Comparing Documents for Similarities: Microsoft Word
In the age of modern technology, teachers must give their students the best practices for writing. This, among many things, includes how to avoid plagiarism and properly cite work from other sources.
With the overload of word files, a teacher must go through to check for plagiarism, it’s difficult to use a simple compare feature or compare button in Microsoft Word or another word processor. Side-by-side comparison isn’t helpful either because it solely compares two documents and does not take into account the millions of other works out there.
Because of this growing electronic world, Quetext has created a helpful comparison tool called a Plagairarism Checker that allows for a quick and straightforward review of student work with what is available online. With this valuable comparison tool under teachers’ belts, they’ll be able to compare documents in order to catch plagiarism and teach students how to cite appropriately.
Why Do Teachers Compare Documents?
Comparing two documents for similarities can be helpful for several reasons, especially for teachers who have an original document they hand out for classwork, or when they suspect two or more students of copying each others’ work. With the help of current technology, it’s easy to compare Word documents, PDF files, and powerpoints, all at the click of a button.
Some of the benefits of comparing documents is being able to find differences between documents, and visibly track changes between the two works. Comparing documents can assist teachers in seeing which students excel at paraphrasing and in-text citations, and which may need more guidance on properly citing others’ work to avoid plagiarizing.
Using a side-by-side comparison can also help teachers determine if work has been plagiarized. Occasionally, students may share answers, which can be seen by how they edit their work. This side-by-side comparison can help find the original creator of the response while also showing who copy-and-pasted the original document.
Comparing documents is best when a teacher needs to find duplicate text or view differences in multiple versions of a document for formatting and deletions.
How to compare two Microsoft Word Documents
Comparing documents is a great tool when teachers suspect plagiarism in submitted student assignments. By comparing documents, teachers can identify writing that is not the original work of the student who submitted it.
Regardless of your Microsoft Word application year, the ways of comparing two Word files are generally the same across each version:
- Open one of the documents and look in the toolbar ribbon.
- Click on Track Changes and then click Compare Documents.
- You should then be able to pick the original document and the revised document.
- Once these are both selected, you’ll have a new document with all the changes on a revised copy.
When comparing two documents in Word 2010 and above, they should all come in a revised document with all the changes compared to the original .docx file. These can come in handy for teachers when looking for a complete revision history in case of similar answers to another student.
However, when using the Word 2007 compare document function, it’s important to note that Microsoft no longer fully supports this past version. There may be some differences compared to recent applications.
It’s important to note that word files from different versions may cause the revised document to be either formatted incorrectly or unable to produce a comparison paper.
How to Check a Word Document for Plagiarism
Comparing two documents within Microsoft Word is effective for finding instances of plagiarism within one or both of those documents, but it does nothing to check for plagiarism against the other millions of sources available at students’ fingertips via the World Wide Web.
With Quetext’s worldwide plagiarism checker, teachers have the upper hand for discovering and handling these difficult situations. Using Quetext to check for student plagiarism is easy:
- Copy the text from within the Word document.
- Paste it into Quetext’s Plagiarism Checker and press ‘Check for Plagiarism.’
- Within seconds, a plagiarism report will be provided, showing a percentage of content that matches other known published text.
With proper care, identifying and correcting plagiarism in student work can be a learning experience for all students.
The Importance of Identifying Student Plagiarism
Educators play a crucial role in creating adults that know how to write, and how to do so ethically by giving credit when it’s due to others. These abilities have never been more important than now, in the current world, where almost everything is digitized.
The web gives students access to more information than ever before. These future workers need to learn how to differentiate good research from bad, and what information is worth using in their own work. At the same time, they must learn the importance of proper citations—not just for their student projects, but also for future business practices and career choices.
Plagiarism can have students kicked out of school, creating potentially devastating consequences for their future careers. All universities have strict policies on plagiarism, and graduate schools are even harsher on those who try to pass off work that isn’t their own as personal creations.
That’s why teachers need to set consequences for plagiarism early, when students are young, and stay on top of any suspected plagiarism. By running submitted work through a plagiarism checker, and disciplining students for any infractions, teachers are showing their students a reflection of how the real world deals with plagiarism. In this way, teachers provide valuable lessons on plagiarism before students move into environments where this type of behavior will affect their careers and livelihood.
When handling plagiarism, teachers need to focus on more than just the work presented. By using Quetext plagiarism checker, educators have the ability to teach valuable lessons on being honest in one’s work.
With Quetext’s extended teacher tools, it has never been easier to help educate the youth on plagiarism. Having the ability to check through 1,000 pages (100 thousand words), citation assistance for external work and interactive text, Quetext’s teacher tools can be used for all ages and help improve students’ writing overall.