Tag Archives | essays

Best Free Plagiarism Checkers

Image by woodleywonderworks, Flickr

Image by woodleywonderworks, Flickr

With the advent of digital technology and the billions of bits of data available at the tip of a click, it has become far too easy to find content online on any subject. Students can be tempted to copy and paste another person’s work and claim it as their own, thinking it’s unlikely they will be caught. This problem has become even more prevalent with the rise in popularity of e-learning.

It has become critical for teachers and professors to check students’ work with a plagiarism checker to ensure the work submitted is original and that the student understands the concepts he or she has elaborated upon in an assignment. Sometimes you may read and understand a passage, but inadvertently write down the idea with the same phrases as the original author. Using a plagiarism checker will help you avoid these mistakes – it’s just like asking someone to read your paper to point out any grammar or vocabulary errors you may have overlooked.

There are numerous online plagiarism checkers verification websites you can use:

Plagerismchecker
This plagiarism checking website has an easy to navigate interface that greets visitors. The tool you are interested in is prominently featured on the page and it’s extremely simple to cut and paste the work you need to check using their platform. You do have to fill in a captcha, but this is a security measure to ensure the website is not overloaded by a web hack so you know the site will be constantly running.

The site’s beta tool has a 6,500 word limit but this is considerably higher than other services which sometimes limit word counts to only 1,000 per check.

Plagiarismchecker.net provides some value-added services which makes it an excellent site for more than just checking your work for plagiarism. Doctor Jan is available to help answer questions students may have and guide them with academic work. Besides offering their own website checking service, this site also has a detailed analysis of over 30 plagiarism checking websites along with a rating (out of 6) for each site.

Plagiarismcheck.org
When you land on this service’s home page you are greeted with a simple screen which is de-cluttered and visually appealing. Unlike some other plagiarism checking websites that have too much going on, this one has a neat and clean concept. The service allows you to upload files in any format and does not have a word count limitation.

However, this website forces you to create an account to use their service and this can be a major turn off if you want to just perform a quick check of a document’s authenticity.

The service has been around since 2010 and is a reliable source for checking work for plagiarism – rest assured that it won’t miss content on the internet.

Plagscan
This website is not the most visually appealing, but it is functional and the tool you need is centered in the middle of the home page so you can’t miss it. You don’t need to install any software on your device – it’s a simple copy-paste-click operation to check for plagiarism. The website also has the option of uploading your file (in any format) to the site to verify the academic content’s originality. As the service processes your text, it lists the websites and sources against which the text is being checked. Best of all, the service is absolutely free with no hidden costs.

Besides a lack of visual appeal, the website only allows you to check 1,000 words at a time. This means anything longer will have to be verified in multiple steps.

As the popularity of e-learning increases, plagiarism occurrences might also see a rise. It is important for educational services to teach students about the importance of submitting original content and remind them about the serious consequences plagiarized work entails. These strategies need to be combined with a strong plagiarism checking tool to ensure students stay honest with their submissions.

This article was contributed by guest author Garry Fisher.

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15 Helpful Online Writing Tools for Students

Image by Tim Riley, Flickr

Image by Tim Riley, Flickr

A student’s life pretty much revolves around writing, whether it’s essays or narratives. We can all claim to know how to write, but not everyone can meet the accepted writing standards, or even coherently – that is why at times it is considered to be a skill that requires mastery. In connection to this, software developers came up with some tools which can be used to enhance an individual’s writing abilities. This piece will cover 15 of the most helpful online tools which students can use to improve their art.

  1. Google Docs
    This free spreadsheet, form application and web based word processor that is offered by Google allows the user to create and edit documents, while at the same time collaborating with others in real time.
  2. ReadWriteThink
    From the name, you can tell that this is not exactly one tool. It can help enhance all the three skills. The tool is perfect for high schoolers. With these interactive online writing tools, students can be helped with a number of writing tasks including: writing business letters on templates, comic creation, and practicing storyboarding skills.
  3. 3D Writer
    This simple, single minded tool can be downloaded and installed on your PC. The tool operates just like a word processing program but it is more of a “lean and mean” version. It is very helpful when it comes to creating hypertext fiction.
  4. Button Talk
    This is the MAC version of 3D Writer. What this application does best is focus on story writing. You can use the tool to explore dozens of links to use for hyperlinking. It is simple to use and can be used at a variety of education levels.
  5. Poetry Forge
    With this particular tool, poetry writing is simplified even for the students who claim to hate it. Poetry Forge comes with a number of online tools that will help you to come up with original poetry.
  6. Word counter
    Students can make the most of this tool when writing to help them count the number of times a word has been used in a document. The tool is ideal for students who have a tendency of overusing certain words.
  7. Citation machine
    This interactive web tool is designed to help students quickly and more appropriately cite their sources.
  8. Language tool
    A very effective tool that can be used to check and spot mistakes that may go unnoticed by your word processor. It detects spelling, syntax and grammar errors.
  9. Cliché finder
    At times it is hard to avoid clichés. However, if they are used in a witty way and sparingly, they can come in handy. The cliché finder helps the writer to detect all the clichés found in a document.
  10. BibMe
    Most (if not all) scholarly papers need a bibliography. Students are required to make citations of the source information that they are to include in their paper. This tool provides students with four formats: MLA, APA, Chicago or Turabian for citation.
  11. StayFocusd
    The tool helps students to maintain a clear head as they attempt to work on their assignment. Focusing for students can be hard, but StayFocusd helps by limiting the amount of time you can spend on time-wasting websites.
  12. Readability-Score.com
    Checking the readability of a school paper can be used to determine whether the paper fits the appropriate level of education. You certainly don’t want to be a grade 12 student with a writing level of a grade 2!
  13. MindMup
    A good number of students know how to research and come up with great concepts, but fail to execute them. MindMup is a very useful tool that helps students organize their ideas.
  14. Grammarly
    Grammarly is an online tool that is used to check for and highlight grammar mistakes for correction.
  15. Paper Rater
    Students can use the tool to check grammar, spell-check and check for plagiarism.

If the maths interest you, check out this infographic on math facts. And if you need to do some technical writing, check out these technical tools 83 experts use.

This article was contributed by guest author Amber Woods.

Out-of-the-Box Tips for Editing An Essay

Image by Joanna Penn, Flickr

Image by Joanna Penn, Flickr

Five letters, two syllables, the bane of every post-secondary students’ existence – what am I? That’s right, I’m The Essay.

It may come as a shock, but no one likes writing essays. No one, not even English majors. And if they say they do, they are either a) lying straight through their teeth, b) being held at gunpoint and forced to say such ludicrous things, or c) likely not 100% human and you should be wary.

If you need tips on how to write an essay without feeling like you’re losing a part of your soul in the process, make sure to check out our other article here. If you’ve managed to finish that essay and are now dancing your way to the printer thinking that you’re done, STOP, because you are about to skip a very crucial final step towards completing your essay: the editing process.

Check out these following tips on editing if you want to turn that Okay-Essay into a solid Killer one:

Finish ahead of the deadline. For you self-proclaimed procrastinators reading this, I will wait for you to stop laughing. Complete the essay without pulling an all-nighter? Crazy talk. But finishing an essay way before the due date will not only save you some precious hours of sleep that your body will thank you for later on, but it will also give you the ample time you need to reflect and review your essay properly.

Edit the content before the grammar. There is no point in breaking up that run-on sentence with a couple of commas and periods if the entire sentence itself doesn’t apply to what you’re writing about. Read the essay through first for coherency, consciously checking that all of the examples line up with the arguments, and the arguments with the overall thesis. It’s very common for your ideas to morph into something entirely different during the writing process, so take the time to make sure that everything you have written down is there for a reason.

Get a little creative with the copyediting. This is just a fancy term that basically means to edit for grammar and spelling. For this part of the editing process, there is the tried and true method of reading the essay all the way through from top to bottom. To make this method really effective, make sure to step away from your masterpiece for at least a few days or more. This ensures that you will have a fresh pair of eyes, and increases the likelihood of catching that deadly “there/their/they’re” typo (a tragic mistake that has never been committed before).

Other techniques you can try that are a little more fun are reading the essay backwards, and reading it out loud. Breaking all rules and conventions of literacy by reading from right to left is especially helpful for spell checking, as it will automatically lead your eyes to focus on each individual word. Oral dictation may sound weird, but it will aid in testing for coherency, as hearing the arguments that you’ve constructed aloud gives you a better chance of determining if it makes sense or not. Find your own voice annoying, or embarrassed to read out loud because you’re in a public place? No worries, just pop in your earphones and plug it into Google translate. Or if you’re a Mac user, this would be a good excuse to use the dictation app (and choose from a multitude of varying voices and enchanting accents, just to spice things up).

Have a friend or two take a gander. An unbiased perspective is perfect for verifying the awesomeness of your essay. This may require a few bribes of candy bars and deposits of some I-Owe-You’s for future withdrawal, but it makes a significant difference having your essays looked at by someone other than yourself. If they can find it understandable and give you positive feedback, then it increases the chances of you professor or TA feeling the same way. The more people you can sweet talk into reading your essay before submitting it, the better.

Though it can be excruciating (and I mean Dropping-That-Last-Bite-Of-Your-Favourite-Cookie-Into-Dog-Poop level of pain) to not submit what you’ve already got and have it ridden from your life forever, editing your essay is a vital last step that can make a huge difference when it comes to the marking process. It could very well be the definitive factor in moving your B essay up to an A.

So go forth, polish those essays off, and start the countdown leading towards the last essay you’ll ever have to write in your post-secondary career! We’ll be here waiting with the celebratory champagne.

5 Ways You Can Get an “F” on Any Academic Paper

Image by Elvert Barnes, Flickr

Image by Elvert Barnes, Flickr

Writing an academic paper is a regular activity at school and it’s a way for students to showcase their abilities in gathering data, writing, and more. Writing an excellent paper is one of the goals of every student because they get to improve their knowledge, acquire better grades and develop certain skills that will be able to help them in their studies. However, it seems that only a few students are able to accomplish such a feat. Getting an “F” is the last thing a student wants to see on their paper, but if you don’t put the effort in, you can’t expect great results. As a student, it’s your responsibility to excel at your studies no matter what, and you have to find out what’s causing the problem. Here are a few examples of the problems that you should prevent before it’s too late.

  1. Getting easily distracted
  2. There’s certainly no way you’ll be able to write a great paper if your mind isn’t in the right place. Being unable to focus is the result of boredom taking over and you won’t be able to finish if you allow it to continue. Distractions are pretty much everywhere and you’ll have to avoid them as much as possible. Work on your paper in an isolated place like the library or your own room provided you’ve cleared away anything that can cause distractions. Be sure to turn off your Internet connection, laptop and your phone while you’re at it.

  3. Experiencing “writer’s block”
  4. If you can’t seem to write anything, then it’s a clear sign you have a writer’s block – the worst thing that could happen to you while writing. Forcing yourself to think will only make things worse, as your brain isn’t working with you. You’re pretty much doomed to fail, unless you do something about it. According to some studies, exhaustion can cause writer’s block, which is why you should take enough time to recover from your mental and physical fatigue so you’ll be able to write without any problems.

  5. Taking the easy way out
  6. Most students aren’t fond of spending too much time on their papers, which is why they’re doing everything they can to shorten the amount of time needed to write. Copying articles word for word is one of their usual strategies, which is obviously a form of cheating, as is getting someone else to write it for you. Writing a brilliant paper will take some time because you’ll need to do proper research to write a compelling argument on your topic. Remember that your patience and effort in writing can eventually pay off in the form of an “A+”.

  7. Getting information from a single source
  8. There are many reliable sources of information that can be used, but the problem is that most students are narrowing their search into a single medium. They have a great dependence on the Internet since information is easily accessible in seconds, but it might lack on some areas of their topic. Aside from the Internet, try reading books or asking knowledgeable people about the subject so that you’ll be able to cover more ground, and that would greatly reinforce your arguments.

  9. Writing at the last minute
  10. Tardiness is very common among students nowadays and it could have a negative impact on your study habits. Working on essays or assignments at the very last minute is a good example of something that can result in a paper truly deserving of a failing grade. You need to set your priorities straight if you want to gain positive results from your efforts, and writing your assignments should take precedence once you get home. It won’t be easy, but it’s definitely for your own good.

There you have it! Hopefully, you’ve learned what to avoid when you’re writing academic papers. Good luck!

This article was contributed by guest author Sophia Jennings.