How to Check for Plagiarism in Microsoft Word: The Ultimate Guide of 2023

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How to Check for Plagiarism in Microsoft Word: The Ultimate Guide of 2023

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

The Ultimate Guide to Checking for Plagiarism in Microsoft Word


Word similarity checker

Plagiarism is a major issue in academic and professional writing. With the wealth of information available online, it can be tempting to copy and paste content into your documents. 

However, plagiarism can have serious consequences including failing assignments, loss of credibility, and even legal action. Thankfully, Microsoft Word provides easy tools to help you check your work for plagiarism before turning it in.

In this comprehensive guide, we'll cover everything you need to know about checking for plagiarism through the plagiarism checker in Word.

How to Use Microsoft Word's Similarity Checker

The easiest way to check for plagiarism in Word is to use the built-in similarity checker. Here's how to use it:

  1. Click on the "Review" tab in the ribbon at the top of the screen.
  2. Click "Check Document" and select "Check for Issues."
  3. Select "Check Plagiarism" from the options.
  4. The similarity checker will scan your document and highlight any problematic text it finds.
  5. Review the flagged passages to determine if changes need to be made to avoid plagiarism.

Word's similarity checker compares your text against a massive database to identify duplication. This helps catch plagiarism from online sources as well as other student papers.

The best part is that Word's similarity checker is completely free to use. There's no limit on the number of times you can check a document.

Adjusting Similarity Checker Settings in Word

You can customize the similarity checker to better suit your needs. Here are some of the key settings you can adjust:

  • Similarity sources - Choose whether to check against internet sources, the institution's repository, or both.
  • Excluded sources - Exclude any specific sources from the check that aren't relevant.
  • Excluded quotes - Choose whether to ignore text marked as a citation or quotation.
  • Excluded bibliography - Exclude the bibliography or works cited page from the check.
  • Excluded matches - Set the checker to ignore small matches under a certain word count.

Adjusting these settings can help refine the similarity report to focus on matches that are more likely to indicate a plagiarism issue. Find out how to measure software similarity tools online.

Interpreting the Similarity Report


Once the similarity checker completes, it will show a report detailing any matches it found. Here are some tips for interpreting the report:

  • Focus on high percentages - Matches under 10% may just be common phrases. Look closely at matches over 25%.
  • Check matched sources - Were quotes properly cited? Is the source reputable?
  • Identify missing citations - If a passage should be cited but isn't, this could indicate plagiarism.
  • Evaluate rewrite opportunities - Sometimes you can prevent plagiarism by rewriting copied phrases in your own words.
  • Allow for citations - Any properly formatted quotes and citations shouldn't be considered plagiarism.

Use the similarity report as a tool, not a definitive judgment. Investigate any medium-to-high matches to determine if plagiarism was intentional or if additional citing is needed.

Resolving Plagiarism Issues in Word

word similarity checker

Here are some tips for resolving any plagiarism issues uncovered during the similarity check:

  • Add missing citations - If you forgot to cite a quote or passage, add the appropriate citation.
  • Rewrite passages - Paraphrase or summarize in your own words rather than directly copying.
  • Use quotes properly - For any direct passages you keep, ensure they are formatted as quotations with citations.
  • Remove copied text - Deleting unauthorized copied text is better than risking plagiarism.
  • Check against new sources - Text copied without attribution is considered plagiarism, even if it isn't online.
  • Credit sources - Give credit to other researchers and authors for their ideas, even when not directly quoting.

Addressing plagiarized content before submitting your work can help you avoid serious consequences down the road.

Limitations of Word's Similarity Checker

While definitely useful, there are some limitations to relying solely on Word's similarity checker:

  • It only compares against sources in its database, which isn't comprehensive.
  • The checker can miss plagiarism from subscription journals or documents unavailable online.
  • It doesn't recognize plagiarism from non-digital sources like printed books or magazines.
  • The algorithm may not detect some paraphrased text taken without attribution.
  • There could be false positives highlighting commonly used phrases.

To address these limitations:

  • Supplement with other plagiarism checkers that use different source databases.
  • Have a teacher or other expert review for plagiarism the checker misses.
  • Focus on proper citation practices rather than solely on similarity scores.
  • Never copy text unless you can appropriately quote and cite the source.

Used right alongside human review, Word's similarity checker is an incredibly helpful tool for identifying and avoiding plagiarism. But it shouldn't be your only defense against copied work.

Plagiarism Checking Beyond Microsoft Word

word similarity checker

While Word's built-in tool is handy, you also have other options for checking for plagiarized or unoriginal content.

Third-Party Plagiarism Checker Software

Top options like SEOToolsPark and Grammarly can provide a deeper analysis by comparing your text against an even larger range of sources. While free plagiarism checkers are available, paid services provide more robust tools to enhance your writing.

Browser Extensions

Extensions like Copyleaks or Unicheck offer on-the-fly plagiarism detection while you're searching online. They can help warn you if you accidentally copy from a website without proper attribution.

Google Search

Believe it or not, you can double-check for plagiarism using Google search. Just paste a suspect phrase or section of text into Google to see if it appears verbatim online. If it does, you may need to rewrite or cite it.

Faculty Assistance

Don't be afraid to approach a teacher or advisor if you're unsure about your citations or want a second opinion on your work's originality. They can provide qualified guidance.
Using a combination of tools and human checking can help identify plagiarism that automated checkers miss.

The key is thoroughly checking your work before submitting it. Get to know how you can find plagiarism checkers with more than 1000 Words in seconds


Q: Does Word have a plagiarism checker?

A) Yes! Word has a built-in similarity checker that compares your document against internet sources and other publications to identify potential plagiarism. Just go to the Review tab and select “Check for Issues.”

Q: Can Microsoft Word check for plagiarism?

A) Absolutely. Word's similarity checker can scan your document for passages that match content found online or in other database sources. It highlights copied text so you can review and cite or rewrite as needed.

Q: How to check similarity in Word?

A) Click the Review tab > Check Document > Check for Issues > Check Plagiarism. This runs the similarity checker to flag duplicated text. You can adjust the detection settings for more refined results.

Q: Can Word check for plagiarism?

A) Microsoft Word has an integrated plagiarism checker that compares your document to online and offline sources. It identifies text matches that may require additional citation or rewriting to avoid plagiarism allegations.

Q: How to check plagiarism in MS Word?

A) Use Word's similarity checker. Just go to Review > Check Document > Check for Issues > Check Plagiarism. The system will scan your work and highlight passages that match existing sources so you can properly cite or paraphrase the content.

Q: How to check for plagiarism in Word?

A) Word has a built-in plagiarism checker you can easily access. Click Review > Check Document > Check for Issues > Check Plagiarism. The similarity checker will scan your document and identify any passages that may be copied from other sources.

Q: How to see plagiarism in Word?

A) When you run the plagiarism checker in Word, it will highlight any text that matches existing sources in blue. Review the flagged passages to see if additional citation is needed or if you should paraphrase the content in your own words to avoid plagiarism.


Plagiarism can lead to serious consequences in academic, professional, and creative contexts. Thankfully, Microsoft Word provides effective built-in tools to help you proactively check your work for plagiarism or unoriginal content.

By using Word's similarity checker, customizing the settings, properly interpreting the results, and addressing any issues discovered, you can mitigate your risk of plagiarism allegations through a plagiarism checker. While Word's tool has limitations, supplementing with other checkers and human review can further validate your work's originality.

The key takeaways are:

  • Use Word's similarity checker to compare online and offline sources
  • Adjust settings to refine matches related to plagiarism specifically
  • Investigate medium-to-high similarity results for missing citations
  • Resolve issues by adding citations, rewriting, or removing text
  • Combine Word's tool with other checkers and human input for maximum assurance

Following these best practices can help you confidently submit original, properly referenced work with Word's plagiarism checker. Let me know if you would like me to add this conclusion to the blog post or if you have any other feedback. I'm happy to incorporate your suggestions.



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