Keystone logo

Do International Students Need a Plagiarism Checker?

It is common knowledge that most universities will run your dissertation or paper through a plagiarism checker once you’ve submitted it. A plagiarism checker or scanner will ensure that you’ve referenced your sources correctly, so you can avoid getting off to a rough start at your new university.

Feb 6, 2024
  • During Study Abroad

Why You Might Need a Plagiarism Checker as an International Student

Finding a place to stay, learning the local language, and finding friends when you study abroad is already a challenge. But you can also expect some study stress, because your new university will probably have different expectations than universities in your home country – particularly when it comes to writing papers, referencing your sources correctly, and avoiding plagiarism.

Something like a plagiarism checker or a plagiarism scanner will ensure that you’ve referenced your sources correctly, so you can avoid getting off to a rough start at your new university.

Ready to become an international student?

This handy checklist helps you gather together everything you need to study abroad!

Should Everyone Use a Plagiarism Checker?

It is common knowledge that most universities will run your dissertation or paper through a plagiarism checker once you’ve submitted it. Being on your semester abroad unfortunately doesn’t mean that these rules don’t apply.

In fact, as an international student you need to be particularly cautious. Whilst countries like the UK and Australia prefer the Harvard system of referencing, Germany, for example, prefers to use footnotes with a works cited page.

If you’ve had to learn a new referencing style, a plagiarism checker will ensure that you’ve referenced correctly. Of course, as an undergraduate student, you’re only required to use the pre-existing research of others but giving credit where it’s due is so important in the world of academia.

Top Tip:

Forgetting to include one of the authors in your references is constituted as plagiarism. Even accidental plagiarism can lead to severe consequences. You may automatically fail your essay or dissertation.

Free vs. Fee-Based Plagiarism Software

If you decide to stay on the safe side and use a plagiarism detector, you’ll come across two different types: free and fee-based. Both options have their pros and cons, and one will be more suitable than the other depending on your needs. We’ll look at each option down below.

Pros and Cons of a Free Plagiarism Checker

A free plagiarism checker can sound particularly appealing, as it’s suitable for your student budget. However, is it the best option for your research paper?

Free Plagiarism Checker ProsFree Plagiarism Checker Cons
FreeUntrustworthy websites
Confusing data protection policies
Hidden costs
Word or even character limits

A free plagiarism scanner may sound appealing if you’ve spent all your money travelling during your studies abroad, but there is some uncertainty involved. These scanners work with an algorithm and the free scanners may only be programmed to check every second or third line of the given text. You may pass your plagiarism test and then receive an email from your university stating that you’ve failed theirs, as they’ve used a different plagiarism checker with a better algorithm.

Additionally, many of the free plagiarism software providers are located outside of Europe and this means that you won’t be protected by the data protection laws that you’re used to. Your dissertation may be leaked from their system, or it may be stored indefinitely on their database. Unfortunately, when this happens, you’re unable to intervene.

Top Tip:

Important: If you use the same plagiarism checker as your university, and your paper isn’t deleted from the system, it will appear to your university as though you’ve plagiarized your entire paper.

Choosing a Plagiarism Checker

Of course, the decision regarding fee-based vs. free plagiarism checkers is completely in your hands. However, keep the advantages and disadvantages of each option in mind whilst making your decision.

If you’ve written a bachelor’s thesis or a milestone paper, then paying for a plagiarism checker to avoid having your paper leaked or stored on a database may be the best option. However, if you’ve simply written a term paper or an essay that is not so significant, you can probably get away with using a free plagiarism checker.

A Checklist for Finding Trustworthy Providers

Once you’ve decided between free and fee-based plagiarism software, the next step is finding a trustworthy provider. Use the checklist down below for an idea of what to look out for:

  1. Provider professionalism: Take a look at their terms and conditions and see if they offer any other services or if they’re present on other websites.
  2. Reviews: Check out some independent rating websites. What do other students have to say about the company?
  3. The pace of a plagiarism scan: A plagiarism checker won’t be able to scan your entire paper in under two minutes. If this is the case, the algorithm is probably only checking every second line. You can expect a legitimate scan to take at least 10 minutes.
  4. The results of your plagiarism check: How does the company convey the results? It’s not very useful to simply be told that your essay is partially plagiarized. You’ll need to know which sections contain plagiarism and how you can reference them properly.
  5. Data protection: Your dissertation or essay should be removed from the company’s database within 24 hours after the completion of the plagiarism scan.
  6. Price: Expensive does not equal high quality. Most companies base their prices on the word count.
essay writing

The Three Steps to an Online Plagiarism Checker

A reliable plagiarism checker will generally necessitate a 3 step, user-friendly process. It will include uploading your work, the phase in which the algorithm scans your work and the improvement process.

Step 1: Uploading

You will need to upload your thesis or research paper to the company’s server. Remember to check that it’ll be deleted within 24 hours because you’ll want your hard work to remain your own intellectual property. A particularly high-tech plagiarism checker will allow you to upload any file type, but you should double check this.

Step 2: Scanning

The algorithm will most likely split your paper into individual sections before comparing them to a database that contains billions of sources. The sections identified as plagiarism should be compiled into a comprehensive report.

Step 3: Improving

Once the plagiarism detector has finished scanning the text, you should receive an email with a plagiarism report. If you’ve chosen a high-quality, detailed plagiarism checker, the report will contain the links to all websites and articles it recognized as plagiarism. You’ll need to reword passages, reference, or fix pre-existing citations to improve the plagiarized sections.


The Key Point: Avoid Plagiarism with a Plagiarism Checker

An accusation of plagiarism can be detrimental to your academic career. Plus, it’s not exactly the impression you want to leave with your professors on your semester abroad. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so make use of a plagiarism checker to eliminate any risks before your essay or dissertation is submitted.

Remember, you may be able to get away with a free plagiarism checker for a smaller paper, however, we absolutely do not recommend you use a free plagiarism scanner for your bachelor’s thesis or dissertation. In this case, it’s worth paying a small fee to protect your intellectual property.

A quick Google search will show you the abundance of options available at your fingertips!

About the Author

BachelorPrint is the go-to student service provider for all things study related. The Nr.1 online print shop offers dissertation printing and binding, editing and proofreading, a plagiarism checker, transcription services and more. BachelorPrint will support you throughout your academic career from your undergraduate studies to your PhD.