How do you choose an online plagiarism percentage detector? Most of us simply enter these keywords “plagiarism checker free/online” and push the “Search” button. Then, we click through first three or five links and pick up the one, which is free and has a paste-text-here box. Simple as that. Fast, easy and free. It’s rather difficult to resist the temptation, indeed.
But, is there any reason for you to be more demanding? Probably yes. Since the accuracy of checks differ… On top of that, not all the tools available on the Internet are at least 90 percent secure: The text you once scanned for similarities might become a part of the checker database, or worse – go online. So, you’d better choose a reliable tool, instead of entrusting your reputation and the work you did to the first thing that came. That’s why you need to understand what features or options could be the best fit for you.
In a nutshell, checkers can vary by: Free or paid accounts; types of checks (across the web, databases, etc.), plagiarism reports (with spotted duplications, links to original sources, etc.), supported languages and file formats, options available in personal accounts, customer support, etc. The latter seems to be especially crucial. If helpdesk can’t give you clear and helpful guidelines or advice, you might doubt the quality of the service itself.
Pay Attention to the Features a Plagiarism Checker Has
Even if you need to scan for similarities not as frequently as a writer or blogger might need, still, you’d better find a reliable tool. Though, it doesn’t mean you won’t have to proofread a text after checking with a plagiarism detector. Since even the most accurate machines do glitch sometimes.
There’s no “one size fits all” solution, just because for somebody user interface might be more important than the number of supported languages, and for somebody else, it’s vice-versa. Yet, to simplify your searches, here’s a checklist containing the essential features you might require:
- Types of checks for plagiarism (which of them are free, and which are not)
If you use the Internet as the main source of information, good news for you: Most of the checkers support this type of plagiarism check. But, should you need to compare two texts between each other or scan a document across a checker’s or your personal database, ask support team whether these options are also available?
- Plagiarism report
Generally, plagiarism finders provide the percentage of similarity and originality, which is good for you to see how many corrections you need or don’t need to make to have a completely unique text. In addition, a well-thought-out report has all similarities highlighted on a site source and inside a text you check.
- Speed of checks
The speed of checking matters much: Some tools scan one page for about 10 seconds, while others do it for several minutes. No doubt, that the checking itself isn’t as simple as you might think: It takes time for every tool to pass through several cycles of scans to deliver accurate results. But, fancy you were to check a 50-page file, would you wait for a day or two till the process would be completed? If you are not in a hurry, then it’s ok, but what if you can’t be so patient?
- Accuracy of checks
The best way to test the accuracy of a plagiarism detector is to create a text containing at least five different online sources as well as some original passages, insert a picture or two into it to see whether the tool changes file formatting or not and use it for trial checks.
- Data security
Some checkers apply encryption to prevent data leaks, some allow their users to switch on/off the sharing files option in one’s personal account settings. Anyway, you can ask helpdesk whether this feature is enabled.
- Ability to check a few words at a time
Not all the tools can boast about having this feature. Though at the busiest times it is very helpful. The main point here is to make sure that these multiple checks do not slow down overall checker’s performance. So, you can test this option while your free trial is activated.