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Frequently asked questions about plagiarism

Frequently asked questions about plagiarism

Maybe you need help deciding which plagiarism checker tool to use. If not, you may still have some questions about plagiarism and the tools we reviewed above.

Whatever the case may be, I've put together this FAQ section that can give you the answers you need. Hopefully, it can help you choose the right tool and proactively avoid unintentional plagiarism in the future.

1. Should I choose a subscription or an on-demand / credit service?

Unless you're on a large budget, the cost of a plagiarism check is probably important to you.

You may notice that the pricing model of the instruments above is either subscription-based or credit-based.

Credit-based products like Copyscape, Viper and advance Plagiarism Checker are good if you only need them for the short term. Subscription-based plagiarism checks, however, are cheaper if you plan to use them for a longer period.

2. Do I have to pay for a monthly or yearly plagiarism check?

If you've chosen a subscription service, the next question is whether you need to pay on a monthly or yearly basis.

Again, this comes down to your goals.

An annual billing plan will lead to savings if you use plagiarism check all year round. Otherwise, get a monthly plan and deactivate your subscription for free when you don't need it.

3. Is plagiarism illegal?

The short answer is yes: plagiarism is, in fact, illegal.

Students and professional writers should know by now that it goes against their school or company code of honor.

The upside is that not all cases of plagiarism are considered a crime. This depends on the nature of the plagiarism and any copyright infringement.

Just to be safe, I suggest you check this post to learn about the laws you might be breaking with plagiarism.

4. What are the consequences of plagiarism?

If you've been caught plagiarizing, the worst case scenario is jail. Students are also subject to heavy fines when found guilty.

While frightening, plagiarism cases serious enough to warrant the above penalties are rare. For students, the typical consequences of plagiarism are a missed grade, suspension or expulsion.

As for the professionals, the punishment of plagiarism is ultimately decided by their organization.

5. What about the text copied from Wikipedia?

Wikipedia is among the favorite sources of students, bloggers, and professional writers for research. Fortunately for them, the content on the site is licensed with Copyleft, which allows the information to be modified and used.

Just remember to correctly cite the source when using Wikipedia content in your piece.

6. What should I do if I catch someone plagiarizing?

If you are a teacher, you need to decide based on the severity of the plagiarism. If the offense is serious, you can push for suspension or expulsion of the student.

For website owners or bloggers who have detected plagiarism, consider a DMCA takedown notice. The steps to take are described on this page.

A less tedious route is to use Google's copyright removal tool. Simply enter the URL of the suspicious page and fill in the details, such as:

  • A description of the copyrighted work
  • URL of the authorized example of your work
  • Your contact information

7. Will citing the source save you from the consequences of plagiarism?

The citation can protect you from plagiarism allegations if you follow the correct procedures.

The correct ways to quote depend on the style of your work. For more information, read this University of Pittsburgh citation guide.

8. Any general advice for bloggers, students, website owners and writers who want to avoid plagiarism?

As a final tip, don't rely too heavily on a plagiarism check.

The best defense against plagiarism is to carefully write your piece from scratch. Each word should be based on your understanding of the topic.

A plagiarism check should only add an extra layer of security, not become your writing strategy. This goes to those who resort to paraphrasing or use an article spinner and then check the draft later.


There you have it: the best free and paid plagiarism checkers on the web.

If you follow the advice I've written for each tool, I'm sure you'll be happy with your decision.

As always, I am open to suggestions and discussions on any topic covered on my blog. If you'd like to share a tip, feedback, or experience on a tool, please leave a comment below.

Thanks in advance!

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