/ How to Check Plagiarism in Research Paper?

How to Check Plagiarism in Research Paper?

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Manish Jindal

April 24, 2024


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How to Check Plagiarism in Research Paper?

Key Takeaways:

  • Plagiarism is not just copying text; paraphrasing without citation is also plagiarism. Properly cite all sources to avoid unintentional plagiarism.
  • Plagiarism Checker tools scan your paper against vast databases to identify potential plagiarism matches. However, they are not foolproof, so review flagged sections critically.
  • Different disciplines have different citation styles (APA, MLA, Chicago). Use the correct style throughout your paper and keep detailed source records.
  • Don’t just swap words; understand the material and rephrase it in your own words. Cite the source even when paraphrasing.

Are you working on a research paper and want to make sure you are avoiding plagiarism? Plagiarism is a serious offense in the academic world and can have serious consequences.

This article gives you useful insight on how to check plagiarism in research paper and ensure that your work is original and properly cited.

What is Plagiarism in Research?

Plagiarism in research is the act of using someone else’s work, ideas, or words without giving proper credit or citation. It is considered unethical and dishonest in academic and research settings. 

It can include copying and pasting text from sources verbatim, paraphrasing someone else’s work without proper attribution, or presenting someone else’s ideas as your own.

It undermines the integrity of research and scholarly work, as it fails to acknowledge the original source of information and contributes to intellectual theft.

Researchers are expected to properly cite and reference sources to give credit to the original authors and avoid plagiarism.

How to Check Plagiarism in Research Paper?

As a researcher, it is important to ensure that your work is original and free from plagiarism.

By checking your research paper for plagiarism, you can avoid academic misconduct and maintain the integrity of your work.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to check plagiarism in your research paper:

Know what Plagiarism is: Plagiarism is a serious issue in academic writing. It involves using someone else’s work without giving proper credit, resulting in duplicate content. Understanding what constitutes plagiarism is the first step in the checking process.

Use a Plagiarism Tool: There are numerous online plagiarism tools available that have access to a vast content database, including millions of sources like academic papers, blog articles, and web pages.

These tools can help content creators check their work for any accidental plagiarism. Some popular tools include Bytescare, Turnitin, Grammarly, and Copyscape.

Upload Your Paper: Upload your research paper to the chosen plagiarism tool. The tool will then scan your content against millions of sources in its database in an accurate comparison process.

Review the Plagiarism Report: Once the checking process is complete, the plagiarism tool will generate a plagiarism report. This report will highlight any sections of your paper that match with existing content in its database.

Check for Duplicate Content: Review the highlighted sections in the plagiarism report. If the tool has identified any duplicate content, you’ll need to address this. Remember, it’s not just about direct quotes – even paraphrased content can be considered plagiarism if not properly cited.

Cite Your Sources: Ensure that you have a comprehensive list of sources for your paper. Every time you use information from another source, whether it’s a direct quote or paraphrased, it should be properly cited to avoid plagiarism.

Revise Your Paper: If the plagiarism report identifies any issues, revise those sections of your paper. Make sure to rephrase the content in your own words and add necessary citations.

Check for Original Content: Your paper should primarily consist of your original ideas and research. While it’s okay to refer to other sources, they should be used to support your own arguments, not make up the bulk of your paper.

Penalties for Plagiarism in Academic and Research Publications

The University Grants Commission (UGC) in India has defined levels of plagiarism:

I. Level 0: Similarities up to 10% – Minor similarities, no penalty.

II. Level 1: Similarities above 10% to 40%

i) The author shall be required to withdraw the manuscript.

III. Level 2: Similarities above 40% to 60%

i) The author shall be required to withdraw the manuscript.

ii) The author shall forfeit one annual increment.

iii) The author shall be prohibited from supervising any new Master’s, M.Phil., or Ph.D. student/scholar for a period of two years.

IV. Level 3: Similarities above 60%

i) The author shall be required to withdraw the manuscript.

ii) The author shall forfeit two successive annual increments.

iii) The author shall be prohibited from supervising any new Master’s, M.Phil., or Ph.D. student/scholar for a period of three years. 

Source: UGC guidelines for plagiarism

How Can You Avoid Plagiarism in a Research Paper?

Here are some steps you can take to ensure that you are properly citing your sources and avoiding plagiarism in your research paper:

Use Citation Styles Properly

Different academic disciplines have different citation styles that are used to properly give credit to sources.

Make sure you are familiar with the citation style required by your instructor and use it correctly throughout your paper. Common citation styles include APA, MLA, and Chicago.

Keep Track of Your Sources

As you conduct research for your paper, make sure to keep track of all the sources you are using. This includes books, articles, websites, and any other material you use in your research. Keep detailed notes on where you found the information so you can properly cite it later.

Paraphrase and Summarise Carefully

When you are paraphrasing or summarising information from a source, make sure you are doing so in your own words. Do not simply change a few words or rearrange the sentences. Instead, try to understand the material and then write it in a way that reflects your own understanding.

Use Quotations When Necessary

If you are directly quoting from a source, make sure to use quotation marks and cite the source properly. Direct quotes should be used sparingly and should only be used when the wording is essential to your argument.

Use Plagiarism Detection Tools

Before submitting your paper, run it through an online plagiarism checker tool to make sure you have properly cited all your sources and have not inadvertently plagiarised any material. There are many online tools available that can help you check for plagiarism in your paper.

Free Vs Paid Plagiarism Tool to Check Research Paper

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When it comes to choosing between free and paid plagiarism checker tools for research papers, there are several factors to consider:

  • Accuracy and Features: Paid plagiarism tools often offer more advanced features and higher accuracy compared to free ones. They may provide detailed reports, advanced algorithms for detecting plagiarism, and additional services such as grammar checking and citation assistance.
  • Database Size: Paid tools typically have access to larger databases of academic journals, publications, and online sources, enabling more comprehensive checks for plagiarism. Free tools may have limited access to databases, which could impact the thoroughness of the plagiarism detection process.
  • Support and Customer Service: Paid tools often offer dedicated customer support and assistance, which can be beneficial if you encounter any issues or need help with the tool. Free tools may have limited or no customer support available.
  • User Experience and Interface: Paid tools usually invest more in user interface design and usability, offering intuitive platforms that are easy to navigate. Free tools may have simpler interfaces with fewer features and customisation options.
  • Cost Considerations: While paid tools require a financial investment, they may offer value in terms of accuracy, features, and support. However, if budget constraints are a concern, free tools can still provide basic plagiarism checking capabilities at no cost.
  • Privacy and Data Security: Consider the privacy and data security policies of both free and paid tools. Ensure that your data, including research papers and personal information, is handled securely and protected from unauthorised access or misuse.

Which is the Best Plagiarism Checker for Research Papers?

There’s no single best plagiarism checker, but here are some factors to consider:

  • Features: Free options might have limitations on scan depth or features. Paid checkers often offer more comprehensive scans and additional functionalities like citation style checks.
  • University Resources: Many universities provide access to plagiarism checkers like Turnitin for students. Check with your institution for available options.
  • Accuracy and Reputation: Look for checkers with a strong track record of accurate plagiarism detection.

What’s Next?

Plagiarism checkers are an accurate tool for similarity detection, helping writers maintain content originality and avoid unintentional plagiarism. They offer extensive similarity checks against millions of sources, identifying duplicate articles and assisting in proper citation.

Bytescare Plagiarism Checker, for instance, is an excellent checker for students and writers, safeguarding intellectual property and ensuring respect for common knowledge.

The advantages of using such a checker are manifold, from providing valuable content for the writer to serving as an educational tool. Book a demo with Bytescare today to ensure your work is plagiarism-free.


How do you detect plagiarism in research?

Research plagiarism detection involves a multi-pronged approach. Plagiarism checker software scans for content matches, but professors also critically review flagged sections for proper citation and paraphrasing. Universities might even check for self-plagiarism from your prior work.

How much plagiarism is allowed in research paper?

There’s no universal standard for “acceptable” plagiarism. Each institution has its own plagiarism policy outlining expectations for proper citation and originality. The best approach is to strive for a zero-plagiarism paper by properly citing all sources used.

How is plagiarism caught?

A combination of methods can catch plagiarism:

Plagiarism Checker Software: As mentioned earlier, these tools scan for potential plagiarism matches.
Instructor Expertise: Professors with experience can often identify suspicious writing styles or improper citation practices.
Student Self-Checking: By using plagiarism checkers and understanding proper citation, students can minimise the risk of unintentional plagiarism.

Can I check plagiarism for free?

Yes, several free online plagiarism checkers are available. However, they might have limitations on features or scan depth. Consider the importance of your research paper and the potential consequences of undetected plagiarism before relying solely on a free checker.

Is it plagiarism if you paraphrase?

Not necessarily. Paraphrasing involves restating information in your own words while maintaining the original meaning. However, it’s crucial to cite the source even when paraphrasing to avoid plagiarism.

How do professors know if you plagiarised or not and what tools do they use?

Professors often use a combination of plagiarism checker software and their own expertise to identify potential plagiarism. They review flagged sections critically, considering factors like proper citation and paraphrasing techniques.

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