Checking Your Own Work for Plagiarism

Have you ever been ready to hand in an assignment but been unsure if you’ve accidently plagiarized?

Below we outline some tools and methods to help you check your own work for plagiarism, make corrections, and avoid the unnecessary penalties.

Online plagiarism checkers

Websites such as Quetext and Grammarly (which also checks for grammar) allow you to input your work and the site then searches the web to see if this work has been used elsewhere. The checker will then identify what is legitimate, original content, and what has been plagiarized without proper citation.

While these websites are not guaranteed to detect 100 percent of potentially plagiarized content, they give you a good starting place to review your work for citations that may have been missed.

Review your own work

Often, looking at an assignment for too long can make it difficult to differentiate what ideas are your own and which ones aren’t. Taking time away from your work and coming back to it can help you review your work to see if everything that isn’t cited is written in your own words and sounds like it has been written by you. If some ideas aren’t written in your usual writing style, this is a clear sign to revisit the information and potentially cite it.

If you are unsure whether something is considered common knowledge, check out our post on Understanding Common Knowledge to help you determine what information to cite.

Revisit plagiarism guidelines

A good way to see if you have accidently plagiarized someone else’s work is to identify each source you have used, go through your notes, and check to see if all the information from these sources that isn’t common knowledge has been cited in your assignment and listed in your bibliography.

By going through each piece of information you have used, it becomes easier to determine what has been cited, either by checking your in-text citations, or visiting your bibliography.

If you have any questions about plagiarism, reach out to your facilitator.