Seven ways universities check for plagiarism in academic papers.

Plagiarism is unethical and unprofessional. It might seem like a tempting option to some students, but beware- you can never get away with that sort of thing. Blatantly copying someone else’s work and passing it off as your own is not only morally wrong but also illegal. Yes, you read that right, plagiarism can cost you your academic career.

Teachers often have to check several assignments and research papers. As they will be handling more number of student’s work. The time constraints and pressure can lead to mistakes. Plagiarism checking tools save teachers a lot of time and trouble.

The most used tool by the universities is Turnitin. These tools are designed to help the university to meet with deadlines without any mistakes. All you have to do is run your paper through Turnitin and you get a list of all the possible sources that your content may be copied from.

Have you ever wondered how the plagiarism checking tool works though? Well, here is a brief of the technology behind plagiarism checking software that you might find insightful:


In this process, first a collection of multiple substrings are chosen. These strings showcase fingerprints. The elements that show a match/ are the same is called minutiae. The fingerprints are calculated in the form of a document. The minutiae are mapped to the index of fingerprints. The source value is set to give results of the process. It is adopted to increase the speed of the process.

String Matching process.

This technique is used in the information science industry to create a second approach. Postfix trees used to approach. The lengthier documents are not advisable to be scanned. Bag of the word is another method applied to locate plagiarised content. This approach displays the adoption of vector space retrieval.

Citation based plagiarism detection

This examination depends on the citation. Text form content analysis is not measured in this. Computer science assignments can be the best example to describe this approach. The uniqueness in this source is searched in other citation distributions. The model of this process lives. Yet techniques are not yet fostered. The order is searched to see the relatability between two documents. Relative fractions are the framework giving good search.

Here are some way university check plagiarism in academic papers

1.    Writing Styles

Experience with a student’s writing style helps to discover if the paper is plagiarized or not. There can be crude and complicated sentences; this indicates the content is plagiarized. Unusual phrases that seem inconsistent with past writing samples are also good indicators. If a doubt arises, the teacher may ask a conference to assess a student’s knowledge with his paper. Uneven order of sentences is wrong according to anti-plagiarism guidelines.

2.    Plagiarism Tools

Teachers and university professionals often have a fair idea when a student submits unoriginal or copied assignments. The writing style and structure of the paper is a dead giveaway. Other than that most colleges also prefer to run the papers through a plagiarism checking software.

Duplichecker, Plagiarism Detector, Small SEO tools etc. are some other popular tools used by the university to prevent plagiarism. Teachers often ask students to submit their work straight through the service site. It produces email if any plagiarism is detected. These services can scan students’ papers. Additionally, essays upon a database of earlier submitted papers. Meeting web links and phrases are then organized into a report for the college review.

Best thing students can do is write their own words. Always cite the sources and use good plagiarism tools to avoid errors.

3.    Screening Software

Universities were using software programs as a shield against plagiarism during 1990. Professors can detect if the material comes from an online essay or paper mills. This can be a cheating method. But many sites recycle similar content and sources. This can increase the student’s risk of detection.

Universities also run college application essays and research paper proposals through these screening platforms. Any detection of unoriginal content would result in your application getting rejected.

Ensure that you follow the proper structure and add citations in your application essay. Attaching a statement of purpose, recommendation letters and certificates to your application improves your chances of getting into your dream university. 

4.    Format review and references

 Suspicious papers may have differences that teachers are habitual to over their career. Unsuitable subheads, mixture tables, margins are often a red flag. If students do not follow the norms of writing style is also plagiarism. Mixed statement style can also show students have copy-pasted the paragraph. Using resources that are not at the university shows students have stolen the text.

5.    Other Applications

Anti-plagiarism platforms put applications above academia. According to “The Los Angeles Times”, more than 100 college use programs like It helps to evaluate essays in admission packages for plagiarism. More of this analysis occurs at the graduation level.

Any form of plagiarism detection can cost you an entire year or worse at the university. Teachers also check for plagiarism when reading through college application essays. Be very careful about your application, a few common mistakes can lead to your application getting rejected.

6.    When the paper does not fit the topic

 It is better to give a prompt for assignments. This helps students to get a better view of the assignment. So that they avoid writing paper by another writer. If teachers can brief out the assignment, then you can get slightly crooked from what you asked for.

7.    Change inflow

 Sudden change in the sentence/flow gets lost then there is a chance of text getting plagiarised.

This can be the most found error. This can be more complex than other factors above.

Here are ways to avoid plagiarism:

  • When applying an idea or words that’s not your own add a citation to your writing. Ensure you state the name of the source, date published and other things related to citation.
  • If you are inserting source words into your content, use quotation marks around the text. This can be an easy way to avoid plagiarism. A direct quote must also cite the source that readers know who have written those content.
  • Paraphrasing is applying a source’s idea in your own words, without altering its meaning. One should be careful paraphrasing can also turn into plagiarism if done the wrong way. Uniquely format your words and try evading using similar words from the source. The objective is to do without changing the meaning of the idea itself.
  • Instead of repeating the source idea or word, try putting what you want to say about the topic in your way. Think how uniquely you can share an idea or words. If you are implying the source idea to your point, you must follow guidelines to avoid plagiarism.
  • While writing your paper, some phrases you might have to include without citation. When in doubt use plagiarism checking tools. It helps you to detect issues before submitting.


 The technology has forced universities to embrace trending strategies to tackle plagiarism. While checking the high volume of papers, teachers can use tools to examine words and phrases. When time grants traditional methods like reviewing/writing styles can be followed. In other cases, most universities may choose a service to secure academic honesty.

As an assignment expert, Jane Crighton delivers online sessions at Expert Assignment Help(UK), helping students with writing essays and assignments. She is also one of the co-founders and education consultants at Top My Grades. Beyond work, you can find her at community homework workshops as a volunteer helping students in need of private tutoring with their homework.