How Does Plagiarism Detection Software Work: Basic Principles

How does plagiarism detection software work? To answer this question we should take a closer look at plagiarism checkers’ “components”. Despite tools differ by their features a great deal, the main principle of their work is almost the same. We can say without going into detail, that plagiarism detection software uses search engines to compare a text the checker is scanning to all billions of web pages that exist on the Internet. This method is quite simple and we could make the same comparison on our own, but it would take us a lot of time.

Basically, the checker divides a text into smaller parts and compares different combinations of them to online sources. After that the checker returns the results of this analysis. That’s how plagiarism detection software works.

Different checkers allow to adjust scanning settings, so it looks like some of them work better than others. To do this properly, you should understand how plagiarism detection software works. First, you need to set the check sensitivity. This option defines how many consecutive words will be checked to detect exact match.

Some Frequent Questions On “How Plagiarism Checker Works”

- Why do I have such a high plagiarism index despite I wrote my paper on my own?

You probably forgot to make citations in your text. Usually, plagiarism checkers don’t mark citations and don't consider them as text matches, but they should be put into quotes.

- I did quote all citations in my text but I have a high plagiarism index anyway.

You should understand how plagiarism checker works. It searches for all the text matches and highlights all of them. So if you have high percentage of plagiarism, but you didn’t plagiarize at all, this means that you wrote a text on a specific topic with most of the words in the text having many synonyms. Even if you didn’t copy a word from another author, somebody definitely already wrote the same string of words as you, because our language is the same for everybody and we use it in the same way. That just happens. For solving this problem you can decrease check sensibility and it should be ok. The same situation is with common phrases.

- How can I check a .doc file or other formats? How plagiarism detection software works with files?

Some plagiarism checkers support checking files. For now, Plag-Check doesn’t allow uploading files of different format for checking, but we’re going to add this function soon.

Those were popular questions on how plagiarism checker works. If you are going to use such programs often you need to learn plagiarism working principles and how to get the most precise result of each check.