Is There A Free Version Of Turnitin? Top Turnitin Alternatives!

Why would students want a free version of Turnitin? Well If you’ve been to University in the last ten years or so you are bound to have come across plagiarism software. Software like Turnitin is ubiquitous in modern day education. It serves an essential purpose in an era where plagiarism is potentially easier than ever. The modern student has access to so much information on the net nowadays, and it is so easy to lift an essay simply by copy and paste.

Enter Turnitin. This popular plagiarism software was introduced back in 1997 and has grown to be very popular on University Campuses around the world. Students are typically asked to submit their essays to Turnitin before being marked. The software trawls the net looking for similarities in the text to work already published. It also has a database of offline student work to compare with. Course lecturers will typically accept a few percentage points of similarity before calling a work plagiarised. It is an essential deterrent against plagiarism in the digital era.

Best Turnitin Alternatives!

However, Turnitin isn’t free – it requires an expensive license. So we are investigating alternatives to Turnitin to see if there exists a holy grail – a free version of Turnitin that offers a quality plagiarism scan.

Unplag.com

Unplag is one piece of plagiarism kit that would be particularly useful to students and academics. Could it be a free version of Turnitin?

The great thing about Unplag is there is no need to download or do an installation as it works entirely online.

It checks your piece of work against an amazing 16 Billion pages that can be found on search engines like Bing and Google. After the 4-second scan is complete, you get a report of the percentage similarity. It also highlights where your work is unoriginal and provides a hyperlink to the source. Pretty cool stuff.

The good

  • You can test it for free using their 275-word free trial.
  • Four types of scan can be done.
  • It takes docx, pdf, HTML and txt files.

The bad

  • It isn’t free. An annual subscription costs $4.99 per month. The monthly cost is greater for shorter time periods like one month or three months.

Verdict – this is a useful tool and won’t break the bank. $4.99 isn’t all that expensive if you are serious about your education. Unplag essentially gives you an indication of your plagiarism before having to finally hand in the work.

Grammarly.com

Grammarly is a nice tool which is designed to improve writing, and it also has an inbuilt plagiarism checker.

The good

  • Compares your work to over 8 Billion other pieces.
  • You get more than just a basic plagiarism checker
  • Grammarly comes with proofreading, punctuation checking and grammar checking. If you are short of someone to proofread your work this tool can be a lifesaver.

The Bad

  • All this doesn’t come cheap. One month is around 30 dollars. A yearly subscription is $30 per month. Not exactly a free alternative to Turnitin.

Scanmyessay.com

Viper offers what seems to be a great deal – free plagiarism checks. However beware, very few things in life come for free.
The good

  • The service is entirely free.

The bad

  • Regarding service for this application, any essay submitted can be taken by Viper and posted to an essay mill site without the user’s knowledge!
  • It reportedly has very poor performance and cannot be relied on as a decent plagiarism checker.

Plagscan.com

This plagiarism software is designed for both education and business purposes. The report includes the percentage of plagiarised text and highlights matches with different colours.
The good

  • It includes a free trial
  • Monthly membership is only $4.99. If you are a light user, you might not need to pay more.

The bad

  • Some people have reported finding the report difficult to understand.
  • You pay for “plagpoints” essentially meaning you pay per word checked, unlike other services that operate at a flat monthly fee.

Copyscape.com

Copyscape has long been known as a fairly robust and cheaper alternative to Turnitin.

The good

  • The free account allows for five scans.
  • Run a scan for only 5 cents regardless of file size.

The bad

  • The report can be hard for some to understand.

Duplichecker.com

The good

  • Free service with no requirement for registration.
  • Shows links to the plagiarised content.
  • Includes a spell checker.

The bad

  • The free version only allows one check per day for text less than 1500 words.

Plagtracker.com

The good

  • Submitted work checked against 20 million academic papers.
  • Unlimited upload size for premium users, grammar check and automatic PDF report.

The Bad

  • The free version can produce inaccurate results.

The Others

PaperRater.com

Paper Rater is a free online grammar and spell checker. The service also includes a free online plagiarism checker that compares your article with over 10 billion others giving you some peace of mind. It might, after all, be like a free version of Turnitin. However, on closer inspection, the free plagiarism check is limited to five pages.

The Verdict: Is there a free version of Turnitin?

If you are looking for a free version, sadly it doesn’t seem to exist. Most of the plagiarism scanners out there aren’t offering a high-quality free service. The best you are likely to find is a trial version that lets you do some limited scanning, but it isn’t enough for the demands of an undergraduate course.

The only completely free service available is “Viper”. This is one I would recommend to avoid completely. They apparently are using the uploaded documents to create knock off academic papers which are quite ironic. It is essentially a scam. Really if anything is free on the internet and has no ads, you are paying in some other way. The scan itself is even reported to be terrible!

There are just so many sites out there it’s hard to know which one to use and whether or not you are going to get a plagiarism scan of any quality. Although Copyscape is not free, it is probably the best of the Turnitin alternatives. The Berlin University of Applied Sciences has consistently rated Copyscape as a high-quality product in their scientific review of plagiarism software. At 5 cent a scan it isn’t going to break the bank either.

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