The 10 Best Free Plagiarism Checkers For Students

Monitor your words to stay out of hot water with professors

Whether a thesis or just your garden-variety essay, research paper, or report, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is to use words that are not your own. While plagiarism is a serious academic offense that should never be taken lightly, you may have written something that you believe is original but could have actually been something you read at one point and was stored away in your subconscious.

Rather than take that chance, it’s best to use a plagiarism detector to check your work before submitting it to your professor or instructor. These tried-and-true plagiarism checkers are perfect for that. While the options outlined below do offer some plagiarism-related features free of charge, you’ll need to pay a fee to access their advanced functionality in many cases.

image of a student in a classroom pleading with an upset teacher
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Many of the plagiarism checkers featured in this article offer apps, add-ons and other software but they all provide a browser-based interface that can be used in any major operating system across all platforms.

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Easy to Use Interface: Quetext

A screenshot of the Quetext intterface
What We Like
  • Simple web interface that underlines any potential problem sentences in red text.

  • Provides a weighted average score for any text that may be plagiarized, making it easy to determine if you have an issue.

  • Potential plagiarism matches are listed alongside the text in question, with each source conveniently opened in a new tab when clicked.

What We Don't Like
  • Their trademarked DeepSearch tech is great for plagiarism prevention, but is only available to Pro (paid) users. 

  • You have to create an account to do more than one search at a time.

  • Pro version trial is only 3 days.

As is the case with most of the other options on our list, Quetext offers a set of tools intended to help improve your writing, both in the current paper and in future works. It also utilizes proprietary plagiarism-detection software to quickly determine whether or not the text you submit can be found anywhere within its vast array of sources. If you create a free account with Quetext, you'll be able to save your checked texts online.

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Focused on Educators First: Turnitin

The Turnitin home page.
What We Like
  • The Feedback Studio interface features an intuitive design.

  • Fully integrated student/teacher system allows for instant source comparisons and context-specific feedback. 

  • In-class copying is also caught on-the-fly during its verbiage analysis.

What We Don't Like
  • Not all the service’s standalone plagiarism features are present in the collaborative dashboard.

  • Pricing structures are not available on the website and can only be obtained by contacting the company. 

  • Requires either a school course or educational institute account to use.

Turnitin approaches the subject of plagiarism from the opposite direction as the others on our list, tailoring its tools towards educators as opposed to the students themselves. It involves a system called the Plagiarism Spectrum that utilizes survey data from almost a thousand instructors, identifying ten unique types of plagiarism and producing detailed similarity reports for both individuals or entire classes. 

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Advanced Comparison Capabilities: Copyscape

A screenshot of the Copyscape interface.
What We Like
  • API (premium version) lets you configure site or backend services to automatically validate incoming content. 

  • Validating your own content for duplication is also an option, which can be helpful if you’re producing a significant amount of copy. 

  • Website has an extensive FAQ for help.

  • A website forum is available to discuss technical and legal issues.

What We Don't Like
  • Per-search cost structure can become unsustainable over time in certain situations. 

  • Only allows for direct URL-to-URL or text-to-text comparison between two sources.

Not designed specifically with students in mind, Copyscape is still a solid resource for checking papers and other assignments due to its highly-advanced plagiarism validator. Its advanced filters let you avoid certain sites, if needed, and the Batch Search feature allows you to simultaneously check against thousands of pages.

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Detailed Plagiarism Checks: Plagium

screenshot of the Plagium interface
What We Like
  • Great for simple, one-time check of content up to a thousand characters, free of charge.

  • Deep Search employs a paragraph-by-paragraph analysis.

  • Multiple file formats supported including: PDF, DOC, DOCX and TXT.

  • A Google Docs addon is available for G Suite users.

What We Don't Like
  • Beyond basic checks, per-page fees apply and vary based on the type of search performed. 

  • Some searches can take quite a bit of time to complete.

Plagium’s browser-based interface lets you quickly analyze text, URLs or files for instances of accidental plagiarism by processing them through their proprietary snippet-centric search tools. The site allows a maximum of 1000 characters for free analysis and costs a few pennies per page depending on the plan you purchase.

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Catches Paraphrasing and Missing Citations: PlagScan

a sample image of the PlagScan interface


What We Like
  • Quickly estimates how much content may be plagiarized.

  • Takes paraphrasing and missing citations into account.

  • Matching sources broken down by category and organized to easily spot and correct issues.

  • Highlights all problem areas within the text.

What We Don't Like
  • Noticeably slower than some of its competitors.

  • Costs for high-volume submissions can be prohibitive. 

  • Trial scan allows only up to the first 2000 words.

Although not technically free, PlagScan does offer a 2,000-word trial so you can check one or more short documents without purchasing a word or page-driven plan. It works with most file formats as well as raw text, producing an interactive report interface supported by most major web browsers.

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Multiple Access Options: Copyleaks

A screenshot of the Copyleaks interface.
What We Like
  • Has the ability to check scanned physical copies. 

  • Accessible via mobile app, Microsoft Office, and Google Docs add-ons. 

  • Supports a wide array of languages and character-based dialects.

What We Don't Like
  • Can be costly for students on a tight budget.

  • Must provide an email for free scans.

  • Free scan only lists the two results of possible sources.

  • Can only scan 8 pages in trial.

Copyleaks allows you to upload documents from almost any platform and have their contents instantly validated for plagiarism, with the ability to check ten pages for free each month. Scans provide a quick overview of the results which will contain the number of similar words and the sources the text is mostly like from.

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Detects Modified Structure, Synonyms, and Filler Words: Scribbr

An example plagiarism report on Scribbr.
What We Like
  • Detects plagiarism even with modified structure, synonyms, or added filler words. 

  • Source overview report lets you exclude certain repositories such as previously submitted works.

  • Can upload a Word or PDF file for checking.

What We Don't Like
  • Uses the same engine as its partner Turnitin.

  • On-page chat service often unavailable during normal business hours.

Scribbr combs a library of books, journal articles, and websites to produce detailed reports noting whether or not your content contains any plagiarized verbiage. It's advanced controls allows you to filter out certain repositories, bibliographies, and even quotes.

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Really Free Plagiarism Checking: PapersOwl

The PapersOwl Plariarism Report Order Form
What We Like
  • You don’t have to register or enter into a free trial to use this service.

  • The site also contains citation generators in multiple formats, helpful if you do encounter some plagiarism issues.

  • Can upload a variety of file formats.

  • Can check a maximum of over 19,000 words.

What We Don't Like
  • Links are provided but problem text is not highlighted on the source end.

  • Checker isn't very accurate.

  • Website has some unscrupulous writing services.

With a basic copy/paste browser-based interface which returns a similarity index along with potential plagiarism sources, PapersOwl may not have the advanced features found in some of the other services but it works great in a pinch, and it really is free.

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Provides Multiple Review Responses: Plagramme

screenshot of Plagramme report

What We Like
  • Premium version does not impose word limits.

  • Multiple scores provided in Plagramme’s reports including similarity, plagiarism risk level, paraphrase percentage, bad citation frequency and more. 

  • Multiple languages supported. 

What We Don't Like
  • The free version is severely limited. 

  • You must contact the company to get pricing details.

Plagramme employs a database containing trillions of articles to determine whether or not you’ve got any unoriginal verbiage in your paper or other content. It even has a paraphrasing check to ensure you're not repeating too much of an original source.

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screenshot of EasyBib interface
What We Like
  • Papers can be checked for both grammar and plagiarism using an easy-to-use web form.

  • Documents can be uploaded from local disk or from Google Drive through the same interface. 

  • Assistance with citing specific text blocks is automatically provided whenever a sentence or paragraph is found verbatim (or close to it). 

What We Don't Like
  • The free version of EasyBib does not check for plagiarism at all, only for style and sentence structure.

  • Ads are very intrusive, sometimes covering key functionality when it’s most needed.

  • Many customer service complaints found on independent sites.

  • Requires a $9.95 per month fee.

EasyBib’s proofreading engine provides suggestions to improve upon your grammar and overall prose, allowing you to quickly find and correct any glaring errors. The service also checks for accidental plagiarism, reporting how many sources your content may have already been found in across a multitude of sources. Unfortunately, you must pay a monthly fee to access the plagiarism features.

The paid version is ad-free, so if you’re using this specifically for plagiarism purposes then you won’t run into the very aggressive advertising issues the free services on this site suffer from.