Is Grammarly’s Plagiarism Checker Any Good? Is it Accurate?

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Candace Osmond

Candace Osmond studied Advanced Writing & Editing Essentials at MHC. She’s been an International and USA TODAY Bestselling Author for over a decade. And she’s worked as an Editor for several mid-sized publications. Candace has a keen eye for content editing and a high degree of expertise in Fiction.

Online tools have made it possible to submit articles and essays without spelling and grammar errors. But software developers decided to take things to the next level through plagiarism checkers. One well-known online tool is Grammarly.

I use Grammarly’s plagiarism checker every day for content creation and article writing. It’s easy to use and pretty accurate.

Is Grammarly’s plagiarism checker accurate and reliable? If you’re a student or professional writer, this article will help you decide whether to get the online tool or not. 

Pros and Cons of Grammarly’s Plagiarism Checker

Are you wondering if Grammarly Plagiarism Checker is worth it? Let’s have a peek at its benefits and drawbacks. 

Pro: Highly Accurate

Grammarly’s accuracy can be attributed to its vast database. It scans your content from billions of websites and articles to let you know if you copied other people’s works.

One bonus is the ability to produce content with impeccable grammar, thanks to the pre-purchased Grammarly Premium. You get to fix your grammar structure, readability, and lively sentence variety before or after conducting plagiarism checks.

Pro: Unlimited Plagiarism Checks

Grammarly lets you use the plagiarism checker from time to time as long as you’re subscribed to the premium features. This feature is ideal for academic writers, content marketers, and students who constantly need to cite sources or keep the original version of their works intact.

Other plagiarism checkers require payment to access the plagiarism feature for a single document. Others do not accept lengthy articles because of their daily limits. There are also premium users of other grammar checkers who make separate transactions for plagiarism checks.

With Grammarly Premium, you don’t have to worry about paying from time to time or waiting before you can rerun the editor.

Con: Expensive

Grammarly’s plagiarism checker can be expensive because it comes with the Premium package. It starts at $30 per month or $12 per month with the annual plan, but you can also enjoy the advanced grammar checker for style corrections. With all the grammar features and unlimited plagiarism checks, the pricing ends up being quite attractive.

Features of the Grammarly Plagiarism Checker

Here’s a list of what Grammarly’ Plagiarism Checker has to offer.

Document Import and Export

Grammarly lets you upload .docx, .odt, .rtf, and .txt files so you can scan it for plagiarism. If you have a PDF document, you may copy and paste your content into the field provided.

Once you’re file checking your work for plagiarism, you can download it as a .docx file or print it directly from the application. 

Plagiarism Percentage

The plagiarism checker shows a small percentage of your plagiarism on the upper-right part of the screen. Note that this number does not indicate how much of your content is original but how much is plagiarized. 

You will also see an overall score on the right, which shows your performance based on grammar. 

Links to Sources

Grammarly displays a list of sources on the right while underlining the text that matches yours. Click on the link to see the original document or article. You may examine the source to know how to cite it.

Grammarly Premium

When you unlock Grammarly’s plagiarism feature, you also unlock the advanced grammar corrections. You can receive genre-specific suggestions on your documents according to four categories:

  • Correctness.
  • Clarity.
  • Engagement.
  • Delivery. 

Premium users can use the reliable grammar checker for passive voice, tone detection, sentence variety, and inclusive language.

Grammarly Business

Grammarly’s plagiarism checker is also available on the business version. If you subscribe to this plan, simultaneous document check-ups become easier since it can support up to 149 users. Aside from the automatic grammar checker, here are other features you’ll enjoy:

  • Admin panel.
  • Team usage statistics.
  • Centralized billing
  • Brand style guide.
  • Priority email support.
  • SAML single sign-on.
  • Plagiarism checker. 

Grammarly Business can fix the whole team’s grammar mistakes at $150 per seat annually. It will enable you to improve your workflow on your documents and content without needing multiple accounts. 

How to Use the Plagiarism Checker

To check for plagiarism on Grammarly, log in to the editor. You will see a button that says “New” and “Upload.” Feel free to upload a document, type your text, or copy and paste it to the space provided.

Grammarly will instantly display its grammar suggestions. But you need to click the Plagiarism button on the lower right part of the screen. Wait for a few minutes until the program has finished scanning.

Now you can modify, delete, or cite your sources to the author. 

Limitations to Grammarly Plagiarism Checker

Compared to other prevalent plagiarism checkers, Grammarly conducts excellent contextual plagiarism checks. But it’s not entirely perfect. After making a premium subscription, I tested a published online article I wrote to see if Grammarly catches the duplicate content.

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As expected, Grammarly Plagiarism Checker’s results showed that my online content is plagiarized because I used something I’d already published online. It also displayed the link to my article, stating that 100% of my text matches the source.

I clicked the blue lines to evaluate each sentence and paragraph flagged as plagiarism. But Grammarly also found matching text with another website I don’t know. I didn’t copy text from this source, as the statement is too general to be copied or unoriginal. 

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No plagiarism tool is perfect, whether you have a basic plagiarism checker or an advanced one. It can match text with other websites from which you didn’t intentionally copy.

In the end, you still need to use your judgment. Evaluate if you committed unintentional plagiarism and have to cite your source, or see if the text is a general fact.

Grammarly’s capabilities also include excluding false positives. False positives are words, phrases, and sentences flagged as plagiarism but unrelated to the database. 

Compared to other plagiarism detection tools, Grammarly catches only a few false positives when analyzing a piece of content. 

It makes a massive difference because other programs found more than seven plagiarized sources, five of which are untrue. But Grammarly only spots two.

Grammarly’s huge database may deem your work unoriginal because of plenty of articles with the exact wording. Regardless of the topic and context, the plagiarism checker can falsely spot major plagiarism in your work.

I also think Grammarly is a simple plagiarism checker because it cannot spot patch-written work. To be fair, no online plagiarism detector plugin can make a plagiarism report of this sort of plagiarism.

Patch-written work refers to tedious plagiarism where you copy a source text and use synonyms. You may also use a sentence structure builder to change its order to prevent plagiarism checkers from catching it. 

In short, I would consider Grammarly’s plagiarism detection trustworthy because it performs more in-depth plagiarism checks than other grammar checker software. But it’s still more of a text-matching software than an actual plagiarism checker. 

If you’re a regular content creator, this editor suffices for grammar checks and essential evaluation of original content.

What Plagiarism Percentage is Acceptable in Grammarly?

There is no research-backed information on what percentage is acceptable when conducting a plagiarism check on Grammarly. The program’s checking capabilities aren’t perfect since it catches false positives frequently. So, a text below 15% might be acceptable.

15% is the standard among many colleges, schools, and universities. They also believe that the similarity of 25% is already too high and may result in sanctions.

What Plagiarism Checker Do Teachers Use?

Grammarly Premium is only ideal when you want to counter-check non-academic documents. But teachers who require stringent plagiarism checks may rely on Scribbr and Turnitin to review articles for duplication.

Scribbr is a time-saving plagiarism checker that provides exact word matches and synonym swapping by comparing it against 99.3 billion web pages. Its current capability also includes keeping several source types like restricted journals, theses, and dissertations. 

This plagiarism tool also supports 20 languages. But it does not have access to Turnitin’s global database even if the program powers it.

The other program that teachers use is Turnitin. Students submit their work on this application, which creates a plagiarism report. The teacher then uses these document copies to grade students according to the originality of their work.

The students may also receive these reports to check for feedback. But they cannot edit their submission once they see the plagiarism results. 

What Plagiarism Checker Do Universities Use?

It’s essential to look for plagiarism detector alternatives that abide by university standards. Scribbr is the best option for university students because its database includes offline sources. 

Scribbr can compare your work against restricted journal articles and theses, making the Grammarly Plagiarism detector unworthy of a subscription for university students.

Verdict: Can I Rely on Grammarly’s Plagiarism Checker?

Grammarly has excellent capabilities for its plagiarism detection feature. It precisely pinpoints plagiarism through its huge database, then gives you the link to the source. The software also shows fewer false positives than other plagiarism checkers.

The only downside to the editor is its expensiveness. Grammarly Premium might be too expensive for new writers and students on a budget. 

Download Grammarly’s Plagiarism Checker so you can try the online writing assistant.