Plagiarism is the use of another person's words or ideas without citing the original author as the source. Sometimes plagiarism is done accidentally, as in the case of a student who simply forgot correct citations, and other times it is done maliciously, in an attempt to claim credit for another person's work. Either way, the academic realm leaves little room for error when it comes to plagiarism, and it is the student's job to detect whether their work might be considered plagiarism. Fortunately, the advent of computer technology has made this task significantly easier for today's students. By using Internet websites to make sure your papers are using the correct citations, you can avoid the penalties and embarrassment of being caught plagiarizing.
Navigate your Web browser to an online plagiarism detection service that accepts Word document files. See Resources for links to some of these websites.
Register for an account at the website. Most websites will require this step. Some websites will also require you to pay a fee before you are able to use their services, while others may not. If you are interested in detecting plagiarism for free, then continue searching the Internet for your preferred free service. There are plenty available.
Upload your Word document to the website's plagiarism detection service. The uploading process is unique to the website you've chosen to use. Instructions on how to upload your Word file will be available on the plagiarism detection service's website.
Wait for the document you uploaded to be screened for plagiarism. This process takes anywhere from a few seconds to a few days, depending on the website you've chosen to use.
Determine whether or not the Word file you uploaded contains plagiarism based on the feedback given to you by the online plagiarism detection service. Usually, the website will provide you with a straightforward answer concerning whether or not it detected plagiarism and will often highlight the parts of the document that it suspects have been plagiarized.
- Avoid being accused of plagiarizing by making sure you've used correct citations in your papers. Citations allow you to use other people's words and ideas, while making sure to give the original authors credit.
Evan Fulford has a master's degree in social work from the University of Michigan. He graduated with his bachelor's degree in psychology from Wayne State University in 2008. He has been writing academically for over six years on topics including mental illness, social policy, linguistics and political science.