As a student, one of the worst things you can be accused of is plagiarism whether it was intentional or not, and by the same token, there is nothing more anger-inducing than finding out somebody has passed off your hard work as their own and given you no credit for it. Thus, how do you go about checking whether you have unknowingly copied anyone else’s work?
Let’s first have a look at what plagiarism is before we then investigate how to determine how to check your text for copied content?
What is plagiarism?
According to Wikipedia,” Plagiarism is the wrongful appropriation and stealing, and publication of another author’s language, thoughts, idea’s or expressions, and the representation of them as your own original work.” It is also fairly easy to pass someone else’s work off as you own, whether intentionally or unintentionally.
How do you avoid plagiarizing existing content? The easiest way is to pass your work through an advanced plagiarism checker for students. By doing this, you will soon know whether you are guilty of stealing someone else’s content.
The internal mechanisms of anti-plagiarism software and checking your text
Anti-plagiarism tools includes advanced algorithms (problem-solving computer processes) and cloud computing capabilities, allowing it to check the content you have submitted against a long list of existing content on the internet to find any duplications. If these algorithms find any duplications, it will then return a comprehensive report containing the text and website links where your text is duplicated.
Common phrases are flagged immediately as are complete sentences that are found to already exist on the internet. This includes any content that you have quoted and cited.
Once you have this report, you need to work through the list of duplications deciding which ones are valid and which text you need to change. The next step is to resubmit your content to the anti-plagiarism software. This is a cyclical process – you keep on changing your text and submitting it to the app until there is either no more duplicated text or the only duplicated text that is left is the quoted, cited text.
Points to bear in mind
Bear in mind that anti-plagiarism software is not infallible and has its shortcomings, usually limited by the strength of the algorithms, so it can still miss some duplication. If the duplicated content has not been published online, and indexed, these algorithms cannot pick up the fact that your text contains duplicated content.
There are different anti-plagiarism tools and software packages available on the internet for you to choose from. It is important, however, to determine whether the tool you choose is reliable and will return a complete list of duplications, otherwise you are wasting your time and money. Finally, regardless whether you are a student, writer, teacher, lecturer or website owner, it is an essential tool for you to procure, as it will help you reduce the percentage of illegally duplicated content that you write.