Plagiarism Checker

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About Plagiarism Checker

Definition: Plagiarism

Plagiarism is the term used to describe spiritual theft, i.e. the incorporation of foreign thoughts into one's own text without marking them as such. One adorns oneself, so to speak, with foreign feathers, which contradicts the code of honour of science, because quoting is not forbidden, on the contrary. But the author must always be named. Plagiarism can take various forms, not only direct copying is plagiarism, but also an unmarked translation or the adoption of a foreign idea without a reference.

Plagiarism can be unmasked, there is special software for it. If a plagiarism is uncovered, this has serious consequences, from the non-existence of the work to the exmatriculation and the withdrawal of a title. Copyright infringement and fraud are criminal offences that can be punished accordingly. It is therefore advisable to familiarise oneself with the conventions of quoting in order to know the grey areas and to avoid plagiarism in any form.

Plagiarism: Second-hand creativity

OR why you only lie your way into your own pocket when stealing intellectual property.

When one writer writes off another, It's called plagiarism.
When an author copies many others, it is called science.

After it has become clear that quoting is the measure of the scientific nature of any text, since knowledge growth is always based on existing knowledge, it is now necessary to become aware of what happens if one does NOT quote correctly or does NOT identify foreign intellectual property as such.

At first one might think that it is simply not very nice to take something that does not belong to you. One has already learned this from childhood: To take away another child's toy in the sandbox is mean and was acknowledged with reproach and punishment from the parents. In adult life, of course, we bear much more responsibility and the theft of intellectual property has more serious consequences than one might think. Even if it is apparently "only" a matter of stealing thoughts and nothing material.

But what exactly is spiritual theft in science, so-called plagiarism, and how can it be avoided? "Plagiarism means to pass off the text of another person as one's own" (Kruse 2007: 82). So the moment you take over text passages of another person in your own bachelor's thesis, master's thesis or dissertation, but don't name the author of the sources and take it over unmarked into your own text, it's a plagiarism.

But even "the adoption of longer text passages in terms of content, non-literal - i.e. linguistically altered - falls under the concept of plagiarism, unless it is marked as a paraphrase" (Gruber, Huemer & Rheindorf 2009: 161). Thus even the adoption of one idea by another without being sufficiently marked is a plagiarism.

How to avoid plagiarism and work cleanly scientifically

Quoting itself is not forbidden as long as one adheres to the rules, the copyright law permits quoting for scientific purposes, see §§ 51 and 63 (cf. Oertner, St. John & Thelen 2014: 66)! So why cheat and bear the consequences if one can simply quote properly and thus integrate foreign thoughts without any problems? After all, you should learn to work scientifically during your university studies. Of course this is connected with work, but nothing that is really worthwhile simply falls into your lap.

But how can plagiarism be avoided? First you need to know exactly when you start talking about plagiarism or where the grey area begins. The following examples should show where the border between marked quotation and plagiarism is reached.


  • The adoption of foreign thoughts and ideas without characterizing them is called plagiarism; one adorns oneself with foreign feathers, so to speak.
  • There are different types of plagiarism: text plagiarism, idea plagiarism, translation from foreign-language works, adoption of metaphors / idioms and quotation plagiarism.
  • In order to expose plagiarism, there is special software that compares the submitted text with all texts on the World Wide Web.
  • Plagiarism has serious consequences: Titles can be disqualified, the examination cannot be repeated, but they can be assessed with the worst mark AND, since it counts as fraud, this is even a criminal offence.
  • Quoting is by no means forbidden as long as you follow the rules and know where the grey areas for plagiarism lie, because then plagiarism can easily be avoided.

Summary - Plagiarism FAQ

Question 1: Where can I report plagiarism?

It is always possible to report counterfeit products to the police and customs. However, for private individuals who have purchased a single item worth less than 100 euros, a costly legal dispute is rarely worthwhile. In the case of dealers from abroad, there is also the problem that name and address are often unknown. This is why it is usually difficult to find the person responsible for a plagiarism.

Question 2: If I have a plagiarism, do I have to reckon with a report because of a false affidavit?

Most universities stipulate in their examination regulations that bachelor's, master's or doctoral theses must be sworn in. In this way, the author assures that he has written the thesis independently and that only the admissible aids have been used. In the case of plagiarism, this declaration is therefore false and the university or the examination office can file a criminal complaint. The penal code provides for a prison sentence of up to three years or a fine in accordance with § 456. However, in most cases the prosecution is not reported or the proceedings against a fine are discontinued.

Question 3: How can I avoid plagiarism in scientific works?

Time pressure is often the cause of plagiarism, because in stressful situations the source is quickly forgotten or slight mistakes creep in. Therefore, you should always prepare a realistic time and work plan. In addition, create a directory with all sources used and mark quotations and paraphrases directly when writing.