plagiarism checker
The rising prominence of technology in higher education has its pitfalls -- one of them being plagiarism. Here's your main tool to combat it. Source: Ethan Miller/Getty Images North America/Getty Images via AFP

Free plagiarism checkers are nifty tools for university students in the digital age. Why? Simply because passing off someone else’s work as your own is a serious offence in the academic community.

This is why students are encouraged to always attribute quotes, paraphrase borrowed ideas, and steer clear from copying entire sentences or paragraphs. Equally important is corroborating sources by cross-checking facts on reliable websites. Finally, running your work through a free plagiarism checker will determine if it is an original piece worthy of a good grade.

Why use a free plagiarism checker?

The rising prominence of technology in higher education has its pitfalls — one of them being plagiarism. In response, universities are forced to crack down on students who submit “stolen” work. Students caught plagiarising face real consequences including a failed grade or academic probation. It’s no wonder, then, that institutions like Oxford University have even introduced special courses to curb this academic crime.

Such courses teach students what plagiarism is, how to accurately cite other work in their essays, academic writing skills, and even paraphrasing. Yet sometimes, even if you don’t mean to copy, the final text ends up too similar to your references. That’s when a free plagiarism checker comes in handy.

Turnitin may be the popular plagiarism prevention software, but there are other free services that can help you check your work before submission. Here’s a look at five free plagiarism checkers for university students. Use them on all your assignments to maintain peace of mind — and good grades, of course.

Free plagiarism checker

Plagiarism checkers help students and teachers maintain a high standard of quality in university classes. Source: Ina Fassbender/AFP


It is typically used for English learning and writing, but did you know Grammarly also has a plagiarism checker? Simply copy a passage or upload a file to check your work against ProQuest databases and 16 billion web pages. You will also gain useful insights on punctuation, vocabulary, and sentence structure to improve your work.


Tap into this free plagiarism checker’s DeepSearch technology for contextual analysis on any subject matter. Quetext promises fast, accurate scanning while protecting the privacy of its users. Feedback includes colour-grading text based on the level of plagiarism and a comprehensive plagiarism score.


If you’re familiar with Turnitin, you can place your confidence in EasyBib — which claims to use similar technology. Beyond checking for plagiarism, this software will also provide suggestions to improve your grammar and style. Bonus: You may submit your paper for a 24-hour in-depth check, which involves detailed feedback from writing experts.


Unicheck compares your work against over 91 billion web sources and open access databases, so you can be sure it catches everything. Students will find the full-scale interactive report helpful; you can check similar sources and adjust citations and references. With its in-depth explanations and promise of 99% uptime, it’s no wonder this software is used by students and teachers alike. Even universities use it to check assessments.


Another plagiarism checker that uses DeepSearch technology is Duplichecker, which offers a basic free version and a multifunctional pro version. Your results will show percentages of plagiarism, unique, and related-meaning sentences. To begin, copy texts of under 1,000 words or upload your document.


Scribber’s checker, developed in partnership with Turnitin, performs particularly well with sources that are relevant to students, such as journal articles and dissertations. It thrives in detecting plagiarism in heavily edited texts.

How do we detect plagiarism with the rise of ChatGPT?

ChatGPT and plagiarism — these two words are coming together more often recently.

The chatbot powered by artificial intelligence (AI) sounded alarm bells in education circles when it threatened to upend the authenticity of student essays.

While a plagiarism checker might not definitively determine whether a language model was used to generate a piece of text, it can help you identify instances of copying or paraphrasing from other sources.

In this, it can still be hard to detect plagiarism by an AI chatbot.

That’s because AI writing tools use natural language and grammar to craft “unique and almost individualised content,” even if the content is drawn from a database, according to Aaron Leong from Digital Trends.

Still, it didn’t stop Turnitin, a popular free plagiarism checker used by educators and students worldwide from releasing new features to detect the use of AI writing tools.

According to the provider, these features can be found in Turnitin Feedback Studio (TFS), TFS with Originality, Turnitin Originality, Turnitin Similarity, Simcheck, Originality Check, and Originality Check+.

Currently, the new features on this platform have reportedly been able to detect the presence of AI writing with 98% confidence and a less than one percent false-positive rate in Turnitin’s controlled lab environment.

free plagiarism checker