About the Plagiarism Checker and Grammar Check Tools
Anyone committed to continued learning and improvement knows that feedback is one of the most valuable resources available. The commentary and critique left in the margins by your instructor offer invaluable information that you can apply to your next paper as well as any similar assignments in the future. It cannot, unfortunately, change the grade of the paper in your hands. This is where the BibMe Plus tool comes to the rescue!
You’ve done the research, drafted and revised your paper, and took care to credit all of your sources. The last step before you submit your paper is to proofread it in order to catch any missed errors or citations that may have escaped you, but which are unlikely to escape your teacher. The BibMe Plus grammar checker gives you the feedback you need to help polish and improve your paper before you turn it in, not after. Not only does it flag spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors, but it also gives you helpful tips that explain why the item is flagged so you can correct it, learn from it, and become a better writer.
A quick scan of your paper with the BibMe Plus plagiarism tool will also help to reveal any passages that, while perhaps unintentional, would nevertheless be considered plagiarizing. With tailored tips and an easy-to-use interface, our writing tool can help you unlock the magic to more natural, relaxed, and efficient editing to help ensure that your writing is clear, consistent, and properly cited.
The best part about it? Instant suggestions. No waiting for a human proofreader to respond to you or racing across campus to get to the writing center before it closes. The BibMe Plus writing tool is available precisely when and where you need it. Conduct an on-demand spell check and grammar check at any time of day to validate the integrity of your work, and to generate any missing citations, all in a matter of seconds.
What is Plagiarism?
Knowing the potential consequences of plagiarism certainly makes it clear why you should avoid it. However, without a concrete definition, abstaining from it can prove challenging.
An easy to remember plagiarism definition is that it’s the act of using someone else’s work or ideas without giving them proper credit. It’s important to note that this definition is not bound by intention, and students may commit it both knowingly and unknowingly. Submitting coursework with uncredited passages or other evidence of academic dishonesty can result in significant consequences, so students must be mindful of all the forms infringement can take if they wish to avoid repercussions.
Learning to define plagiarism is just the first step in developing the awareness necessary to avoid it. Identifying it in its various forms is the crucial next step, combined with consistently utilizing a subscription-based or free online plagiarism checker as a non-negotiable element of your paper-writing process.
Examples of Plagiarism
While it’s critical to understand the plagiarism definition as it’s broadly defined, it’s just as vital to learn the various ways it can occur if you wish to ultimately avoid committing it.
Direct plagiarism is the deliberate act of copying another individuals work or idea into an assignment without providing any type of acknowledgment. An example of this would be a student copying and pasting text from a source into their project, without using quotation marks or any kind of attribution. When academic dishonesty is the topic of discussion, this straightforward appropriation of another person’s work, in whole or in part, is the act that most people imagine.
However, even copying bits and pieces from a single sentence and adding them into a project without attribution is a form of literary theft called incremental plagiarism. Just as with direct copying, incremental copying results in a student or writer taking credit for words and ideas that are not their own. Both direct and incremental infringement are unethical, irresponsible, and just plain dishonest; the punishments for those who commit them are appropriately severe.
Thankfully, a free or premium writing tool can help students who are committed to upholding their academic integrity to spot and correct any accidentally poached phrases in their papers.
Do you have a paper you want to evaluate so you can confirm you’ve completed your research responsibly? A quick scan with the BibMe Plus writing tool will help highlight phrases, sentences, or paragraphs in your paper that are found elsewhere on the internet. Each highlighted section has a prompt that will also ask you if you need a reference for it. Even better? If you review the source and determine that you need to add a citation, the tool will guide you through the steps of creating and inserting your reference. Pretty awesome, right? We think so too.
When a writer rephrases another author’s words and includes them without attribution in their work, it is known as patchwriting or mosaic writing. Patchwriting may occur as the unfortunate result of a poor attempt at paraphrasing. When patchwriting is deliberate, it is often called spinning.
If you’ve ever patched a hole in your jeans, you’ll know that no matter how well you complete the task, close scrutiny by someone who knows what to look for will reveal the truth beneath your handiwork. Patchwriting, similarly, may go undetected at a distance. However, it is often easily spotted with a closer look and a careful eye.
How does it happen? Perhaps the writer rearranged words in the sentence, subbed out a few words with synonyms, or used bits and pieces of the original wording and mixed it with their own. No matter the method, the original wording is often easy to spot as it peeks through its patchwork disguise.
Even though patchwriting is a form of academic dishonesty, it can be different from our first example above. In most instances, direct plagiarism is a deliberate act of deception. Patchwriting, however, may occur unintentionally. How? Frankly, paraphrasing can be difficult, and it’s not always easy to fully understand the difference between paraphrasing and simply re-ordering words.
When you paraphrase, you demonstrate your understanding of the work by putting it into your own words to clarify its meaning. However, this is not the same as changing the structure of a sentence or swapping in synonyms—this would be an example of patchwriting.
Quite often, the reason writers struggle to paraphrase a source is because they don’t fully understand it. If you find yourself having difficulty paraphrasing something you’ve read, ask yourself: do I fully understand this topic? A trick to help you test your understanding is to explain what you’ve learned to someone else. This process has its roots in medical training, where surgeons learn to complete each new procedure by following a process of “see one, do one, teach one.” In the scalpel-less world of writing, this might instead be adapted to “read it, study it, explain it.”
Understanding an author’s words or ideas is critical to being able to paraphrase properly. If you find yourself struggling to paraphrase and leaning dangerously close to patchwriting territory, take some time to return to the source and better understand what the author is saying. Test yourself by teaching the subject to a (willing) friend or classmate and then return to your paper and try your hand again at paraphrasing.
Worried you may have accidentally appropriated someone else’s work? The BibMe Plus writing tool has you covered! It’s designed to help spot those pesky places in your paper that may get red marks from your teacher. Use a plagiarism check as you’re writing or when you’re through. It will help display areas of concern, highlight suggestions for improvement, and provide grammar suggestions. Simply put, the BibMe Plus spell checker and grammar checker are your go-to tools for your writing and researching needs.
Plagiarizing another author’s words or ideas is an issue that most students recognize as wrong, but many are shocked to learn that re-using their own words is also a form of academic dishonesty. After all, they ask, how can I steal from myself?
Self-plagiarism is less about stealing and more about deceiving. When a student refurbishes or reuses work they completed in the past and turns it in a second time instead of completing a new, original work, they are not honest with their teacher. Even reusing portions or paragraphs of your previous work without disclosing it is dishonest.
Why do teachers and professors frown upon repurposing old assignments? They want to see what you’re capable of doing now, not what you were capable of doing in the past when you first produced the work you’re re-submitting. They also want to trust that their students are putting in the effort to learn and apply new knowledge from year to year. Students who submit old work may not be stealing, but neither are they exerting the same effort as their peers or demonstrating their current competency.
If you think that work you completed in the past should be considered for a current assignment, talk to your instructor. Perhaps they might be intrigued to see you put a new spin on a previously written paper. However, you must get your teacher’s blessing before you take this approach, and be sure to include appropriate citations or a memo clarifying which aspects of the work have appeared elsewhere.
Lesser Known Examples of Plagiarism
There are quite a few acts of intentional or unintentional dishonesty that students are surprised to learn also meet the definition of plagiarism.
Omitting citations and claiming credit for another person’s work may be the most obvious way to plagiarize, but it’s far from the only way. Including misleading citations is a form of academic dishonesty that is just as serious as direct infringement.
Why? Consider, again, the plagiarism definition: taking credit for the words or ideas of another person. Improper use of a source can only benefit the person committing the act if others are sufficiently fooled by it. If a writer is successful at deceiving their audience, they have also succeeded in creating a false belief about the words and ideas in the source material as well as the person or people who wrote it. Whether it occurs intentionally or unintentionally, misleading citations draw a false link between an idea and a source and harm a student’s credibility.
While misleading references can occur as a result of not understanding your research, invented sources arise when someone attempts to mask that they didn’t complete enough research. Perhaps they have a point they want to include but haven’t found any credible sources that back it up, or realized an hour before class that they haven’t involved enough sources. Whatever the cause, an invented source creates an illusion of credibility by tying an idea to a source that doesn’t exist.
An invented source may also be the result of poor note taking while conducting research. Perhaps you found the perfect quote to include in your introduction but forgot to write down the source along with the phrase. Rather than choosing between removing the quote or inventing a reference, why not let the BibMe Plus plagiarism tool scan your paper and find the matching material for you? It’s easy, fast, and, most importantly, ethical.
Uncredited paraphrasing is similar in some ways to incremental plagiarism. In its incremental form, however, infringement may be poorly paraphrased work that, nonetheless, does include a citation. Uncredited paraphrasing, on the other hand, suggests that the student has done the work to paraphrase the source material, but has failed to credit the original author properly. With incremental or patchworked infringement, the student is handing in work that hasn’t been adequately translated into the writer’s own words, regardless of the presence or absence of a citation. With uncredited paraphrasing, it’s the lack of a citation that creates the issue, not the quality of the paraphrasing.
What is accidental plagiarism? It could be as simple as a forgotten citation, or as complicated as not knowing where you learned a fact. As you’ll learn below, common knowledge or knowledge that you gain through personal experience do not require citations. Accidental appropriation can occur when, for example, a student fails to include a citation for an idea that they acquired while reading for pleasure because they assumed this fit the definition of information gained through experience.
Need help checking your paper and building your bibliography? Let our plagiarism tool free up more of your time by helping you create and place citations right where you need them. Try it now!
What Is Not Plagiarism
With the definition of plagiarism covering so much ground, it’s easy to raise the alarms and wonder if even the most innocent of acts might be construed as plagiarizing. Our advice? Don’t panic. Instead, sit back, relax, and check out these times when you can write your heart out, worry free:
Information that is widely known and accepted as fact is considered common knowledge. This can either be knowledge that is common to most people in the world, in your country, in your state, or even just in your field of study, depending on the audience for your work. For example:
J.K. Rowling wrote the Harry Potter series.
This is a fact that is known widely enough that it is considered common knowledge and does not require a citation.
Paris is the capital of France.
This is another widely known fact that would not require a citation.
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is a better vacation destination than Paris, France.
The above is, at best, an opinion. If you want to include an argument in your academic paper about a fictional school’s merits as compared to a city that exists in the real world, you will have to do the work to back it up with credible sources.
The good news? If your statement is considered common knowledge, you can include it in your paper without creating a citation. Keep in mind though, that research papers showcase new ideas and analysis. Common knowledge is acceptable to include, but make sure you mix in information from outside sources as well.
Attributed Quote or Idea:
With all this talk about intentionally and unintentionally stealing another’s ideas or words, you may be tempted to write a whole paper based only on your original thoughts. However, as noted above, a robust research paper balances new ideas and analysis on a foundation of existing sources on a topic. Just as a paper full of common knowledge facts wouldn’t meet the requirements of most research papers, nor would a document that doesn’t contain any of your original analysis.
To include the ideas of others in your papers, you need only to attribute it to the original author to ensure you safely stay on the side of academic integrity. And, with the BibMe Plus tool, it’s easy to attribute quotes or ideas properly. After scanning your paper to check for plagiarism, it not only helps to suggest where to place references in your paper, but it will walk you through how to do it. Talk about a game changer!
With just a few pieces of information about the source, such as the title or the author’s name, the BibMe plagiarism checker free tools can help you structure your references in the proper style and place them exactly where they need to be. Proper style, proper structure, and proper placement equal worry-free papers.
As you read above, patchwriting falls on the wrong side of academic integrity. However, don’t let this sway you from including the ideas of others if they support your work. A proper paraphrase with a citation is an excellent way to promote a point in your paper, while also demonstrating that you fully understand the author’s idea and have completed your research responsibly.
While most writers remember to add references for direct quotes, they can sometimes forget to include references when adding paraphrases into papers. A free plagiarism site may only help these writers pinpoint passages, but the BibMe Plus tool also helps you develop accurate references in all types of situations. Quotes, paraphrases, full references: you name it, we do it, and we do it well.
Now that we’ve learned what is and isn’t plagiarism let’s look at how to avoid it entirely.
Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing
Now that you can answer the question, “what does plagiarism mean” and are familiar with when and where to place a citation, let’s talk about determining how you use a source. Specifically, you might wonder how to decide whether or not you are using a direct quote, a paraphrase, or a summary.
While this might sound tricky at first, it’s not difficult at all to tell the difference between a quotation, paraphrase, or summary once you learn how to define and differentiate between them.
Quote: These are easiest to spot because they are word-for-word repetitions of a source and, therefore, are punctuated by quotation marks. When you want to directly quote a source or copy and paste a passage from a website, for example, you should enclose the sentence or passage within quotation marks and give credit to the original author:
“As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect. He was laying on his hard, as it were armor-plated, back and when he lifted his head a little he could see his dome-like brown belly divided into stiff-arched segments on top of which the belt quilt could hardly keep in position and was about to slide off completely.” (Kafka, 67).
Paraphrase: With a paraphrase, you are taking a specific passage, such as a series of paragraphs, and rewriting it in your own words. Paraphrasing is useful for condensing much information into a smaller amount of space. Because a paraphrase is technically your own words, you do not use quotation marks. However, a citation is still needed because the ideas are not your own.
Gregor Samsa’s insect body is described as being brown, with a hard back and a segmented abdomen. (Kafka, 67).
Summary: With a summary, you are taking the main ideas of an entire source and writing about them in a few sentences (or more). Like paraphrasing, summaries are in your own words, so they do not need quotation marks. Also like paraphrasing, summaries are not your original idea, and will, therefore, need a citation:
The Metamorphosis tells the story of Gregor Samsa’s life after his unexpected and unexplained transformation from a traveling salesman into a human-sized insect, as well as the less overt psychological transformations each member of his family undergoes as they adjust to their new insect son and brother. (Kafka, 67-132).
If ever you’re in doubt and aren’t sure if you need a citation, it’s best to err on the side of caution. With the BibMe plagiarism check, it will help to find passages that need your attention and create your citations. Whether you’ve included direct quotations, paraphrases, summaries, or all three in your assignments, running a scan of your paper can help you find any missed citations, and save you time by guiding you through creating them.
How to Avoid Plagiarism
When you first learn to define plagiarism and realize how expansive the definition is, it can be intimidating to think about all the information you have to cite or for which you may accidentally omit citations. That’s where the BibMe Plus online plagiarism tool comes in. It will help you look for and identify passages where you may have similar text to a source on the internet and ask if you need to create a citation.
If, after reviewing the suggested sources, you agree with the suggestions made by the plagiarism tool and wish to create a citation, there are features built into the tool to help guide you through the process of creating, styling, and inserting your citation into your paper.
No matter what tools you use to help you complete your work ethically, you are ultimately responsible for the work that you turn in, so you’ll need to understand what is expected of you no matter how you are formatting the words and ideas from your sources. If you include quotes to repeat the source verbatim, you’ll need to add proper punctuation as well as a citation.
When you include ideas from a source in your own words, such as with a paraphrased or summarized passage, you may think that a citation is not necessary. However, since you are restating someone else’s idea, it does require attribution.
Remember, the best time to find errors or unintentional infringement is BEFORE you turn in your paper, not after. When in doubt, run a BibMe Plus plagiarism check to help you find any passages that you may have missed on your own, and use the free citing tools to create and insert your citations.
How Citations Help
Plagiarism can happen in a variety of scenarios, but the most common forms occur when students or writers:
- Use excerpts from someone else’s work without quoting them
- Source information in their research or argument without attribution
- Paraphrase a source without giving the original author credit
Students who are committed to avoiding both intentional and accidental plagiarism may worry that they’re taking on a mammoth task but, in truth, it’s not as difficult as it appears at first blush. In fact, armed with a little bit of knowledge and a reliable plagiarism tool, most students find that the steps they take toward preventing plagiarism ultimately help them complete their work more efficiently.
Wondering how a check for plagiarism can make you write and research more efficiently? First, remember why you include citations, or references, in the first place:
- Including your references makes the reader aware that you found the cited information elsewhere. A necessary part of completing a research paper is completing, well, research. Citations show that you have completed research on your subject and that you’ve done so responsibly.
- Citations also show the reader that credible sources were used to backup your ideas, which in turn lends your work credibility
- A resource or reference list also provides interested readers with a starting point for their research on the same or similar topics.
So how can a tool that checks your paper for plagiarism help you work more efficiently? Well, if it’s the BibMe Plus writing tool, you’ll get more than just highlighted text and a percentage telling you how much of your work is unoriginal—you’ll also get links to matches for each passage that you can review before dismissing or creating a citation. Not only can you check plagiarism, but you can also perform a grammar and spelling check: misspellings, improper word order, subject-verb agreement, and missing punctuation are just a few of the items it will help you review. If it finds any areas where you can improve your writing, it will highlight and flag them as well as offer suggestions for improvement.
When to Add a Citation
You need to include a citation any time you add a quotation, paraphrase or summarize a source, or include the ideas of others that you uncovered during your research. With so many rules to follow when it comes to structuring these references, it can be tricky to know when, how, and where to place them.
While many of the free plagiarism tools and cloud-based programs can scan your work, many leave you to figure out where to go from there on your own. That’s why the BibMe Plus plagiarism detector was designed to not only scan for potential infringement, but to help you create and add your references, too!
Our innovative technology runs a spot check for any quotes or paraphrases in your paper that may be in need of a reference. If our scan finds any matches, we’ll ask you a simple question, “Do you need to cite this?” If so, we’ll help guide you through the steps of adding the reference exactly where it needs to be.
First, we’ll show you a list of websites with text that matches the content in your paper. From this list you’ll select the site where you found the information to verify that it’s a match.
Next, the tool will take you to a simple auto-filled form for you to review and, if necessary, edit. If there are any missing fields, you may need to return to the website with the provided link to gather it; this is often as simple as locating the author’s name or the date of publication.
Finally, once you’ve completed the form to the best of your ability, our plagiarism checker will structure and place your reference exactly where it’s needed—both in the body of the text AND in your works cited or bibliography
Spot Writing Mistakes
Unintentionally plagiarizing isn’t the only thing to worry about when writing and revising a paper—you also don’t want to lose points for small grammatical mistakes. Luckily, the BibMe Plus grammar checker will complete a spell check and help review your document for style, punctuation, sentence structure, verb tense, pronoun-antecedent agreement, and more!
Once you upload a paper, the grammar check tool scans the text and helps to highlight each grammatical issue within your paper so you can review each incident in context. Some highlighted items may even include a detailed explanation of the rule or style suggestion that led to it being flagged. Others will provide you with an example that demonstrates how to correct the issue.
Our tools are designed to help you polish and improve your writing, but you are always in the driver’s seat and empowered to make the final decisions when you use them. The BibMe Plus grammar check tool employs an approach similar to our plagiarism tool. The tool provides prompts so you can review each item and make an educated decision about how to proceed before accepting or ignoring the suggestion. And, since it gives definitions and explanations, it can help you improve your writing over time.
This service is for all writers, from those who have complete confidence in their writing ability to those who are just starting to write. No matter what your writing level, it’s always best to review your work for grammar and writing flow before submitting it as a final draft.
Why Is Grammar Important?
Proper grammar is the foundation of any written piece; you simply cannot successfully communicate your thoughts and points without it. For example, an adverb or interjection could lose its impact if incorrectly placed, and a writer who uses inconsistent tenses could leave their readers confused.
Luckily, the BibMe Plus essay checker is here to help writers of all levels identify and fix grammar errors while consistently improving their skills as a writer. With consistent use of our online plagiarism checker and grammar tool, you’ll receive targeted, personalized feedback that will help to identify not just what you need to correct, but how you can go about fixing it. Our goal is never to do your work for you but, instead, to help you produce your best work. That’s why we’ve also created a library of resources so you can complete further reading and add more depth to the feedback you receive from the tools.
These guides can help you to brush up on writing rules and best practices that trouble you most so that, in time, you can produce more polished first drafts. Among our resources, you’ll find guides for each of the various parts of speech. You can use these guides for free at any time to supplement the feedback you receive from a free plagiarism site or subscription-based tool.
For example, if your feedback suggests that you should reconsider ending a sentence with a preposition and you want to find out more about the suggestion, you can read the resource for that part of speech to understand why you received the tip and decide how to proceed. The same pattern can be followed if the tool reports a missing determiner, incorrect conjunction, inaccurate noun capitalization, or misused adjectives.
Bottom line? A+ papers include proper writing style and citations, and our tools help you with both. Let the BibMe Plus writing tool help you improve your next paper and learn to write and cite smartly and strategically so you can kiss your plagiarism and grammar woes goodbye!