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How to Verify a Microsoft Word Document for Plagiarism



  The Microsoft Word logo.

Plagiarism is a serious ethical violation that does not prevent people from doing so. If you receive a Word document that should be "original" material, you can subject it to plagiarism. Here are your options:

Using an Add-In

One of the easiest ways to check for literary theft is to use Copyleaks, an add-in for Microsoft Word, that checks the document for plagiarism. Installing Copyleaks is easy and compatible with Word 201

6 or later on both PC and Mac.

RELATED: Installing and Using Add-ins for Microsoft Office

While Copyleaks' summary page states that it's "free," this is not entirely accurate (as you'll notice scan the user ratings). However, in order to eliminate ambiguity, the app has a free plan but only offers 10 free credits per month.

For every 250 words scanned by the app, a Copyleaks credit is debited from your account. So if you have a 2,500-word document, you'll need 10 credits for the app to scan it completely. Fortunately, Copyleaks has three plans: free, subscription and prepaid. Each level has its own performance and pricing scheme. In this example we use the free plan.

To install Copyleaks, go to the Add-Ins group on the Insert tab and click Get Add-Ins.

 Click

. The Office Add-Ins window appears. Search for "Copyleaks" in the search bar at the top left of the window. Select "Copyleaks Plagiarism Checker". This should be the first result.

 Search

The Copyleaks summary page appears. Read everything through and then choose "Add".

 Click

. After installation, a new "Copyleaks.com" group appears on the "References" tab in Word. Continue and select "Scan".

 Click

. Copyleaks Plagiarism Checker opens in the right pane. Use your e-mail address to create an account and you will receive an e-mail asking for confirmation. Once you have done this, you will receive the 10 free credits.

If you want to earn more credits, select "Get Credits" at the bottom of the right pane.

 Click

When you're ready to check your Word document for plagiarism, select "Scan."

 Click

Scanning will begin and may take a few seconds of minutes, depending on the size of the document. When scanning the app, URLs will be displayed in the right pane. The volume and percentage of similar words in the document are attached to the URLs.

When the scan is complete, select "Start Report" to view the detailed results of the scan.

 Click

. The report opens in your default browser. This displays information such as the number of words in the scanned document compared to the percentage of similar words found. In addition, identical words in pink (see 1 below) and words with a similar meaning in almond (see 2 below) are highlighted.

 Identical words are highlighted in pink (Example 1) and words with related meanings are highlighted in almond (Example 2).

Using an Online Plagiarism Check

If you do not want to install an add-in for Word, you can use multiple online plagiarism reviewers. One of the most popular is SmallSEOTools, which offers a free service, although it limits you to 1,000 words per search.

On the Plagiarism Check page, you can copy and paste your text into the provided text box or you can upload it to your document. To upload a Word document, select the shortcut icon next to Upload Document.

 Click the shortcut icon.

File Explorer (Windows) or Finder (Mac) opens. Select the document you want to upload, then click Open.

 Select the document you want to upload, and then click

. After uploading the document, click Check Plagiarism under Document Uploader.

 Click

Once the plagiarism check has completed its scan, the results are displayed and you receive a sentence by sentence breakdown. If a sentence is checked out, "Unique" will be displayed next to it. If a sentence has been copied, "Plagiarized" will be displayed next to it.

Click the Matching Sources tab to see the sources of the copied text.

 Completed the scan results page in SmallSEOTools.


If you do not mind spending a bit of money on detecting plagiarism. There are many other resources available. Quetext does a great job, and for the Pro Plan it's only $ 10 a month. This includes an unlimited number of plagiarism checks, so it's significantly cheaper than the Copyleaks add-in if you do not mind using an online examiner.

You can also use a service like Grammarly Premium, which also costs about $ 10 per month, and Advanced includes grammar, style, and spell checking along with plagiarism detection.


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