can find similar information and either choose to copy and paste as their own written papers to paraphrase the data. From what the student has presented you with, you can identify plagiarized work by pasting a sentence on Google to see if you will find any hints of plagiarism. At the same time, you can also use plagiarism checkers which are tools that can be found online to check for instances of copy-pasted information.

Effects of Technology on Plagiarism

With the new trend in technology of the internet, the world has been treated to an era of unlimited information where it is very possible now to write about anything because you can access information about that particular topic on the web. At the same time, because of the busy nature of students and the rise of professionalism in writing essays, most people have ventured into using the internet in completing essays that can be sold for money. Unfortunately, the trend of stealing people’s work and posting them as your own is also on the rise and because of the easy access of information, this form of theft has led to the concept of plagiarism.


Theft of information has been spurred by sites that spammers can easily hack with a great chance to acquire any form of information from another person’s blog and use it as his own work. Students in learning institutions have not been left behind in submitting papers with other people’s ideas and presenting them as their own. The extent to which plagiarism has spread has made instructors be on the look for red flags in plagiarized work.

Although the process of identifying a plagiarized paper could require too much of the instructors time, declaring an article plagiarized these days has become an easy process. in as much as the internet is accused as the foundation of plagiarized work, there are numerous ways developed on the internet to help instructors identify work that is plagiarized.

Ways of Identifying plagiarism

In order to fully identify plagiarized work, instructors and students, as well as freelance writers, need to familiarize with the many ways of identifying plagiarized work and use these ways appropriately to avoid theft of information.

Plagiarized texts

This form is the most common type of intellectual theft from internet information. This form happens when a researcher makes use of another person’s text and presents it as his own. Because a paper is completed by words, it is very tempting to copy information from somewhere else and paste it on your document. Even when the writer makes use of techniques to hide texts and images, there is a possibility of being found guilty of plagiarism.

In as much as plagiarized text is the most common form of intellectual theft, it is also the type that can be resolved easily. The internet has numerous tools that can be used to check on who has stolen your intellectual written work. One option of identifying plagiarized document is by highlighting a sentence from a paper and copy paste it on the browser to see whether there is similar information online. At the same time, instructors can choose to use Google Alert and stay updated on information that might have been stolen online. With this solution, it could be very difficult for students to steal ideas.

Apart from copy-pasting information on Google browser, other tools such as Plagiarism checkers, can help instructors identify work that is stolen. All you have to do is copy the entire information from a student’s development paste it on the checker which will, in turn, run through the document and highlight sections that seem to be borrowed. This is a quick way of finding out whether a student has presented unoriginal work.

Plagiarized images

Plagiarized texts are what most people have paid much attention to but what they do not know is that plagiarism also exists in images. Photos can be stolen and just like ideas, photos have also been protected by copyright laws. Plagiarism in photos is becoming common nowadays especially with the new trend of sharing photos on social media and other sharing platforms without giving credit to the real owner of the photo. Because photo can also be shared, it could be difficult to determine where the photo came from. However, just like texts, photos can also be seen to have plagiarism when checked on highly and advanced checkers. The best solution in determining whether a photo is plagiarized is to track down other people who have used the photo, find a unique name or file container for the photo.

In identifying plagiarized work, there are many other warning signs that communicate that the work submitted has been stolen. Signs such as the use of concepts that are sophisticated, inconsistent style of writing and unusual repetitions could help professors determine the level of originality in a student’s work. These warning signs, as well as plagiarism checkers, should serve as means to increase our awareness of events where plagiarism could occur. It would be helpful to have instructors and students utilize these techniques in ensuring plagiarism is avoided at all costs.

Using Google search engines among other tools could help find a resource used by students. In as much as plagiarism has become common, students should know that it is their responsibility to avoid submitting plagiarized work because theft of information is an academic offense and has serious consequences. At the same time, instructors in attempts to identify plagiarized work should make students aware of the concept and how to avoid being found guilty of the offense.

Misconception about plagiarism

There is a wide misconception that plagiarism is only in copied work. Using someone’s pictures as the owner is another form of plagiarism that is also becoming common. Though there is an increase in photo theft cases, finding the thief has now been made easier because there are online tools that are developed for the purpose of finding who has made use of your work without asking for consent.

Audio and visual files could also contain instances of plagiarism. Yes, there are tools that check whether audio and visual files and plagiarized but these tools are not readily available to the public like it is the case with typed assignments.

An example of a tool that checks for plagiarism in audio files is Gracenote which is perfect for this kind of tasks but can only be used by large corporations because of its cost.

Though plagiarized work can be gotten from the internet, it is the responsibility of learners to avoid plagiarism at all costs because the sole purpose of learners is to build on skills that improve creativity. Instructors could also help in reducing instances of plagiarism by taking students through the concept of orientation and the many ways in which they can stay away from plagiarism.

The many ways in which instructors can identify plagiarism is the same ways that could be used to train students on how to avoid presenting work that has been stolen. At the end of the day, it is about the role of teachers and the responsibility of students to make learning a success.