Top 5 Plagiarism Checkers For College Students

Sergio Guevara

Sergio Guevara

Head of Client Success at Gradehacker

Updated on June 22, 2022

You can find the top plagiarism checkers for college students in our YouTube video too!

Counting on a plagiarism checker is key to avoiding one of the most dangerous and common problems: accidental plagiarism.

As a college student, you must have heard your professor say something like, ‘If you commit plagiarism, you’ll get kicked out of this place!’. Yes, they take it very seriously, and so should you! 

You have to watch out not to copy (identically) the words of others. 

But it could happen that because you rely so heavily on a source, you unintentionally copy word for word and end up with duplicate content that your professor will see as plagiarism.

Here is where plagiarism checkers come in. You need to start using one; however, you don’t know which plagiarism software will suit your needs.

Here at Gradehacker, we are the non-traditional student’s most trusted resource. We have years of experience writing original papers and quality work, and we have a long and trusted relationship with online plagiarism checkers and their software. 

It’s important you have one too, and that’s why we are listing the best plagiarism checkers for college students that you should use to avoid plagiarism and any of the problems that come with it.

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A well-known and reliable option

Grammarly is a real lifesaver; it’s the bread and butter of plagiarism checkers. 

The Gradehacker team has used it extensively for years, and we’ve never had a problem detecting unintentional plagiarism. Grammarly not only helps you with grammar, punctuation, and flow in your writing, but it also has a plagiarism tool entirely for free

It has an enormous database, with 16 million web pages and ProQuest’s databases. Grammarly instantly checks every document you run through to find similarities or copied content.

Once you run your text, it gives you a plagiarism report and points out which is the duplicate content you need to change.

If Grammarly sounds like the app for you and you’d like to learn more about it, you can read our in-depth review or watch our video about it.

Grammarly’s Cost

As we mentioned, Grammarly has a free version that lets you access its most important features, including its plagiarism detector. But if you want to make use of their other advanced writing features, you’ll have to pay for any of the premium plans.

These are:

Grammarly’s Pros and Cons


User-friendly. No complicated layouts

Grammarly’s Premium features can cost up to $30 per month

Gives you a detailed report showing where there is potential plagiarism

You can use it for free

Ideal for students, professors, and content writers

College professor’s favorite plagiarism checker

You are probably familiar with Turnitin. Universities use this online tool to detect citation mistakes or inappropriate copying. Usually, you will find it integrated into the Assignment tool in online classrooms

Sometimes, your instructor will have a ‘Draft’ section, so you can test your academic paper before submitting the assignment. After that, you will receive a matching percentage, indicating the plagiarism score in your essay. 

That way, you and your instructor can know and review the originality score of your work.

What percentage of Turnitin is safe?

If you run your paper and get a plagiarism percentage below 15%, it means that there is no plagiarism. Still, we recommend aiming for below 10%.

However, if your score is around 15% or over 25%, you need to significantly edit your paper and lower your high percentage.

Turnitin’s Cost

Since this software is in your school portal, you don’t need to pay an extra fee.

Turnitin’s Pros and Cons


It’s a credible plagiarism detector

Sometimes you can upload your paper just one time without the chance of resubmitting your work

Provides grading tools to simplify the process of evaluating

On rare occasions, Turnitin may flag portions of a paper without proper cause

Helps you know the basics of plagiarism checkers without paying an extra fee

It might significantly influence a teacher’s thinking and criteria, leaving aside a more personal approach when evaluating a student’s work

A plagiarism checker that keeps the format

Unicheck is a cloud-based plagiarism checker that finds text similarities and references.

More than 550 institutions and over 1 million users worldwide use it. Unicheck implements an algorithm to check your paper for plagiarism within seconds, highlighting the duplicated sections with colors. 

Also, this tool will keep your assignment formatting the same, so it’s ideal for both academic and creative writers. 

Probably one of the more user-friendly plagiarism detection tools out there.

Top 5 Plagiarism Checking Software For College Students

Unicheck charges depending on the number of pages you need to get revised. Once you pay, you have six months to use them.

Unicheck’s Pros and Cons


You don’t have to download any extra software

Doesn’t detect paraphrase sections effectively

Unicheck won’t affect the formatting of your paper

Only checks for plagiarism. It doesn’t spot writing and grammar mistakes

You can check more than one file at the same time

The most accurate plagiarism checker

Plagramme is used by tons of users for its accuracy. It will give you an accurate report in a PDF and reduces the risk of plagiarism by 99%

Once again, you will have a color code to highlight plagiarized content so that you can fix it right away. 

You can also correct errors like inappropriate citations in your document to help you create original content more easily. This could be a good option if you are still skimming through plagiarism checks.

Plagramme’s Cost

One credit costs $0.35, which is enough to check a one-page paper with approximately 250 words of text. 

But if you are a student, you can also get a free account with partial functionality, which is enough to access their plagiarism tool without paying extra.

Plagramme’s Pros and Cons


Checks big documents in minutes

You can only access it from your computer

Supports all languages

You can’t copy-paste using Plagramme. You will always have to upload your paper as a file

Checks for plagiarism and grammar errors

Has an internal database of scholarly articles

Helps you write proper citations

Plagiarism checker that gives you a similarity report

PlagTracker can help teachers, students, and content creators detect all forms of plagiarism. 

Like previous checkers, this similarity checker uses a sophisticated algorithm to compare your paper with an extensive academic database of websites and other online sources. 

Then, you’ll get a report where you will be able to see all the source links and connections to any plagiarized material in your paper.

Top 5 Plagiarism Checking Software For College Students

PlagTracker’s Cost

PlagTracker is free, but they have a $15 premium version.

The main difference is that premium users can check larger files faster and more sophisticatedly, but aside from that, you can use its plagiarism checker software for free.

PlagTracker’s Pros and Cons


Generates PDF reports

Free searches are limited to 5000 words

Its Premium plan is not necessary to unlock the most important features

Check runs in free accounts may outline inaccurate scanning results

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How To Avoid Plagiarism While Writing

The next time you are in the research process for your papers, keep these steps in mind to avoid plagiarism even before doing plagiarism checks.

Paraphrase your information

Nowadays, the Internet is the primary source of information for every college student. So you may as well use it! 

However, you always have to ensure you put the information you read in your own words. You don’t have to be super wordy; just read the information and write it from your perspective.


Paraphrasing is essential, but sometimes you have to use the experts’ arguments to back up your words. 

Always be sure you are using the proper format (APA, MLA, Chicago) to cite your external sources. Doing so is a legitimate way of using external information to help you write your essays. 

If you are not sure how APA or MLA citation works, check out our formatting tutorials we have for each.


This process is similar, but you use the exact words of another author. This way, your argument will seem even more valid and will have an academic or peer-reviewed background.

Reference your sources

This is probably the most crucial part of avoiding plagiarism. 

Here, you give pertinent information about the authors you quoted, such as name, date of publication, title, and sources. This section is the final blow to your paper and will give proper credit to every single source you used. 

In other words, if you do this, you will be safe!

Say Goodbye To Unintentional Plagiarism

Now you know there are many ways to check for plagiarism in your papers, and for free! 

Pick any of the plagiarism detection tools we mentioned above, and you’ll see how you’ll never again fail important essays just because you unintentionally copied word-for-word your source.

But if academic writing is not your thing and you need help with your assignments, you can always get in touch with Gradehacker. We assist students like you with their essays and classes, and we assure you that you will end up with a 100% original paper that will make your professor proud.

And if you are looking for more college-related tips, don’t miss our related articles:

Sergio Guevara

Sergio Guevara

Sergio Guevara has been an avid essay writer and researcher for Gradehacker since 2018. He has helped countless non-traditional students with a plethora of subjects like literature, nursing, and history. Now as the head of the Client Success Team he’s constantly involved with SEO-driven content that can make the life of both non-traditional and traditional college students much easier. You can find him on LinkedIn

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