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Four free online plagiarism checkers

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Four free online plagiarism checkers

IJNet | November 17, 2015

“Detecting duplicate content online has become so easy that spot-the-plagiarist is almost a party game,” former IJNet editor Nicole Martinelli wrote in 2012. “It's no joke, however, for news organizations who discover they have published copycat content.”

When IJNet first ran Martinelli’s post, “Five free online plagiarism checkers,” two prominent U.S. journalists had recently been caught in the act: Fareed Zakaria and Jonah Lehrer.

Following acknowledgement that he had plagiarized sections of an article about gun control, Time and CNN suspended Zakaria. Lehrer first came under scrutiny for "self-plagiarism" at The New Yorker. Later, a journalist revealed Lehrer also fabricated or changed quotes attributed to Bob Dylan in his book, “Imagine.”

To date, Martinelli’s list of free plagiarism checkers has been one of IJNet’s most popular articles across all languages. It’s clear readers want to avoid the pitfalls of plagiarism, so we’ve updated the post with four of the best free online plagiarism checkers available to anyone, revised for 2015:

Grammarly

Grammarly gets points for its clean, easy-to-use interface and its efficacy as a plagiarism checker, which compares your writing to more than 8 billion web pages. To check any piece of writing for possible plagiarism, simply drag and drop a file or copy and paste your text onto the web page. Best of all? Grammarly isn’t just a plagiarism checker. The site also checks for spelling and grammatical errors and suggests optimal vocabulary words, allowing you to improve your writing. Grammarly is only available in English, which is one potential drawback for journalists who work internationally.

NoPlag

NoPlag is another great plagiarism checker that compares your writing to articles published online to detect possible cases of plagiarism. To use NoPlag for free without an account, you’ll be able to perform five plagiarism checks per day, with text samples up to 500 words in length. By registering for a free account, you get 20 checks per day with up to 800 words.

Plagiarism Checker

Plagiarism Checker allows you to check writing samples up to 1,500 words in length for plagiarism. If your writing gets marked for potential plagiarism, you’ll be able to review the exact places in your writing that match with content found online.

CopyLeaks

Want to make sure your website or blog doesn’t plagiarize? Simply copy and paste your URL into CopyLeaks, which uses cloud computing-based algorithms to weigh your content against trillions of websites. CopyLeaks is compatible with any language.

Main image CC-licensed by Flickr via Andres Moreno.

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Comments

From my experience, free tool

From my experience, free tool doesn't mean good tool. I used to check papers for plagiarism using free online checkers but the quality of their reports was extremely poor. Now I'm using Unplag, it's not free but this price worth paying for results. As a teacher, I care about the quality and safety of tools me and my students use.

It is important for journalists to be truthful

Great list of tools, haven't heard about some of them yet. 
 
The journalist should care about the accuracy of his writing, and don't forget to cite the necessary parts of his articles. I use this plagiarism detection tool https://unplag.com before my articles go live. 

It's fast and accurate, and it's never let me down.

Checking admissions essays for plagiarism

It is easy to assume that students who plagerize essays would also show lower scores in English and language classes. However, what we seem to forget is that English teachers have a much higher volume of work than other teachers and, therefore, if they are overworked and underpaid, which they are, may not have the time or resources to investigate every form of plagerism that crosses their path.  
 
Think about these numbers for a minute. Let's say an English class and a Math class have the same number of students. For argument's sake, let's say it's 30 per class at five classes a day for a total of 150 students. Now, if a math teacher gives an assignment, he or she has to check the numbers and the work for a few pages worth of math problems. In some cases, they will use Ultius (fill-in-the-bubble) sheets to check answers.  
 
And English teacher, however, who assigns two essays (even if they are shorter) per week and 2-3 larger research papers per semester will be reading THOUSANDS OF PAGES of student work per semester, work that requires close attention and individualized feedback. (150 students x 5 pages per week x 15 weeks per semester = 11,250 pages per semester or 22,500 pages per year).  
 
Of course, not all teachers are able to assign so much work, which would account for both the inadequate reading and writing levels of the typical American student as well as the inability to spot plagiarizers before they get to work on those college admission essays.  
 
If we want to improve the reading and writing skills of our students, we need to address the disparity in the work load between English teachers required to read and respond to high volumes of student writing, which is needed to ensure that students become proficient in reading and writing.  
 
This is not to lessen the workload of teachers in other disciplines (they work hard and are also very much underpaid), but the high volume of work required of an English teacher teaching the same number of students per class must be addressed.  

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