Step-By-Step Guide: How to Check for Plagiarism in Google Docs

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Definition of Plagiarism

Plagiarism is the act of presenting someone else’s work or ideas as your own, without giving adequate credit to the originator. From writing assignments at school to creating content for business, plagiarism, intentional or not, can lead to serious consequences.

Importance of Plagiarism Checking

Checking for plagiarism is vital as it ensures your work is original and authentic. It helps maintain academic integrity, respect for intellectual property, and allows for the cultivation of unique ideas and thoughts instead of copy-pasting existing ones.

Brief on Google Docs

Google Docs is a word processing application that allows you to create, edit, and store documents online. Its online collaboration and sharing capabilities make it an excellent tool for teams. However, checking for plagiarism in Google Docs requires some additional steps, which we’ll explore in this guide.

Basics of Google Docs

Introductory Information About Google Docs

Google Docs, part of Google’s suite of productivity tools, provides a platform for creating, sharing, and editing textual content. As a cloud-based tool, it facilitates access to your files from anywhere, anytime, and from any device.

Features & Benefits of Google Docs

From real-time collaboration to smart editing and styling tools, Google Docs offers numerous benefits. It supports add-ons and extensions for additional functionality, has an autosave feature that ensures you never lose your work, and integrates seamlessly with other Google services.

How Google Docs Helps in Writing

Apart from basic writing, Google Docs aids in providing suggestions for improving your writing, supports multiple languages, enables voice typing, and encourages collaborative writing and editing in real-time. However, it does not have an inbuilt plagiarism detection system, hence necessitating manual or automated plagiarism checks.

Importance of Checking for Plagiarism in Google Docs

Necessity for Plagiarism Checks

Since Google Docs doesn’t have a built-in plagiarism checker, it’s essential to know how to check for copied content manually or with third-party apps. Ensuring your work is unique not only helps maintain integrity but also enhances credibility.

Impact of Plagiarism on Academic and Professional Works

Plagiarism can lead to severe ramifications such as reputational damage, legal consequences, and loss of trust. In academics, plagiarism often results in failed grades, while in professional settings, it might lead to job loss or legal action.

Issues with Unchecked Plagiarism in Google Docs

Unchecked plagiarism in Google Docs could result in your work being flagged by search engines, damaging your SEO efforts. More importantly, it could violate copyright laws, making you liable for punishment.

Manual Methods to Check for Plagiarism in Google Docs

Basic Copy-Pasting and Google Search Technique

One of the simplest methods to check for plagiarism is to copy a section of text and paste it into a Google search. However, this method can be time-consuming and may not detect cleverly paraphrased or rearranged content.

Using Quotation Marks for Exact Phrase Searching

Using quotation marks around a sentence or phrase in Google search can help spot exact match plagiarism. Google will only return results containing the quoted phrase precisely as you typed it.

Advanced Google Search Features for Detecting Plagiarism

Google’s advanced search features, such as the ‘filetype’ and ‘site’ operators, can help dig deeper into specific resources and find potential plagiarism.

Automated Ways to Check for Plagiarism in Google Docs

Using Google’s Inbuilt ‘Check My Work’ Feature for Students

Google offers a Check my work feature for students that checks against billions of web pages and books. It is accessible through Google Classroom and Google Assignments.

Third-Party Applications Integrable with Google Docs


Grammarly is a popular tool that not only checks for grammar mistakes but also plagiarism. It compares your text with billions of web pages rapidly.


Turnitin is widely used in academic institutions to check for plagiarism. It offers a Google Docs add-on for direct checking.


Plagscan checks your work against millions of scientific journals, books, and the web, displaying a plagiarism score after scanning.


ProWritingAid is another useful tool that checks for plagiarism while providing detailed feedback on your writing style and structure.

Advanced Tips to Prevent Plagiarism while Working in Google Docs

Using Citation and References

Cite your sources appropriately to give credit to the original authors. You can use the Explore tool in Google Docs to make this easier.

Paraphrasing Properly

Paraphrasing is not just about altering a few words but changing the structure and language while keeping the original meaning intact.

Cross-checking All Information Sources

Make sure to cross-check all your sources before taking any information from them. Credible sources are much less likely to contain plagiarized material.

Use of Plagiarism Checking Tools Constantly during Writing Process

Regular checks during the writing process can help detect and fix plagiarism issues immediately, saving you hassle and time later.


Plagiarism checking in Google Docs is imperative to ensuring the integrity and uniqueness of your work. While Google Docs doesn’t have an inbuilt plagiarism checker, several manual methods and third-party applications can help. Regular and rigorous checks for plagiarism not only maintain academic integrity but also boost your credibility and reputation.


Does Google Docs have a built-in plagiarism checker?

No, Google Docs does not have a built-in plagiarism checker. However, Google offers a separate feature called Check my work for students through Google Classroom and Google Assignments.

What is the easiest way to check for plagiarism on Google Docs?

The easiest way is by using third-party applications like Grammarly, Turnitin, or ProWritingAid that integrate with Google Docs for direct checking.

What are the best third-party plagiarism checkers for Google Docs?

Some of the best third-party checkers include Grammarly, Turnitin, Plagscan, and ProWritingAid.

How accurate is Google Docs’ Check my work feature?

Google’s Check my work feature is relatively accurate as it checks your work against billions of online sources. However, it may not be as comprehensive as specialized plagiarism checking tools.

Is it necessary to use a plagiarism checker while writing in Google Docs?

Yes, to ensure the originality and authenticity of your work, it’s necessary to use a plagiarism checker.

What are the consequences of having plagiarized work in Google Docs?

Plagiarized work can lead to severe consequences, from damaged SEO rankings and reputational harm to legal issues.

How can I prevent plagiarism while using Google Docs?

By citing sources, paraphrasing correctly, cross-checking all information, and using plagiarism checking tools during the writing process, you can prevent plagiarism in Google Docs.