What is a Good Plagiarism Score in 2023? Maximum Allowed Percentages

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What is a Good Plagiarism Score in 2023? Maximum Allowed Percentages

08/24/2023 12:00 AM by Admin in Ai tools

What is a Good Plagiarism Score? Understanding Plagiarism Percentages


what is a good plagiarism score

Plagiarism is a major concern in academic and professional writing. When submitting a paper, it's crucial to understand what level of plagiarism is acceptable and what could get you in trouble. 

In this comprehensive guide, we'll break down everything you need to know about good plagiarism scores and percentages. As well as how you can minimize your plagiarism score by checking it through a proper plagiarism checker.

How Much Plagiarism is Allowed?

There is no universal standard for an acceptable amount of plagiarism. Different institutions and publishers set their own thresholds. However, most agree that plagiarism should be minimal. Copying large portions of text, even with citations, is frowned upon. As a rule of thumb:

  • In academic writing, aim for less than 10% plagiarism. Over 20% is considered excessive at most schools.
  • For professional publications, aim for less than 5% copied content. Even small amounts should be cited.
  • Online content should contain less than 2% direct quotes. Paraphrase sources rather than directly copying.

These are general guidelines. When in doubt, err on the side of caution or check with your institution about their specific policies. Even minor copying without citation can get you in trouble.

Is 43% Similarity on Turnitin Bad?

Yes, a Turnitin similarity score of 43% would likely be considered excessive plagiarism at most institutions. Turnitin is a popular plagiarism checker that compares student papers against databases of existing content. Scores over 40% similarity are usually cause for concern.

Such a high match percentage means nearly half the paper contains unoriginal content. Even if properly cited, that much duplication suggests a lack of original analysis or thought. Most schools require Turnitin scores under 15-20%. Some may fail assignments over 40%.

So how can you improve your Turnitin score? Focus on paraphrasing sources in your own words. Only use direct quotes sparingly. And make sure all copied text is properly referenced. With some revision, you can usually reduce similarity below 15%.

What Percentage of Plagiarism is Acceptable? 

Most schools and publishers agree any plagiarism over 10% is unacceptable for original writing. A safe guideline for academic papers is:

  • Under 5% plagiarism is ideal. This shows original thought and analysis.
  • 5-10% is allowable if properly cited. This includes some quotes and paraphrasing. 
  • 10-20% may warrant review. Check for proper citations. Reducing copied content is recommended.
  • Over 20% is considered excessive, even if referenced. This could lead to rejection or failure depending on the policy.

Professional publications generally recommend 5% or less copied content. Online content like blog posts should contain less than 2% duplication.

While up to 10% technically falls in an acceptable range, the less plagiarism the better. If you have any improperly credited work, revise to reduce matching text. Proper citation is essential.

What is a Good Turnitin Score?

For most schools, a Turnitin score under 15% similarity is considered a good, safe amount of plagiarism. Here are guidelines for good Turnitin plagiarism scores:

  • Under 5% - Excellent, minimal plagiarism.
  • 5-10% - Acceptable for most institutions if properly cited.
  • 10-15% - Grey area, may warrant a review of citations.
  • 15-20% - Potentially unacceptable, depending on policy.
  • Under 25% - Caution. Verify citations and reduce copying.
  • Over 40% - Excessive plagiarism, very risky.

A score over 20% is likely to attract scrutiny, so aim to keep your Turnitin results below this threshold if possible. Properly reference any quotations or paraphrased content, you can find the paraphrasing checker free. With well-formatted citations and minimal copying, a similarity score under 15% should be achievable.

What Percent of a Paper Can Be Plagiarized?

To avoid charges of plagiarism, no more than 10-15% of a paper should contain duplicated or unoriginal content. Here are the recommended limits on plagiarized text:

  • Up to 5% of copied content is very minor, just be sure to cite properly.
  • 10% should be the maximum for most academic papers to avoid issues. 
  • 15% start entering a grey zone, carefully check all citations.
  • 20% or more is likely unacceptable and may warrant failure or rejection.

These percentages refer to quoted or paraphrased text from other sources. With proper in-text citations, small amounts under 10% are generally permissible in academic writing. But aim for as little duplication as possible by paraphrasing ideas in your own words.

For professional publishing or online content, plagiarism should stay under 5% with a focus on original analysis and thoughts. Rely more on your own writing than excessive unoriginal text.

What Turnitin Similarity is Too High?

Turnitin doesn’t flag a specific match percentage as too high. Plagiarism standards depend on institutional policy. However, here are general guidelines on Turnitin scores:

  • Under 15% - Safe amount at most schools if properly referenced.
  • 15-20% - Potentially unacceptable, review citations. 
  • 25-40% - Very risky, likely excessive even if cited.
  • Over 40% - Extremely high, expect failure or rejection. 
  • Over 60% - Severe plagiarism, could lead to expulsion.

Schools rarely publish exact similarity score thresholds since they review reports case-by-case. Butaim for under 15% to be safe. Some may question scores over 10%. Proper citation is crucial, though minimizing duplication through paraphrasing is ideal.

What Percentage is Considered Plagiarism?

There is no universal percentage that defines plagiarism. Institutional policies vary. However, here are general guidelines on plagiarism percentages:

  • Even small amounts like 5% of unoriginal content should be cited to avoid questions.
  • Most schools consider over 10% without citation to be plagiarism. 
  • 15% or more copied text is likely unacceptable and requires citation.
  • Over 20% similarity suggests excessive plagiarism despite citations.
  • 30%+ is severe plagiarism and could warrant disciplinary action if intentional.

The key is properly crediting all unoriginal content through in-text citations and references. However, paraphrasing sources in your own words is better than over-relying on direct quotes. Aim to keep any copied text under 10% with proper attribution.

Percentage of Plagiarism Allowed

Most institutions permit limited plagiarism if properly cited. Here are the commonly accepted percentages:

  • Academic writing: Up to 10% with citations 
  • Professional writing: Ideal under 5% 
  • Online content: No more than 2% direct quotes
  • Turnitin: Aim for under 15% similarity

 While 10% academically or 5% professionally may comply with plagiarism policies, less is better. Avoid patchwriting and rely more on paraphrasing sources. Use just enough referenced duplication to provide context for your original analysis. Proper in-text citations are critical.

Acceptable Plagiarism Percentage 


what is a good plagiarism score

What’s an acceptable percentage for plagiarism? Guidelines include:

  • Academic papers: Up to 10% with proper citation
  • Professional papers: Ideally under 5% 
  • Online content: Less than 2% of direct quotes 
  • Turnitin score: Under 15% similarity 

Most schools allow limited referenced plagiarism, but professionals prefer minimal duplication. Use just enough properly cited unoriginal content to frame your own original thoughts and analysis. Paraphrasing is better than direct quotation for reducing plagiarism percentages without losing context.

What is the Acceptable Percentage of Plagiarism Report?

Most schools want originality reports like Turnitin to show minimal plagiarism. Here are general guidelines on acceptable plagiarism percentages:

  • Academic papers: Up to 10% may comply with policies is properly cited
  • Professional papers: Should aim for less than 5% copied content  
  • Online writing: No more than 2% direct duplication
  • Turnitin: Strive for under 15% similarity for original work

While 10% academically or 5% professionally may fall within plagiarism guidelines, less is always better. Limit quotes and paraphrased text with proper in-text citations.

Rely more on your own original analysis and conclusions. Proper attribution is required, but minimize unoriginal content when possible.

What Percent Similarity is Bad on Turnitin? 

There is no definitive Turnitin match percentage universally considered "bad" or unacceptable. Plagiarism thresholds depend on specific institutional policies. However, here are some general guidelines:

  • Under 10%: Very low similarity, minimal risks if properly cited
  • 15%: Potential cut-off at some schools; verify citations
  • 25%: Likely excessive, warranting review and revision  
  • 30%+: Extremely high, expect rejection or failure 
  • 50%+: Severe plagiarism, could lead to suspension

The higher the score, the greater the risks of issues from excessive duplication. Aim to keep match percentages under 15% by citing sources properly and paraphrasing. Anything over 20% is risky without revisions. With proper attribution, under 10% similarity is ideal for the original

Follow our tips like a pro!

The key is using just enough properly referenced unoriginal content to support your own innovative analysis while keeping duplication to a minimum through paraphrasing. 
Check your work with a plagiarism checker before submission. With smart citing practices and original writing, you can submit papers and content with confidence.

Frequently Asked Questions About Plagiarism Percentages

Q: What percentage of plagiarism is allowed in a dissertation?

A) Given their highly original requirements, dissertations generally allow no more than 1-2% similarity. Anything above 5% raises serious red flags and risks rejection on grounds of plagiarism.

Q: Can plagiarism under 5% be excused as accidental?

A) Potentially yes, if properly corrected and deemed clearly unintentional upon review. But under 5% similarities should be avoided whenever possible, and ignorance is not a foolproof defense. Prevention is best.

Q: Is 12% similarity okay for a research paper?

A) No, 12% would be considered too high for a research paper which should contain predominantly original analysis and investigation. For research assignments, aim to keep plagiarism under 5% as a recommended guideline.

Q: What’s the maximum Turnitin score at the university level?

A) University policies vary but generally aim to keep Turnitin scores under 15% similarity for original assignments, with proper attribution of sources. Matches above 25-30% warrant careful scrutiny and potential correction.

Q: Can I get expelled for plagiarism on one paper?

A) It’s unlikely for a single minor infraction. However, repeated or egregious violations demonstrating intent to deceive can potentially result in expulsion. Severe cases with high similarity percentages may also lead to suspension or removal even if first-time offense.


Knowing what plagiarism percentages are acceptable is crucial for any writer. By following plagiarism guidelines checking from a plagiarism checker, properly citing sources, and paraphrasing content, you can keep your originality scores low and avoid issues. 

For academic work, aim for under 10% similarity with proper citation. Professionals should contain less than 5% duplication. Online content should have minimal quoted text. Use our comprehensive plagiarism percentage guide to ensure your Turnitin scores and original content pass review. 



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