Sometimes it is preferable to be good at just one thing. Multi-tasking, working in several directions, trying to master numerous occupations—it all may sound nice, but in fact, it is seldom that there is much use coming out of such an approach. Anyways, talking about today’s subject of review— the online student-oriented website PaperRater.com—it is fair to say that it confirms what is written above: trying to please everyone may not be the best strategy. PaperRater.com offers a number of services aimed at assisting students in writing their essays; in particular, it checks spelling and grammar in submitted papers, and automatically grades them. Of course, a plagiarism-checking tool is integrated into the website as well—and, to be honest, it is not very useful.
PaperRater.com uses Bing as its search engine, and checks for plagiarism only throughout the Internet, as it does not have its own comparison base of submitted essays. Along with the advantages this system provides (the main one being that it works similarly to Google), there is one nuance one needs to pay attention to: new pages appearing on the Web are not indexed immediately; usually, the system needs some time to index a new website, so there is a slight chance that if you copy the content of the new page within this “indexing window,” it will not be recognized later as plagiarism.
It is not yet clear how many words in a row can be recognized as plagiarism, but what is known for sure is that PaperRater.com works as a regular plagiarism checker—meaning that it is unable to detect plagiarism if a student uses such tricks as changing the word order in sentences, or using synonyms instead of the words used in the original text. This is rather bad—as well as the plagiarism checker’s incapability to detect paraphrasing (well, no one would expect that, considering that even the most basic of students’ tricks can still fool the service). It is also unclear whether there are false alarms in the plagiarism checker’s work—meaning the cases when, for example, words frequently used in English are marked as plagiarism—since the service does not provide full reports on the results of the checks it performs; the only way to do this would be to compare fragments of the original text with those marked as plagiarized.
Recognition of the significant parts of a paper
PaperRater.com is rather straightforward in recognizing such significant parts of the text as quotations, for example. If you insert a phrase inside quotation marks, you will be fine; however, indirect quotations, even cited according to MLA/APA citations, will not be recognized, and will thus be considered plagiarism. It also does not recognize references, and considering that the same sources may be used in multiple different works throughout the Internet, simply using a name of such a source in your work will automatically mark it as plagiarism, which is not correct.
It is extremely basic, and cannot provide users with high-quality checks. This, as well as the service’s undetailed plagiarism reports, does not let us grade PaperRater.com higher.
Time of checking
Maybe because the quality of the plagiarism checks is so poor, the speed with which PaperRater.com supposedly monitors the entire Internet is lightning-fast. Perhaps this is also why the plagiarism-checking tool has no time indicator, and why you cannot scan several papers at once: it takes the service about 10 seconds to scan any paper you upload, so why bother uploading a batch of them? We doubt the credibility of such checks.
As it turned out, PaperRater.com has a basic and a premium version of the plagiarism checker. Considering how poorly their basic version works, we cannot believe anyone would want to pay for a premium package.
Anyways, the basic version does provide a report after each scan, but its use is little to none, since it only shows the overall percentage of the plagiarism detected without highlighting the problematic fragments of the text. If you want to check what exactly the system considered to be plagiarism, you can manually open each of the links the report graciously provides you with, and read through the texts on your own. It is inconvenient, annoying, and takes a lot of time. The report, however, automatically includes information about your writing style and vocabulary—as if it is needed from a plagiarism checker.
Text input methods
You can either copy-paste the text you want to scan into a special field, or upload it via one of the popular document formats such as .doc, .docx, .txt, .odt, and .rtf.
Well, in case you wanted to download the report in PDF and see it later, or send it to your teacher, you cannot. Your only option is sending it to print right after the check is finished—otherwise you will need to scanit again. As for sharing your results, you can send the link to the report to anyone, but it is useless, considering the fact that the report does not display the text that has been scanned.
Working with the report
There is no way you can choose whether you want to check quotes and citations, or not, so you can only guess what the results of every check will be. The report is completely non-interactive, so whatever manipulations with the text you wanted to do (like, making the corrections and rescanning the text), you will need to start a new scan for that.
There is a plagiarism report, that’s it. It is basic, it lacks details, but we have seen worse.
Prices, Guarantee, Safety
Price of the service
As it has been pointed out before, there is a basic, free version, and a premium version that you need to pay for. The free version has a limit—you can scan papers up to five pages long, although the amount of checks is unlimited. The premium version costs almost 15 dollars per month, and for this price, you get to scan longer texts—up to 20 pages per one check. Unfortunately, the quality of the check does not increase, so we see no point in purchasing the subscription.
Money back guarantee
There is no information about the money back guarantee on PaperRater’s website, so we think this option is, alas, unavailable.
Multiple checks of the same paper showed the same plagiarism check result, which means that PaperRater.com does not save your works in its base, and you can use it safely.
At least it is safe, and it is honest: the free version of the service is not inferior in terms of functionality (in other words, both free and paid versions are equally mediocre).
Overall Plagiarismcheck.org Evaluation
A fast and free plagiarism checker, which needs some improvements of its plagiarism scanning capabilities and user experience.
- PaperRater.com provides users with a free version of its plagiarism checker, the quality of which is equal to the paid version.
- The service works fast, so if you care more about the time of the check rather than its quality, PaperRater.com might be an option for you.
- Low plagiarism report quality.
- Unsophisticated plagiarism checking algorithms.
- Overall inconvenience of usage.