How to Create a Plagiarism Checker

Plagiarism is one person using the written works of another without permission. This is illegal and can be damaging to the original writer. Plagiarism checkers are computer programs that take a work and compare it to other works to see if it matches. Most operate by inputting what they are checking into a search engine or database and comparing it to other works.

Document the programming process. You should record and document every step of your work. This will make it easier to go back and fix if something goes awry with your plagiarism checker. It will also be of great use to any future users or editors of your plagiarism checker, including yourself.

Decide how you want your plagiarism checker to work. You must determine how information will be inputted into the detector, such as cut and paste or scanning. You must also determine how results will be determined. You must also decide on the type of interface, and the program's complexity, user-friendliness and style.

Create an algorithm for the plagiarism checker. Algorithms are plans for a program. Algorithms show how the program will actually do the checking. For example, how will your checker connect to a search engine and what will it search for? Algorithms are often written in pseudo code, a form of writing that is less formal than actual code.

Code the plagiarism checker. Coding is where you write the computer code that actually runs the checker. There are several different coding languages and programs which you can use. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks. Coding is a time-consuming and exacting process.

Test and debug the plagiarism checker. After the coding has been completed, the plagiarism checker must be used repeatedly to check to see if it works. Even if the program performs well, there may be minor glitches and bugs in the program. Repeated testing can expose these problems. When problems are discovered, the code should be changed in order to fix these problems. Each fix may require new decisions and algorithms.

Tips

  • Take classes in computer programming, as well as those that teach search engines and databases.

Warnings

  • Expect to have find many problems with your plagiarism checker, especially in the early phases. Expect the final product to have its flaws as it is almost impossible for a computer program to be able to find all instances of plagiarism.

References

About the Author

Shannon Johnson has been a freelance writer since 2008, specializing in health and organic and green-living topics. She practiced law for five years before moving on to work in higher education. She writes about what she lives on a daily basis.