College students and postgraduate students need to write plenty of research papers as part of assignments or projects. However, the most important of these papers is the final year project which determines if the students will get their degree or not.
The thesis for such projects is written with meticulousness and precision. There is no room for error and mistakes are rooted out with ruthless efficiency. One part of this process is checking for plagiarism and removing it entirely.
The reason for doing this is that thesis with plagiarized material is not entertained by the judging committee and such students are given a failing grade on the spot. Unfortunately, self-plagiarism and accidental plagiarism are also punished the same way. Colleges have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to plagiarism.
Thus, it is important to check your thesis for plagiarism before submitting it for a review or final defense.
How to Use a Plagiarism Detector to Check Your Thesis for Plagiarism?
1. Select a Suitable Tool
Plagiarism checking tools come in many types. There are free ones and paid ones. Some have a database of their own to check against while others check against online sources. Then there are those tools that have very small word limits and require a paid upgrade to check large articles.
Most thesis of graduate and post-graduate levels are not that small by a long shot; they can range from 5,000 words to 50,000 easily. In fact, a moderate-sized thesis would be at least 10,000 words. They are too big to be checked by a free plagiarism checker.
When it comes to paid options, there are plenty of affordable plagiarism-checking tools that even students can buy. A quick Google search will help you find the best tools.
Another factor that needs to be accounted for is plagiarism reports. These reports show how much percentage of the thesis is plagiarized or not, what parts are plagiarized, and what was the original source from which the content was taken. College students sometimes need to attach plagiarism reports along with their theses as a requirement.
2. Input Your Text
After you have selected a suitable tool, the next step is to upload your thesis to it. Obviously, you can do it the old-fashioned way and “copy-paste” the entire thesis to the tool’s input field, the choice is yours.
The upload method is just much easier and any half-decent plagiarism checker allows users to do so. The best plagiarism checkers lets users upload files in multiple formats including (but not limited to):
They also allow you to import your thesis from cloud storage services such as Google Drive and OneDrive. This allows you to check your thesis from different computers and saves you the hassle of carrying your laptop everywhere with you.
If you do end up using a free tool, then most likely you will have to create an account to get a less stringent word limit and fill out captchas every time you check some content. There are no such hassles in paid tools.
3. Run the Plagiarism Check
Once the content has been uploaded/input into the plagiarism checking tool, it is time to actually run the check. This step is very simple; there is almost always a giant, colored button that says something along the lines of “Check Plagiarism”. Its color contrasts with the rest of the user interface so it stands out.
This button needs to be pressed and once that is done the tool will automatically start checking the content. Now since most plagiarism checkers are online tools, their speed of working depends on both your internet speed and the size of the content.
Longer content such as a thesis can take some tens of seconds or even up to a full minute. Shorter content is usually checked in less than ten seconds by most tools.
Once the check is done the plagiarism report will be generated and it will show everything that you need to know.
4. Read the Plagiarism Report
Plagiarism checkers would be considered quite useless if they did not tell you how much and which parts of the content were plagiarized. That is exactly the information that is provided in a plagiarism report.
A typical plagiarism report shows the following things:
- Graphical display of plagiarism percentage found in the content
- Highlighted/underlined parts of the text that are plagiarized
- A list of links to the sources whose content was plagiarized.
The way this information is provided to the user may differ from tool to tool, but the best plagiarism checkers always provide these three things. They also provide a download button so that you can save this report and show it later to your professor or supervisor.
Read the report and see if the amount of plagiarism is less than the allowed limit or not. If it is higher than you will need to edit the plagiarized parts.
Once you have determined that the amount of plagiarism in your work is too high, then it’s time to get to editing. Now, this part is much easier than you think.
Since the report shows exactly which parts of the content were plagiarized and from which source, it becomes a simple matter of navigating to those parts and editing them.
There are two approaches here that can be used to remove plagiarism:
- Simply delete the duplicated parts of the text, provided that removing them does not distort the meaning and sense of the text.
- Add the citation of the source from which they were copied and quote them if necessary. Add the reference to the bibliography to complete the citation.
And that is it, plagiarism removed. Keep in mind that paraphrasing does not mean that the content is no longer plagiarized. It is still the idea of someone else and as such paraphrased parts also require citation.
That’s why it is really important to check for plagiarism in your theses so that they do not get rejected and you have a fair chance at your defense. The five steps to utilize a plagiarism checker discussed in this article are easy to follow and apply. Using these tips, you can safeguard yourself from accidental plagiarism.
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