Plagiarism Checkers: Can They Save You From the Dark Side of Remote Education?

October 29th, 2021

Reading time about 13 min

In a short period, COVID-19 has led to a change of the entire world landscape. A major sector that had to face an everlasting challenge was education. Internet of things provides comfort to maintain academic integrity in an online structure.

Around 54% of students believe cheating is essential to stay competitive and is a necessary evil. Under such circumstances, controlling integrity in online education becomes challenging. 

Students often search their test answers on Google and copy the assignments from their peers. They also hire others for the completion of their essays. Since they know modern technology so well, they can even cheat the plagiarism checking software.

A lot of plagiarism checkers are not able to cope with academic writings that have low quality. You may wonder how is that even possible in this era of artificial intelligence and machine learning?

What Is the Issue of Plagiarism Software? 

Over time plagiarism checking principles are changing. String matching and fingerprinting are fundamental systems for the detection of plagiarism. Modern software works based on other approaches too:

  • Citation Plagiarism Detection – It works based on the idea that it is more likely for plagiarised work to have similar citations similar to the original. Algorithms help mark them as duplicates.
  • Vector Space Model – The algorithm helps find and compare similar words and word types in the documents. It marks the ones that have more overlaps as duplicates.

There are also sophisticated plagiarism checkers that make use of detection systems like cognitive fingerprints or stylometry. These help in comparing the writing styles in the documents to understand if both have the same writer. 

Although all these detection systems look very promising, the issue is that algorithms are often weak for tech-savvy students to cheat and still use long principles of work. Available online documents and indexed pages get searched for similarities, and the catch is that students are aware of how to avoid them.

How Do They Fool the Software?

One of the most shameful aspects of plagiarism detection software is not related to academics. Some representatives are trying to help the students on how to cheat their tools. If you look deeply, you will find plenty of questions across online communities like Quora regarding how to cheat plagiarism software. The plagiarism checker tool developers answer such queries with solutions like synonymization.

Copy paste on a computer keyboard

YouTube also has a lot of videos by the students on cheating tips to beat the plagiarism checkers. Another aspect is that many essayists pen down blog posts on methods of beating anti-plagiarism tools by various techniques. 

With all of these available to the students, they seldom think of them as wrong when they choose synonymization, poor paraphrasing, or any other writing scheme. The use of such methods becomes easy especially in the case of distance or online learning. Common tricks that students often use to get around plagiarism checker software are:

Synonymization

One of the most common traits that students use is to replace the original words in the source work with synonyms. It dubs the article to look original and becomes hard for the software to make out. Teachers can easily recognize such writings as synonymized content that sound unnatural.

Word Rearrangement

Another popular way that students mostly use includes rearranging the order of the words in the original sentence. It stops the plagiarism checker to detect any duplications. However, it is crucial to note that most anti-plagiarism checking software can detect such tricks nowadays.

Change Sentence Structure 

Students also change the voice from active to passive, make certain parts of complex and compound sentences, or manipulate the words in sentences to hoodwink plagiarism checkers. 

Ghostwriting

A popular and in-demand method is to spend some money and get the writings by someone else. Hiring ghostwriters can happen through friends, family, or freelancers.

Such sources can help the students to get their writings done, with help on writing an outline, topic ideas, blog title, and any competitive writing assignments for them. Since these writings are written from scratch and have unique texts, anti-plagiarism checkers are not able to identify them as duplicates.

Paraphrasing

Though it is okay to refer to the original ideas in the works, some students get paraphrasing completely wrong. They tend to use additional adverbs or conjunctions and try to make the writing look fresh. Although this helps to fool the anti-plagiarism checker, it is not a great solution.

How to Avoid Plagiarism?

Academic paper writing often requires secondary research, and hence you build up upon others’ work. Such information helps to act as evidence for your work. You must incorporate the various sources correctly in your text to avoid plagiarism.

Plagiarism attention sign in red and black

You can choose to make your writing free from any plagiarism by subscribing to the following suggested steps:

  • Maintaining the source of the information that you use as part of your secondary research.
  • Choosing to co-create original content with the help of various online tutors and educational experts.
  • Putting in-text citation and giving due credit to the original author of the content.
  • Subscribe to the various plagiarism checking tools to proofread your writings before you submit them.

You should know that plagiarism can have serious consequences, and hence it is vital for you to ensure that your writing meets the above steps during the articulation of every content.

Keeping Track of Sources

A common way that most students often commit plagiarism is by unknowingly putting ideas forth as their own and forgetting the source. You can avoid such mistakes by choosing to organize your notes and compiling the citation list properly.

While organizing your thoughts, segregate the ideas that are yours and from other creators. You should take time to highlight those paragraphs that need a citation. Make sure to put those texts under quotation marks that you copy from a source directly.

Allocate proper time for project completion with due attention to credible source identification.

Co-creating Original Content

There are many online tutors and educational experts who can guide you to create your content. The availability of these resources is helping to ease the process of assignment completion and discourage any plagiarism. 

Several service providers are hosting top-notch teachers and expert panels on their board. You have the option to seek help on a variety of topics ranging from Applied sciences to history or Engineering to Environmental Science. You can check these options on websites like the new SweetStudy while shortlisting your online tutor or looking for help with your assignments.

Giving Credit to Original Creator

It is essential to identify the original creator of a particular content whenever you choose to paraphrase or quote someone’s work. The citation should follow a complete reference either in your bibliography or reference list that you will include at the end of your writing.

These citations are a great way to help your readers identify the source and verify the authenticity of the content. There are various citation styles that you can follow, remember to adhere to the rules of your chosen citation style.

Using Plagiarism Checkers

It is crucial for you to carefully check the writing for any error or unknowingly committing plagiarism. Some of the common mistakes can include:

  • Misplaced or forgotten citations
  • Paraphrased copy is similar to the original content
  • Quotation marks are absent or misplaced
  • The reference list does not have the proper mentioning of sources.

You can also consider checking your writing for plagiarism by using tools like Copyleaks, Copyscape, or Quetext. These help to check your writing against the indexed pages and give you results where your document shows signs of plagiarism. You should also note that the safety and accuracy of the plagiarism checkers often differ.

So as you can see, there are various ways in which students try to get their writings in place. Though there is an advancement in technology, yet modern tools are unable to de-mark plagiarism properly. However, there are several ways that can save you from this dark side of online education to produce quality work for your homework and assignments. 

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