Old Problem, New Solution: Another Challenge in Detecting Plagiarism

February 26, 2015 Updated: April 23, 2016

“It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it”

Benjamin Franklin

Academic dishonesty has become a stumbling block ever since educational establishments emerged. When you write an essay or term paper you are likely to be willing to check whether you’ve quoted all the borrowed ideas, phrases or paragraphs. Since you don’t want your educator¬† to blame you for cheating, grade your papers low and make you resubmit them, then you need to take necessary precautions long before something of the kind happens to you.

In order to avoid severe punishments for plagiarism including suspension or even expulsion from an educational establishment, a lot of students turn to free online plagiarism checkers before submitting their papers to instructors.

You might be thinking that free online plagiarism checkers are more profitable for you, but are they reliable enough? To answer a question above, let’s consider the key differences between plagiarism checkers, which require subscription and free online plagiarism detectors.

Plagiarism checkers with subscription

Generally, this type of checkers claim to protect all the papers you upload for scanning by so called encryption, which prevents data leaks. So, whenever selecting a reliable checker, you should contact its support team to ask what way your security is ensured. Thinking that paid checkers require installation of some extra programs or applications is a mistake, since most of them can be used online like Unplag.com.

As a rule, the tools let you upload papers within a few seconds and even scan them simultaneously without hangups. In addition, some of the checkers, like Grammarly.com, provide you with a possibility to scan texts for grammar or stylistic mistakes.

After every scan, you get a plagiarism report with similarity percentage, which you can submit to your educator as a proof that your paper is original. Additionally, the checkers highlight plagiarized areas of the text you check as well as their matches on the original site sources. This will help you find what passages need to be quoted and which sources to include into the reference list.

Efficient paid checkers save initial formatting of uploaded documents. That’s why you shouldn’t bother about making any formatting corrections after the checks. So, you won’t have to draw tables or graphs repeatedly, which saves your time a lot.

Paid plagiarism checkers developers tend to take much care about their users. Consequently, whenever a question or any problem arise, you are more likely to get timely assistance than in the case with the free tools.

Free online plagiarism checkers

Notwithstanding the fact these tools are available for free and stay accessible as long as you have good internet connection, the free checkers developers will hardly ever agree to take responsibility for keeping all the papers you scan safe and secure. This means, that they may be easily stolen the moment you upload them and press the check for plagiarism button.

Besides, most of them fail to provide accurate scanning results making you search for another tool to check one and the same paper again. What is worse, the checkers usually recognize up to two file formats maximum and change initial formatting after checks are completed. For example, Plagtracker.com limits its free scans up to 5000 words, which is hardly enough to scan a term paper; whereas Plagscan.com quite often provides not relevant search results.


Free online checkers limit the size of documents to be checked for plagiarism, since uploading documents of bigger sizes causes hang-ups and bugs, so be aware.

Almost all free plagiarism checking engines show plagiarized hyperlinks to the original sources, but they don’t highlight them. So, you waste a lot of time to find the source where the paragraph was taken from. Besides, the tools don’t provide any plagiarism reports depriving you of the chance to see whether you have acknowledged all the sources and can hand in your paper having no fears for its originality.

With free checkers, you can’t create your personal database to compare your newly created paper with those you submitted a year ago. Several scans at a time are also impossible, so you have to waste more time for running the checks one by one.

What’s better?

So, if you are eager to find a reliable plagiarism searching tool, then you’d better consider the checkers with subscription. They are more likely to be secure, accurate and fast. Additionally, they offer more than just Internet check. So, you will be able to scan against the checker’s internal database (including scientific papers, essays, etc) and all the documents saved in your account.